The Medrash (Bereishis Rabbah 13:2) teaches us that the Jewish People are always praying for the Bais HaMikdash, so we will perpetuate that ideal. In this weeks parasha, Vayigash, we encounter Yehudah entreating Yosef to release their brother Binyomin and allow Yehudah to serve in his stead. Yehudah’s pleas tug at our heartstrings, as a brother in despair pleads for the welfare, both physical and spiritual, of his youngest brother. Furthermore, Yehudah has entered into a pact with his father Yaakov, both in this world and in the next world, to bring Binyomin back safely. The Torah (Devarim 33:12) tells us that the Bais HaMikdash was built primarily in the portion of the tribe of Binyomin. Yehudah represents the Davidic dynasty and Moshiach ben Dovid, whereas Yosef reflects the future Moshiach ben Yosef.
Further on in the parasha we find that upon meeting each other after twenty-two years, Yosef and Binyomin cried on each other’s shoulders. The Medrash (Bereishis Rabbah 93:12) states that Yosef was crying for the two future Batei Mikdashos that would be built in the portion of Binyomin and would be destroyed, and Binyomin was crying for the Mishkan that would be erected in Shiloh, the portion of Yosef, and would be destroyed. Again we see the theme that the Jewish People were constantly cognizant of the Bais HaMikdash. It is said (Bereishis 44:30) וְעַתָּה כְּבֹאִי אֶל עַבְדְּךָ אָבִי וְהַנַּעַר אֵינֶנּוּ אִתָּנוּ וְנַפְשׁוֹ קְשׁוּרָה בְנַפְשׁוֹ, “and now, if I come to your servant my father and the youth is not with us – since his soul is so bound up with his soul.” It is noteworthy that the words ונפשו בנפשו equal in gematria the words זהו בית המקדש, this is the Bais HaMikdash.
Our forefathers cried for the future destruction of the Bais HaMikdash. We can only cry for the past destruction of the Bais HaMikdash, but we can also cry that we do not yet have the Third Bais Hamikdash. Indeed, if we feel that the Bais HaMikdash is בית חיינו, the house of our lives, i.e. the Soul of the Jewish People, then HaShem will reward our mourning with the rebuilt Bais Hamikdash in conjunction with the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, speedily, in our days.
Have a Soulful and Uplifting Shabbos!