What are we missing without BEIT HAMIKDASH – meditations and prayers for Tisha B’Av

By Kabbalist Rav Yitzchak Schwarts

1. The essence and power of grieving over the loss of the Holy Temple

Beit HaMikdash burning - Destruction of the TempleWe are less than 2 days away from  Tisha B’av—the day of the destruction of both Temples
[and a number of other catastrophic events]….The question that keeps coming up every year is,
‘How can we mourn over something that we never have known or experienced?’
The intensity of grief that we experience over anything or over anyone that we have lost, is directly proportional to the degree that we knew, felt, loved and were connected to that person . Therefore the challenge in the grieving process over the loss of our Holy Temples,  is to explore what it was that we had, and that we lack, now  that they are gone.
We need to understand that the the grieving that we do, serves a crucial purpose. As opposed to just grieving over the loss in order to heal ourselves and to give proper respect to that which is lost to us—-as is normally the case in grieving,  here our purpose in grieving is to BRING BACK TO LIFE THE OBJECT OF OUR GRIEF!
With this approach, we can understand and fulfill what our Sages say, ”Those who mourn for the destruction [of Jerusalem…], merit to see her [Jerusalem’s] happiness”……..The true mourning process is itself right now, the catalyst, for the ultimate joy of it’s being rebuilt.

YEARNING FOR THE BEIT HAMIKDASH [meditations and prayers]

2. The Return Home

Know that one of the main purposes that the Creator created the universe for, was so that He should have a ‘Dira B’Tachtonim’–literally a dwelling place in this lower World—-which incudes a dwelling place inside of each one of us, as well as a physical home on earth ”…in the place of His choosing…”—namely Jerusalem…….
Know that this same city of Jerusalem, even when it is not in a state of it’s  full expression, as it will be when the Holy Temple will be rebuilt and functioning, nevertheless , even now , it is the city that Hashem’s prescence is felt , more than any other city on earth…….
As a direct result of this indwelling, Jerusalem is, was and aloways will be the central focus of our people [and of the entire world]…..Know that we pray for Jerusalem’s wellbeing in all of our fixed prayers and in our blessing after meals….We place our yearning for Jerusalem above our highest joys—in impassioned declarations at the pinnacle of our wedding ceremonies, as well as on the walls of our homes [in the form of a corner of one of the walls  being left unpainted]………
We are in love with Jerusalem………We face it’s direction when we pray…..We yearn to be at the Kotel/Western Wall—the Holy remnant of the outer wall of the Temple complex….Many of us make our political choices on the basis of the candidate’s level of consideration for the wefare of Jerusalem…….So Jerusalem is not only the ‘so-called Home for Hashem,–but for us as well…………………
Know that when Jerusalem is fully actualized, through having the Holy temple built up and functioning in it’s midst, at a time when our people have come back home and at a time when our Righteous Mashiach is alive and well and  fully functioning—-at that time, our people’s historical marriage with Hashem will be completely consumated and realized—–whereas in any and every historical setting where we lack this reality, we find ourselves steeped in Exile—and to the extent of our being in exile, to that extent, we are separated from our groom, our husband—our G-d—-along with all of the pain and heartache that a wife and husband feel upon being apart…….
Know that our national return to our married partner, to our Holy Home of Jerusalem, with it’s Temple intact—-is actually a return to ourselves—-to our fully expressed status of being ”A Nation of Priests”, ”A Light unto the Nations”, a nation of scholars and Prophets—a nation that returns to being it’s fully glorious self.
A prayer for our return home;
Our Merciful father
We grieve for all that we have lost
We grieve, but with a grieving
that is full of trust and hope—
a trust that our grieving will be
transformed into pure joy—
a joy that comes when our prayers our answered and
our dreams are fulfilled
But most important, Hashem
We yearn for your Prescence
here on earth
in the Place that
You have chosen to Dwell
from time immemorial
Bring us all home Dear Lord,
Bring us all back home to Jerusalem
to the place that we have
never stopped loving and longing for
in every prayer
in every major event
of our lives
Return us to the Jerusalem
that shines in her full glory
to the Jerusalem of today
that is being transformed
into the ultimate Jerusalem
of tomorrow
with her Prophets
and her Scholars
and her Priests
and her Mashiach
and her Holy Temple
all shining forth
with the brightest
of Divine Light
a light that lights up
all the darknesses
of the entire world
Bring us home
our G-d and G-d of our fathers
Bring us back
to the home of our youth
bring us to a home where we know
that all that really counts is
to be with You
in all ways always
Bring us Home
to ourselves
to our fully expressed
fully blossomed
glorious selves
Open up the wellsprings of Jerusalem
inside of our hearts and souls
for all this
and more than we can express
we ask you, Dear G-d
to bring us home!!

