Friday, 15 July, 2022 - 11:03 am

The Western Wall.

It’s World famous. A focal point of Jewish and global spiritual consciousness.

But what is it?

For eight hundred and thirty years, a Holy Temple (BeitHamikdash in Hebrew) stood as the center of the Jewish world. The Temple was more than a building; it was the supreme point of contact – the nexus - between the human and the Divine.

But what was, no longer is. We haven’t had a Temple for more than two thousand years. The Temple no longer stands, having been viciously destroyed by the Babylonians and later by the Romans. All we have is the ‘Western Wall’, a remnant of a retaining wall. That’s all.

So, is the Western Wall a place of national nostalgia, ground zero for our collective pining over a lost glory? Is it the symbol of our hopes for the future?

Yes. And Yes. But that’s not all.

The Western Wall is more than a psychological touchpoint. It’s a symbol of what STILL exists.

The Babylonians and Romans destroyed buildings, but they had no way to subdue the spirit which permeated the sacred structure. And it indeed persists. The Temple’s ‘body’ was destroyed but its ‘soul’ remains whole. So the Western Wall remains a CURRENT place of contact, an eternally fresh reservoir of Holiness.

The Temple’s soul is forever whole.

The Rebbe applies this principle to each of us, because we are each a ‘Holy Temple’, each of us a ‘Sanctuary for the Divine’.

When we look at ourselves honestly, we can sometimes see that our personal ‘structure’ is in disrepair. Impacted by the world’s negativity, selfishness and cynicism, our walls are worn down, and don’t protect our inner holiness. In a sense, our personal ‘Temple’s’ have been damaged.

But we each have an internal Western Wall. Despite it all, our soul is whole; our basic goodness, our intrinsic Holiness remains beyond any external contamination. Life’s ‘Babylonians’ and ‘Romans’ can do a lot of damage, G-d forbid, but they can’t touch your soul.

This Shabbos (17 Tammuz on the Jewish calendar) commemorates the day that our enemies breached Jerusalem’s walls, on their way to destroying the Temple three weeks later (on Tisha B’av, the 9th of Av).

We usually fast on this date, but not when it falls on Shabbos, in which case we postpone the fast until Sunday.

It’s a time of year to reflect on the world’s pain, and on G-d’s gift of an untouchable soul.

Wholeness resides in you. Bring it to the fore.

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