By Dr. Zev Ballen
“Any nation that is foolish enough to attempt severing any part of the Temple Mount and Jerusalem from the Jewish people hasn’t learned the lessons of history.” -Rabbi Lazer Brody
Lately I’ve been going to the kosel HaMaaravi (the western wall) to do hisbodedus (personal prayer). I got excited about the idea when I heard that the legendary Rabbi Levy Yitzchok Bender (1897-1989) - the spiritual guide for thousands of Breslever Chassidim – many of them baalei teshuvah, used to walk to the
Kosel for Hisbodidus every single day that he lived in Jerusalem. Rabbi Bender was known to have not missed one night ofreciting Chatzot (the midnight prayer lamenting the Temple’s destruction) and hisbodedus in seventy five years. It is also known, in Breslever circles, that there is no other place where Rebbe Nachman’s spiritual presence can be felt more than the Kosel – with the exception of Uman.
Standing at the most revered site in Judaism – literally the spiritual junction of heaven and earth - I was reminded of G-d’s promise to the Jewish people: “Behold, He (G-d) stands behind our wall… What is special about the Western Wall…G-d swore to the Western Wall that it would never be destroyed” (Midrash Raba, Shir Hashirim).
Also - in his vision of the future third Temple, the prophet, Ezekiel saw that at end of our present exile, upon the re-building of the Temple, that Hashem’s Glory will fill the new Temple and G-d will once again dwell on the Temple mount as he did in the Temple built by King Solomon. (Ezekiel, 43:2-5). Ezekiel prophesized that the next Temple, may it come speedily in our days, will be an eternal edifice and permanent dwelling place forthe G-d of Israel on the temple mount in Jerusalem – my friends – you can take that to the bank.
It also states in Genesis Rabba (an early Jewish text), that the site of the Temple mount is one which the nations of the world cannot taunt Israel and say “you have stolen it”, since the site was purchased by King David “for its full price.”
So how should Israel respond to those who are denying our right to the spot that G-d designated for our Holy Temple?
My beloved spiritual guide, Rabbi Lazer Brody, cuts right to heart of the matter: “The entire world and certain evil leaders are denying our right to the area of our own Holy Temple. Once again, we have no cause to be angry at them, for as soon as we make real teshuva, they will crumble. But, until we make teshuva, those evil leaders should be forewarned that by disenfranchising Israel from what they call East Jerusalem, they are in effect trying to disenfranchise The Almighty. Cherished brothers and sisters, that won’t happen, period.”
Unfortunately we need not go back very far in history to see the evidence of our beloved Rabbi’s warning to the nations - when the world witnessed the tragic downfall of Japan a mere ten days after they entered into an agreement to sell nuclear rods to Iran and publicly denied Israel’s right to Jerusalem.
We are all so blessed to be in the prayers of my spiritual guides – Rabbi Shalom Arush and Rabbi Lazer Brody, May Hashem Bless them always. It is rare that Tzadikkim reveal to us the nature of their prayers to G-d on our behalf – but at particularly trying times – like these - for their own reasons, Tzadikkim sometimes do share their most private conversations with G-d openly with us – possibly because, after they receive a strong revelation of G-d’s Will, they want us to join them in praying for what G-d revealed to them.
Rabbi Brody continues...
Dr. Zev Ballen