Decoding Ezekiel's Temple
I would like to play a little Temple trivia game. Only three questions:
Question number 1. What happened on Tisha B’Av (the 9th of Jewish month of Av?)
And the answer is…the First and Second Temples were both destroyed on the 9th day of the Jewish month of Av.
Question number 2. What happened on the 3rd day of the Jewish month of Adar?
And the answer is…the Second Temple was completed and open to the public, as it says (Ezra 6:15), “The Temple was completed on the 3rd day of the month of Adar during the 6th year of the reign of King Darius.”
And finally, question number 3, a multiple choice question. In which Temple did the miracle of Chanukah take place?
A.) Solomon’s Temple
B.) Zerubavel’s Temple
C.) Herod’s Temple.
And the right answer is: B.) Zerubavel’s Temple. Who was Zerubavel? He was the governor of Judea, a descendant of King David, and the builder of the 2nd Temple, as it says in Zachariah 4:9, “Zerubavel’s hands laid the foundation of this Temple and his hands shall complete it.”
I do this trivia thing to point out two serious problems. Problem number one is that few people know about the Temple because few people care enough about the Temple to learn about the Temple.
Problem number two is that when we do get involved with the Temple, we lean towards the negative – destruction, fasting, pounding our chests and asking for forgiveness for something that happened 2000 years ago.
Practically everyone with a beard and yarmulkeh will tell you that we will soon have the Third Temple. And for those who hold the view that it is coming down from heaven already built, it could even happen before you finish reading this sentence. What this all means is that we are very close to the ultimate blessing and very far from the ultimate curse. So what do we do? We ignore the blessing and obsess over the curse. We ignore Ezekiel’s Temple and obsess over Herod’s Temple, a Temple built by a Jew-hating psychopath, a Temple so corrupt that the sages made them stop saying G-d’s Name in it, a Temple so evil that the Ramban calls it Sitna, the Temple of Satan. And yet Herod’s Temple, the Temple of the Mishna and the Temple of the Rambam, is the Temple of our psyche. When we think about the Temple – if ever – it is the image of Herod’s Temple that pops into our mind.
When it comes to the Temple, the entire Torah world is in a trance, mindlessly focused in the wrong direction on the wrong Temple. This trance is the spiritual exile of the Soul. The Torah’s term for this trance is kishuf, witchcraft.
Is there a way to snap out of the trance? Yes. Start learning the Torah of the Third Temple as written in the last nine chapters of the Book of Ezekiel.
The moment we reject Herod’s Temple and embrace Ezekiel’s Temple, we will have snapped out of the trance. We will have gone from Galut to Geulah, from exile to the Final Redemption.
By learning Ezekiel’s vision of the future Temple, we are building the Temple in our minds and our hearts. With our learning, we are bringing the light of the Temple into the world.
Ezekiel’s vision of the Temple is a blueprint from heaven. In it, the prophet is taken by the hand of G-d and placed on a high mountain in Jerusalem where he is shown a glorious future Temple.
An angel leads Ezekiel through the Temple and measures its walls and gates and chambers, its entrances and exits. And then, G-d speaks to Ezekiel from within the Sanctuary, which the Ramchal teaches is the Garden of Eden.
To learn Ezekiel’s Temple is to enter it. And to enter it is to wake up from a dream, as it says in Psalm 126: “When Hashem will return the exiles of Zion we will have been like dreamers.”
Five times a day, the Jewish people pray for the rebuilding of the Beit HaMikdash. The problem is that our prayers are out of alignment. We are asking Hashem for a Ferrari but we have in mind a Fiat Uno with no engine and four flat tires.
And what frees us from the kishuf is the Beit HaMikdash because the Beit HaMikdash destroys illusion and brings the revelation of the Shechina.
To help accelerate the process, I and a team of graphic artists in Israel published a book based on the last nine chapters of the Book of Ezekiel, with over 200 graphics to explain every verse of Ezekiel’s vision. The book is called Mikdash D’Meshicha, the Messianic Temple. You can get it from firstname.lastname@example.org or scroll down to the cover of The Messianic Temple below and it will take you to amazon.com
Also, b’ezrat Hashem, I am preparing a full course of study on the Third Temple. The course will be called Decoding Ezekiel’s Temple. Those who are interested, please contact me by email and I will keep you posted as plans develop, b’ezrat Hashem. email@example.com
In the meantime, may our Father in heaven bless us and straighten our paths so that they lead to the Beit HaMikdash and to the One Who resides in the Beit HaMikdash, may He be blessed.