Other amazing things have happened as well. The Land of Israel has come alive as per all the prophecies. The desert is blooming; the mountains are green, just as they were before the Churban HaBayit; the orchards are lush with fruit, and the fields are covered with grain and growing things. The Torah tells us that these are the signs of Redemption.
And Torah in Eretz Yisrael is blossoming as never before. Yeshivot are scattered across the length and breadth of the Land. You cannot travel five minutes in any direction without finding a minyan. Am Yisrael is again speaking, thinking and creating in its own language, not the languages of foreign nations, even if it is a new, contemporary idiom of our old language. Israel is a recognized world leader in hi-tech, agriculture and medicine. And Jewish men and boys are standing in a Jewish army to protect the Jewish people. When was the last time we were able to do that? Not all of our soldiers sport peyot or tzitzit yet, but someday, they will. As a believing Jew, I was taught to believe that the day will come when all Jews are Torah Jews.
Yet not all is well. Despite the countless yeshivot, synagogues and schools, despite all the amenities of a big, modern, cosmopolitan city, the heart of Yerushalayim – Har HaBayit – is still shomeim – desolate. A golden dome covers the place where the Beit HaMikdash should be standing. We are still in mourning.
I must admit, it’s difficult for me to envision a world with a Beit HaMikdash. What will it be like? How will it affect our daily lives? How will it affect the Jewish State? The world at large? One thing I do know is that it would necessitate Jewish unity. That in itself is an overwhelming challenge. Are we capable of meeting it?
I assume there will be other challenges, new developments, problems and solutions; new demands and ways of doing old things. In short, a new reality. There are so many unknowns that thinking about them makes me dizzy! Fortunately, the world is not waiting for my solutions! There are devoted talmidei chachamim who are not only studying the subject theoretically, but who are attempting to prepare for it.
The research institute Machon HaMikdash has, so far, produced over ninety different utensils and articles of clothing for the future Beit HaMidkash. Painstakingly based on halachic sources and crafted by professional artisans, the golden menorah, clothing for the Kohein Gadol and various musical instruments have all been produced. All are on display in its museum facing the Kotel.
A team of dedicated architects and engineers are designing a comprehensive urban Master Plan to enlarge and prepare Yerushalayim for millions of Olei Regel. They envision a sophisticated railway system to Har HaBayit and a large network of hostels and hotels in outlying districts surrounding the city.
Yeshivot are engaged in studying the korbanot. (Even kids in grammar schools in Eretz Yisrael study the korbanot!) There are people searching for a kosher Parah Adumah.Like the people who set aside special clothing in anticipation of the arrival of Mashiach, we too are anticipating and preparing.
How can we remain in a state of mourning amidst all this blossoming, developing, growth and activity? We are obviously living in the midst of an ongoing miracle. Surrounded by enemies, we walk daily under protective Clouds of Glory. The groundwork for the Geula is being laid; the physical foundation for a new spiritual world is being built. Our hospitals, supermarkets, soldiers and firemen, our telephones, water and electricity, enable millions of Jews to live here and a vibrant world of Torah to exist and expand.