It Takes a Child to Build the Temple

Yehuda Glick, head of the LIBA Movement for Freedom of Movement on the Temple Mount, expressed his satisfaction that “for the first time in three years the Temple Mount has been opened to Jews on Tisha b’Av.”

“300 Jews have already come, including MK Shuli Muallem-Refaeli (Jewish Home). Afterward, we went to Commander of the Old City, David Avi Biton, and expressed our appreciation of the wonderful work the police were doing today,” Glick added.

Earlier this morning, masked Arabs arrived at the Temple Mount throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the security forces. Police entered the area and dispersed the rioters. There were no casualties, and the police have remained in place to maintain order.

Last night the Jerusalem District Police arrested 27 Arabs suspected participating in the rioting in East Jerusalem.

Thus far, 457 suspects have been arrested for rioting, of which 160 have been served indictments. Additional arrests are anticipated.

“Temple Mount Open to Jews on 9th Av for First Time in 3 Years”
-found at

I hadn’t planned to write on Tisha B’Av but the above-quoted article plus something else inspired me. To understand why, read this:

Tisha B’Av night we sit on the floor and read from the Book of Lamentations. In a mournful voice we chant “Alas, she sits in solitude! The city that was great with people has become like a widow. She weeps bitterly in the night and her tear is on her cheek.”

We grieve for our Temple that was destroyed. We recall a once golden Jerusalem that now sits in darkness, abandoned. The streets of the city run red with rivers of blood. Lamentations describes a glorious nation being led out in chains as the fires of destruction fill the air. We cry “for Mount Zion which lies desolate, foxes prowled over it.”

-Slovie Jungreis-Wolff
“Making Tisha B’Av Relevant”

Tisha B'Av
photo credit: Alex Levin

Observant Jews mourn the loss of both Solomon’s and Herod’s Temples on this date as well as commemorate many other tragedies that have occurred in Jewish history employing very specific practices. Personally, I’ve decided to fast but not to employ all of the traditions involved in Jewish observance to avoid giving the impression that I’m fulfilling the mitzvah. I fast, pray, and study in solidarity with the Jewish people, but I must consider their losses as theirs, not mine.

But while Tisha B’Av is a day of mourning, it is also a day of hope. The very fact that the Temple Mount was opened to Jews on Tisha B’Av for the first time in three years makes me want to smile, even though that is inconsistent with a state of mourning.

I did have to smile at the following, though:

My son was on the lookout the minute the plane touched down in Israel. I could see the ignited light in his little four-year-old eyes on the entire car ride from the airport as he viewed the Holy Land for the first time. He was a tiny man on a mission, to see the Beit Hamikdash, the Holy Jewish Temple, he was always hearing about.

He learned in school the common Jewish notion that each mitzvah (good deed) a Jew performs adds a “brick” to rebuild the destroyed Temple. And he was expecting to see the third Temple in the process of being rebuilt, brick by brick, mitzvah by mitzvah. You can imagine how his face fell and heart was broken when we arrived at the site of the Kotel, the Western Wall.

-Beth Perkel (as told to her by R.S.)
“Searching for the Third Temple”

Some among Israeli Jews believe the Third Temple should be rebuilt right now, while others (including me) think when the Messiah comes (returns), he will build it.

But the wonderfully innocent audacity of a four-year old little boy expecting the bricks of the Temple to miraculously appear one by one as Jews all over the world perform mitzvot is an obviously literal interpretation of midrash and also the perfect faith only a child could have.

“Mommy, this is it?”

“What do you mean this is it?”

“Where is the Beit Hamikdash? All I see is a wall Mommy, where are the bricks we have been working for, where are all the extra bricks?”

“They are coming precious child, someday, hopefully sooner rather than later, they are coming.”

But my answer wasn’t enough. He stood transfixed, woefully unsatisfied, hoping somehow that the bricks would miraculously appear. When they didn’t, he wandered around, the only one moping at the Kotel during the precious moments of our short visit there.

Ultimately, this searching Jewish child actually did find the bricks to the Temple at the Yad La-shiryon tank museum at Latrun, or more specifically, in the memorial wall, in which each brick is a representation of the mesirat nefesh or the self-sacrifice of the soldiers who died defending Israel.

