Rav Avigdor Miller on Why You’re Not Really Mourning For the Beis Ha’Mikdosh

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Q:
How can I learn to mourn for the בית המקדש?

A:
How can you mourn for the בית המקדש?! Well, if you never think about the בית המקדש, you’ll never be able to understand the loss. So first of all, think about the בית המקדש. Most people don’t even think about it. And then the חודש אב comes and they want to know – tell me how to mourn for the חורבן.

So when you finish שמונה עשרה, make sure to say the last few words slowly, with some thought. Most people are already thinking about breakfast or something else when they say these words: יהי רצון מלפניך ה׳ אלוקינו ואלוקי אבותינו שיבנה בית המקדש במהרה בימינו. Say it with כונה. At least these words you can say with כונה. Say ותן חלקינו בתורתיך ושם נעבדך ביראה כימי עולם וכשנים קדמוניות and think about the words you are saying.

Say these words slowly. And think about them. Show that you understand that it’s a loss. If you don’t even understand that it’s a loss, then there’s no use talking. So every day, when you finish שמונה עשרה make sure to say these words. That’s number one.

Also, if you can think about how great the opportunity was when the בית המקדש existed. You would come to the בית המקדש and you would learn יראת שמים just from looking at it. למען תלמד ליראה את ה׳ אלוקיך כל הימים – “In order that you should learn to fear Hashem your G-d all the days” (Dvarim 14:23). Merely by coming there and seeing the כהנים בעבדותם and the לויים בשירם ובזימרם, you would become so inspired. And that’s a terrible loss!

You know, that יונה הנביא became a נביא because he was at the שמחת בית השואבה in the בית המקדש. And he was so inspired by what he witnessed, that the רוח הקודש came upon him and he became a נביא.

And therefore you can say, “רבונו של עולם, please restore for us the בית המקדש.” It doesn’t mean you want משיח. The בית המקדש without משיח is also good. Of course it won’t come without משיח. But you have recognize the great gift of the בית המקדש on its own. So you have to think, “I want משיח to come build the בית המקדש again, and we should all come together in the בית המקדש and we’ll get רוח הקודש just from being there.” That’s why we want the בית המקדש – to get closer to Hashem.

So that’s how to mourn for the בית המקדש. Little by little, you have to think these thoughts and that’s how to begin. You’ll never mourn for it if you don’t feel the loss. So first you have to train yourself to feel how great was the opportunity when we had it. And then you’ll know what it means to not have it, and you’ll be able to mourn for the loss.
TAPE # E-239