The vision of the Beis HaMikdash of the Messianic Era offers a powerful and vivid image of a future where physical and spiritual renewal are intertwined, where divine blessings flow abundantly, and where humanity experiences ultimate harmony and connection with the divine. * On the teachings about the Holy Temple for the Three Weeks.
In the laws of Rambam, specifically in the Eighth book, "The Book of Service," we encounter a law regarding the construction of a House for God (Beit Habechirah) (Rambam, Hilchot Beit Habechirah 1:1). This law states that it is a positive commandment to erect a sanctuary where sacrifices can be offered, as mentioned in Exodus 25:8: "And you shall make Me a sanctuary."
The sanctuary constructed by Moses, described in the Torah, was only temporary, as mentioned in Deuteronomy 12:9: "For at present, you have not come unto [the resting place and the inheritance]." After entering the Land of Israel, the Jewish people erected the sanctuary in Gilgal, then moved to Shiloh, and later to Nov and Givon, before ultimately reaching the eternal structure in Jerusalem.
The temple in Shiloh stood for 369 years until it was destroyed, and the sanctuaries in Nov and Givon lasted for a total of 57 years (Rambam, Hilchot Beit Habechirah 2:2-3). After the Temple was built in Jerusalem, it became forbidden to build a sanctuary for God or offer sacrifices in any other place (Rambam, Hilchot Beit Habechirah 3:1).
FROM THERE, A FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH, OF HEALTH
In the Book of Ezekiel, the Messianic Temple is described, and it introduces a distinct feature: a river flowing from under the threshold of the temple (Ezekiel 47:1-2). This river, unlike anything mentioned in relation to the preceding temples, is depicted as a life-giving source of healing and abundance.
It cleanses and revitalizes the waters, causing an abundance of fish to thrive, and nourishes trees with leaves for medicine (Ezekiel 47:8-9, 47:12). This imagery symbolizes the blessings and spiritual renewal that will be experienced during the Messianic era.
Therefore, while the preceding temples held their significance and served as places of worship, the Messianic Temple, as envisioned in the Book of Ezekiel, introduces a unique and compelling element with the presence of the life-giving river.
It emphasizes the transformative and rejuvenating aspects associated with the Messianic era, where divine blessings flow outward and bring about spiritual and physical abundance.
The Talmud, in Tractate Sukkah 45b, discusses the healing properties of the water flowing from the future Third Temple. It states that this water has the power to heal various illnesses, including blindness. It is said that people will come from all over the world to partake of this water and be healed.
Furthermore, the Midrash, in Midrash Tehillim (Psalms) 92:6, expands on the concept of the river of the Messianic Temple. It explains that this river will flow with water that has the power to grant eternal youthfulness. It will bring about physical rejuvenation and vitality, symbolizing the spiritual renewal and eternal blessings of the Messianic era.
The Zohar, a mystical Jewish text, also discusses the significance of the river of the Messianic Temple. It states that the water flowing from the sanctuary will carry with it the essence of divine wisdom and knowledge. It will bring enlightenment and understanding to all who drink from it, leading to spiritual growth and enlightenment during the Messianic era.
The river represents not only physical abundance and rejuvenation but also spiritual enlightenment and growth. It is a symbol of the profound blessings and transformation that will accompany the Messianic era. The vision of the Messianic Temple offers a powerful and vivid image of a future where physical and spiritual renewal are intertwined, where divine blessings flow abundantly, and where humanity experiences ultimate harmony and connection with the divine.