“Mommy, this is it! We found the bricks! These are the bricks for the Beit Hamikdash!”

It brought tears to my eyes. Somehow, his soul had understood something so deep on this very spot where soldiers throughout Jewish history, from the time of the Tanach onward, had died glorifying God’s name, defending the Jewish homeland and helping us take steps towards our destiny. I could see the radiance on his face. He had found it – the bricks that showed him that God’s promise of redemption was on its way.

photo credit:

What will bring (back) the Messiah, what will rebuild the Temple, is hope, even during the darkest periods of life. That’s what Tisha B’Av is, hope in the darkness. Even as Jews study Lamentations by candlelight sitting on short stools (as is the custom), with some eyes welling with tears, there is always hope.

Hope is what has enabled the Jewish people to endure as a people for so long. Hope is what recreated the modern state of Israel from the sand and ashes of “Palestine”. Hope is what keeps the prophesy of Messiah alive and all that he will do to return the exiles, redeem God’s people, and restore the nation to its former glory.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2 (NASB)

Our hope is in the Lord, maker of Heaven and Earth. That is the Jewish hope but it must be the hope for the rest of us, otherwise we have nothing, for “Salvation comes from the Jews” (John 4:22).

Hope is a four-year old boy who sees the “extra” bricks for building the Temple in the memorial of Israel’s honored fallen heroes.

May you have an easy fast.


20 thoughts on “It Takes a Child to Build the Temple”

  1. I understand your sentiment of not taking the mitzvah upon yourself, yet identifying with the Jewish people. However, I am somewhat in disagreement with your statement that it is their loss, not yours. The destruction of the mikdash is a loss to the whole world and for all people, even as the attempts to wipe out the Jewish race. It is written, “…for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” Yeshua, reciting this passage as he drove out the money changers said, “…for all nations.” So, I believe their loss is our loss as well. The destruction of the beit mikdash was, in fact, a worldwide tragedy for which the whole world should mourn.

    1. Perhaps I should have said primarily their loss. The Children of Israel were worshiping the One God when the rest of the people groups of the world were bowing vainly to idols. I did say at the end of the blog post that ultimately, the hope they have is the hope of all of us.

  2. @James — If we consider the notion that an anti-messiah will desecrate the Temple and interrupt its sacrifices some 3.5 years after having established some sort of 7-year peace agreement that allows sacrifice to be restored (echoing the actions of Antiochus Epiphanes in the Maccabean era), then we must expect the third Temple to be built before the Messiah returns, and to require similar cleansing and re-dedication when he does so.

  3. @PL : I would go a little further and say that not only the third Temple (I’m not sure if it is correct to have this word Capitalized, have not decided yet) will be built by an anti-messiah and it will be destroyed when Yeshua puts His feet on the Mount of Olives and a great valley is formed.

    “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.” Zechariah 14:4

    And in that new place (meaning that the scenario of mountains and valley) He will build the Temple that Ezekiel saw. (No wonder the Scriptures spend more pages in describing this Temple that the Tabernacle and the other two Temples together…

    In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south. Ezekiel 40:2

    Note that Ezekiel knows that the land is Israel, but does not say that he is looking at Jerusalem… He probably could not recognize this new scenery of mountains with a great valley there…

    1. @alfredo — I rather doubt that the anti-messiah will build this third temple. I suspect that the Jewish organizations that are already preparing for the earliest opportunity to do so will build it. The prophetic projections are only that he will make a 7-year agreement that he will abrogate half-way through, and that he will stop the sacrifices. If it were to be destroyed as you suggest, then the Ezekiel temple would have to be a fourth one. But I don’t recall any prophecy that actually identifies the messiah as the one who will build this temple, so perhaps a properly-constructed third temple could survive the earthquake that will split the Temple Mount. Of course, such an event would necessitate a lot of additional construction to ensure public access to the Temple from across that new valley. I suspect that there may be a lot about the shape and construction of the area that will appear rather different from anything poor Yehezkel could have recognized from his era.

