AUGUST 8, 2019 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home
Vision at Neila By Rabbi Yaakov Klein
Broken Ego Broken Time Broken Space Broken Tzaddikim Broken Shabbos Broken Temple Broken Kohen Gadol Broken Yom Kippur Broken Kodesh Hakodashim We can never stop mourning That which we never truly lost The end of the destruction – The beginning of the rebuilding A two-thousand-year process Of pain and prosperity Mortar-mixing, bricklaying, interior designing Work-related injuries Freak accidents Casualties Menorah made out of Blown-out candles Mizbeach made out of Six Million sacrifices Building the spiritual structure of The Third Temple Everlasting in its glory It’s 2019 Look up! The gleaming edifice Towers above you Look around! Mighty walls of Torah thought And tear-soaked prayer Crystalized, shining Have we not completed our task? The scaffolding has been removed The building is built The grandeur is blinding And so, lifted on wings of ecstasy I escape to an ancient vision Yom Kippur in the Temple rebuilt To behold the visage of the Kohen Gadol “Ma’areh Kohen” I rush through the giant ornate doors Into the expanse where Heaven meets earth
Past the vessels of gold And the platform of Leviim Tuning their instruments For the very last time I approach the Holy of Holies Legs carried by joy and excitement And I freeze There is no Kodesh Hakodashim In its place A gaping hole Concrete slabs Unsightly insulation A tangle of wood and metal Silent, empty space A sound I start, frightened Bells ring out Ah, the Kohen Gadol! I peek around the corner And there I see The Shemoneh Begadim Holy garments A brilliant light emanates From the Choshen stones The shining Tzitz is positioned above Bells and pomegranates Bells and Pomegranates Ring softly below But there is no Kohen Gadol The garments, they flutter In the air Devoid of essence I am shaken from my inner wanderings As Yom Kippur draws to a close A joyous Kaddish Tables set with orange juice and rugelach And many breaths of relief Maariv ensues Newly forgiven I bang my chest twice During “S’lach Lanu” Because somehow Yom Kippur “Shabbos Shabbason” Is yet incomplete
The Beis Hamikdash of our Judaism Is all but rebuilt Wonderfully consummate In so many ways But our generation The stone despised by the builders Is tasked with generating The Kodesh HaKodashim All songs are holy The Song of Songs is Holy of Holiest The “holy” has been built Torah, avodah, gemillas chassadim – Yeshivos, shuls, gemachim galore The Beis Hamikdash of Jewish society Stands before us Remarkably impressive Our generation’s task is to build the “Holy of holiest” A nation prepared To fill the structures of the “holy” With the essential spirit of Shir HaShirim Passion, desire, and romance “Ani l’Dodi v’Dodi li” The inward spirit of Holiness Sincerity Warmth Humility Reaching the core of our holy tradition And bringing it to everlasting life Until then We remain with Tzaddikim Who cannot connect the earthiness of my life With the portion of heaven I carry within A Shabbos robbed Of spiritual freedom, “Nachalah b’meitzarim” And a spiritual Temple that Despite all external appearances Is still broken Yet incomplete R’ Yaakov Klein is the author of Sparks from Berditchov and Sunlight of Redemption (Feldheim) He lives in Yerushalayim with his wife, Shira, and their son, Shmuel, where he transmits the inner light of Torah through his lectures, writings, and music.
Five Towns Jewish Home - 8-8-19