12 Kislev 5781 / Saturday, November 28, 2020 | Torah Reading: Vayeitzei
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We wonder when the Third Temple will be rebuilt. Some of us wonder if it will be built. As we wonder Israel prepares itself. It has been for the last 100 years…


What does "Secular Israel" know about the Third Temple? Perhaps a lot more than we do. Consciously or not, they have been building a State around the greatest event in the story of mankind. In the last century over $3 trillion in planning, manpower, and construction has been invested in a miracle that is about to happen.


At its height, the city of Rome housed  one million people. Not until London in the 1800s, would a city have the capacity to hold so many. It was the largest market in the world. Positioned at the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, trade routes were lucrative.


One of the most active trade routes was from Alexandra, Egypt. Over 20,000 tons of grain, a third of what Rome consumed, was transported using this waterway. Often a cargo vessel would go north to pick up other goods, and drop anchor at the port in Caesarea, Israel. Built by King Herod, it was a city dedicated to Roman trade. Goods would be produced all over Israel and exported to Rome via Herod's harbor.


It would cost more to transport goods over land throughout Israel to the port, than it would cost to transport goods from Caesarea to the ports in Rome. The main industry should have been on the coast.


But that's not how it happened. Industry centered on major population areas in Jerusalem and Tiberius. Prices went up just to cover the journey to the coast.




The Temple stood in those days. Money wasn't important. The center of life for the Jewish People was the Temple in Jerusalem. Our population, our economy, our spiritual life, our day to day living existed around the ultimate Divine service. It mattered not, economically speaking, if the focus on the Temple turned the nation completely upside down.


The same is happening today.


Thousands of years later we don't just manufacture physical goods. Our primary export is computer code. We transport our goods and services by wires and airwaves. What do we need businesses on the coast for? Take any $100 million company, put it in the Jordan Valley, and there is no reason why it cannot produce as well as it did when it was headquartered in Tel Aviv. Take the billion dollar company in Netanya, move it to the Golan Heights, and it shouldn't impact operations or sales at all.


Why not create a second Silicon Wadi on the Hills of Jerusalem? The current mayor is offering all sorts of tax breaks for businesses, but it's not happening. Why?


That area is reserved for a far greater undertaking. We know it. We feel it. It's in the air.


In 2014, 83 million people visited France, 75 million visited the US, and 55 million visited China. When the Third Temple is rebuilt we will see more people coming to Israel than the current level of 3.3 million. Today, tourism to Israel employs 20,000 people, and brings in $41 billion. Tourism to the US brings in 4 times that amount.


What happens when hundreds of millions of people all over the world come to Jerusalem to be close to Hashem? What happens when hundreds of thousands of Kohanim and Levites relocate to the Holy City? What happens when the heart of everything from learning, commerce, social interaction, infrastructure, and housing is focused on Jerusalem and its environs?


Like our forefathers of King Herod's time, we don't want this to happen for money. But money has always been a good measure of why people do what they do. If the "ultra-orthodox" passed special laws limiting hi-tech companies from operating in Jerusalem in honor of the Third Temple we might say to ourselves, "that is to be expected."


But secular Israel is doing the same, and without any legislation. Hashem decreed His Redemption will happen where the most "unlikely" people would set the stage for it means that it is inevitable, imminent, and that there is absolutely no turning back.

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