  4. I concur with Alfredo. Something that is quite obvious when reading the Tanach. The 3rd Temple is NOT what we should be expecting Messiah to take the throne on. Revelations does say this but in a less obvious way to the casual reader.

    The 4th Temple is the one we await. Not made with the hands of men.

    May we all continue to live a Torah Observant life Doing the commandments of G-d with the testimony of Yeshua.

    – Bruce

  5. I agree with PL, however, I am not sure that a Temple is required for the prophecy to be fulfilled, main point of concern is the Altar and sacrifices, which requires an altar, but not a fully built Temple, the area of sacrifice is a holy place and sanctified, and the altar itself is holy once dedicated…

    @Alfredo, where did you get the idea that the Anti-Messiah builds the Temple?

    I look forward to the rebuilding of the Temple, I pray that it is rebuilt in my life time, and if dedicated and built according to scripture, it will be holy and sanctified, and I look forward to bringing an offering.

  6. @Alfredo: Put like that, not only will the Mountain range under the Mount of Olive be split crossways, Mount of Olive to the North, and the City of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount moving southwards, rather than along the Hebron Valleywith the valley in between pouring water to the west to the Mediteranean, and east to the Dead Sea. If you look at the deep aquifers in Israel, part of the deep aquifers edges onto the Mount of Olives, and down toward the Jordan on the east, and filling the barren area around the Dead Sea!

    Thanks for letting me visualize that properly.

    @James: I thought that the ‘child’ being spoken of in the texts that quote Jehoshua were referring to the youngest disciples of a Rabbi.

    Still, hearing the visualization of a child of what the Temple was to be certainly points out the tearing immensity of the losses of the Jewish People over time.

    Strange that a people so stiff-necked (as they needed to be to guard their heritage over so long a time, and without even their country to shelter them) have to be pounded so hard to get them to see and do what YHVH wants them to see and do…Obey Him as a nation and as Individuals, and recognize His Messiah when He was sent, right on schedule, if not in the preferred form and power desired.

    Losing their second Temple forty years after Yehoshua’s death has hardened their hearts sadly against Yehoshua, instead of making them sit up and listen to the prophecies that so beautifully describe our Master. And yet, it is the prophecies that bring the Jews that come into Messianic belief.

    I know that Abba wants to gain the attention of the whole world to Him, and what He desires for the human race, and how YHVH planned to use His Messiah-self to get it done, but it is painful to watch the Israelites continuously getting hammered. Still, at least there are many Gentile Believers that now understand what Tisha b’Av is about, instead of all the world remaining in ignorance. One hopes that all the Jews see that there are Gentiles who also desperately want the Kingdom to come, for their sake, as well as our own.

  7. Do we really know the “anti-Messiah” who desecrates the Temple comes in the future? Who desecrated the Temple mount by building a pagan temple on it after Herod’s Temple was leveled?

    We’ve been taught to read Matthew 24:3 as a single question and Yeshua’s answer as a single event, but there really could be two questions involved:

    1. When will these things happen (the destruction of Jerusalem)?

    2. What will be the sign of your coming at the end of the age?

    Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 C.E. which started off a long series of events that have led both Christianity and Judaism to a certain point in history as we approach the end of the current age. That throws most of the Christian doctrine about the next Temple, the anti-Christ, and the coming of Messiah into a cocked hat because those events could be separated by thousands of years, with the destruction and desceration happening in the past.

    I’m not saying things have to be the way I’ve just described, but then again, they certainly are possible and even (perhaps) likely.

    1. @James — One key relevant passage is the well-known Dan.9:27, which associates a covenant made with a multitude for a period identified as a “seven”. This could be a week, a period of seven years, or perhaps even seven centuries, except that the one individual who makes this agreement is also the one who breaks it halfway through (which tends to rule out a period as long as centuries). There was no agreement relating to the number “seven” associated with the cessation of sacrifice in 70 CE. (No, 7 decades don’t count, especially as the AD/CE year-numbering system didn’t yet exist.) Therefore, the sacrifices must be restored at some time in the future and then be interrupted by the infamous prophetic “deal-breaker”. Further, the months that are counted in Yohanan’s vision provide a strong hint that seven years are the appointed period under consideration, particularly because of the events cited to occur after 42 months (3.5 years). Also, no abomination that causes desolation was set up at the Temple site in 70 CE or any time shortly thereafter to remain in place until the deal-breaker gets what’s coming to him.