3. The Unifying Principle

Know that Jerusalem , even in it’s present not-yet-fully-realized-state [all the more so , in it’s realized state with the HolyTemple] is the ultimate unifier….It’s very name indicates this–‘Yerushalayim’  which comprises the 2 words , ‘Yire Shalem ‘ meaning complete seeing, or the ability to hold in one’s perspective anything and it’s opposite, and everything in-between, at the same time……The more classic etymology of the name is the City of Peace—a city representing the ideal of peace, at the same time that historically, it is one of the bloodiest, most war ravaged spots on the globe—-a classic illustration of Jerusalem’s harmony of opposites….Similarly, it brings together many peoples of the globe as well as many outlooks of life….Most important, it is the unifier of spirituality, infinity, eternity and Divinity—of all of these, together with their opposites—physicality, finiteness, temporality as well as the mundane………..
As is known Kabbalistically, that  which unifies disparate elements, is that which signifies beauty—-thus our Sages state that out of the 10 measures of beauty that have been given to the world, 9 of them were given to Jerusalem……..
Know that Jerusalem’s [and especially the Holy Temple’s] power to harmonize and unite —-qualifies Jerusalem  to serve as the focal point of global rectification and perfection—-The Holy Temple generates and reverberates  physical and spiritual sustenance to the entire world, and alternatively, the physical and the spiritual realms are reflected in the corresponding state or level of the Holy Temple…..Thus, the 1st Temple–the Temple built by King Solomon, radiated one of the highest spiritual auras in history—with incredible levels of Proohecy and open miracles–which reflected the state or level of the Jews and the entire world at that time…..The level dropped a number of notches in the 2nd temple, and will reach it’s highest peak in the3rd Temple, never to fall again……
Know that this great concentration of harmony, will qualify Jerusalem to serve as the Universal focus of all of mankind —as is explicitly elaborated upon in all of the writings of the Prophets…….This Universal harmony, will bring along with it, world peace, world joy and world spiritual elevation—-where one and all will seek Hashem , to know His ways with all of their might…….
And ultimately this world consciousness will usher in a new and very different era or world order, where no longer will people be driven to perfect themselves and all which is deficient, but rather , they will be driven to seek out Divine Unification..ie…the ability to see with ever-increasing clarity —that there is nothing else in reality, but Hashem!!
a prayer for accessing  the unification consciousness of Jerusalem
Master of the Universe
We come before You
with a broken heart
and a scattered sense of self
Please heal us
Please reunify us
Please return us
to our city of complete – seeing Yerushalayim,
so that we can be whole again,
so that we can harmonize together
all that is disconnected so that
we can attach ourselves and all that is temporal in our lives,
all that is mediocre and stuck and petty in our lives to
all that is infinite all that is supernatural all that is eternal
and all that is Divine
Return us to all this through the unifying power of Jerusalem—
the upper , heavenly Jerusalem
together with the lower earthly Jerusalem
Reveal to us the total beauty that Jerusalem contains
the essence of beauty
The beauty of The song of the Levites
Then song that melted and transformed
the hearts of all who heard it
The beauty of the Divine Service and
the wisdom and the Prophecy
that could be tangibly felt and
tasted nowhere else like in Jerusalem
Dear Creator of the Universe and
of all mankind,
Return to us the ability to live the daily
miracles of Jerusalem
and the tangible revelation of
Your Holy Presence
Usher us into the time that
all of Your Prophets spoke about
where all people will
look to Jerusalem for their
physical and spiritual wellbeing
for it’s supernal light to banish all of their
various forms of darkness
for it’s healing to heal their bodies and souls
for it’s concentration of Divine Prescence
to serve as the focal point
of everyone’s motivation and occupation
—an occupation that will no longer
be concerned with so much with survival and money,
but rather with knowing You
and knowing that there is
nothing else besides You
May it be your will
that the words of our mouths
and the meditations of our hearts
find favor in Your eyes
our G-d, our Rock and our Redeemer

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