      Nonetheless, you are certainly correct that the three questions posed to Rav Yeshua in Mt.24 may be fulfilled at quite different points. The first, of course, was the destruction of the second Temple in 70CE. The second, which is the sign that indicates Rav Yeshua’s return, and potentially an additional separate indicator of the coming end of the age, are separate from the events of 70 CE, which we now from our vantage can see clearly with the benefit of a hindsight unavailable to Rav Yeshua’s disciples when they asked the questions. Rav Yeshua himself then proceeded to describe many events that indicate a significant period of time, followed ultimately by the statement that only the Father in Heaven knows the timing which would answer the disciples’ questions. We have here also a mention of Daniel’s “abomination” as a signal to “head for the hills” and a nasty period that no one would survive were it not to be shortened. There is another “head for the hills” passage triggered by Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, which could refer to the period of the Hurban, but that doesn’t make it synonymous with the sighting of the aforementioned “abomination”. Therefore we could well be looking at two different periods when similar Jewish survival behavior is recommended. As was cited in an earlier blog recently, Mark Twain supposedly observed that history doesn’t exactly repeat itself, but it has a remarkable tendency to rhyme.

      1. Admittedly, “end times prophecies” isn’t my area of expertise and primarily, I have been pulling from those portions of the Tanakh that support the traditional Jewish viewpoint that one of the things Messiah is to accomplish is the rebuilding of the Temple. I agree with Alfredo that the dimensions of Ezekiel’s Temple necessitate that it be located elsewhere than on the Temple Mount, since it is too large to fit. On the other hand, I believe that Jerusalem’s geography is going to be significantly rearranged with Messiah’s return, so I suspect a new “platform” for the final Temple will be raised.

  8. @Zion, you ask “where did you get the idea that the Anti-Messiah builds the Temple?”

    The following is the scenario that I have in mind:
    1. You know that the Adversary has always wanted to destroy Israel. John 10:1-18
    2. You know that Israel is expecting the third Temple to be built. Zechariah 6:12-13
    3. As PL says, Jewish organizations are already preparing for the earliest opportunity to build a Temple. But in order to do that, there has to be PEACE in the region…
    4. What would happen if “someone” comes along (2 Thessalonians 2:1-9) and brings “peace” between all 3 main religions? (Judaism, Islam & Christianity) What if this man shows up making wonders in order to show all three religions that he is the one they are waiting?
    5. In order to destroy Israel, all Israel has to be in one place… as of this day, Israel is still scattered…
    6. What event is needed to have all Israel in one place? How many Jewish people do you know will not get to Jerusalem for the inauguration of the Temple? Wouldn’t all sell everything they have in order to travel all over the world and be there?
    7. This man will have the one opportunity to bring all nations against Israel. All nations that have been fooled by this man will be ready to go against Israel and call for “peace”…
    8. But we know… “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4
    9. So, when Israel is about to be destroyed, they will call for Salvation… Yeshua… Salvation…
    10. And all Israel shall be saved…

    I think this is a possible scenario… I don’t know the future…

  9. Thought-provoking, postulating conversation. Probably there will be another Temple built (by people, good and/or bad or well-intentioned), or there will be just an altar or something along that line (as someone here suggested; very interesting). Above all, though, I think of Jerusalem coming actually down from heaven (which reflects “Jerusalem above” as mentioned in the book of Romans to be better than the Jerusalem of that [first century] time with HEROD’s temple).

    Wouldn’t that Jerusalem arriving include the Temple/Tabernacle? It could be that will be, OR that somehow it’ll be built then.

    1. The New Jerusalem comes down from heaven after the thousand years of Yeshua’s kingdom. At that time, there will be new heavens and new earth… There will be no Temple…

  10. Appreciated revisiting location, vista, differentiation in measurement, and future [and/or ultimate/archetypal] architecture…
    most importantly, timing as determined/signified by authority.

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