A Journey Into the Mysteries of the Soul of the World
People regard Jerusalem as the spiritual capital of the world. There is definitely a special force there, which different people feel in differently ways.
The force that people feel in Jerusalem is the spiritual root that exists in this city. For all the wars it has endured, that force is a force of love.
The real Jerusalem lies not in the stones or in the streets of the city. It can only be felt within a heart that has been corrected and transformed from unfounded hatred into love of others.
The wall around the city guards it. The spiritual concept of Jerusalem represents a corrected heart, full of love. When we have corrected our hearts to be as Jerusalem, we must guard it from self-centered thoughts. We seemingly build a wall around our good thoughts to protect them. The wall must be built first, and once we have it, we can build the city within its shielding walls.
The City Gates
In spirituality, the city gates are invisible. There is only a wall. However, when we have met certain conditions of correction on our self-centered wishes, a gate appears. and we may enter.
There are several gates, representing several conditions that one has to meet. And yet, all these conditions are aspects of bestowal and love of others. And depending on the particular condition that one has met, a particular gate opens in the wall.
Today, there is a ruin in our heart. Look at the world around us. It is broken in pieces by war and suffering because of our egoism. It is the same with Jerusalem. With so much egoism, how can the attribute of Jerusalem, which is pure love, suddenly awaken? The war over Jerusalem will continue until love wins in the hearts of all people. The war over Jerusalem is a spiritual war, and the physical war is there only because we avoid fighting the real war, against our own self-centeredness.
The Temple is where the spiritual forces are concentrated. It is a symbol of the attributes of holiness, namely love and bestowal. People wished to come there in order to connect the corporeal, self-centered life, with the spiritual life of love of others.
People brought to the Temple gifts from everything they made to symbolize their desire to sanctify their actions, make them altruistic. The offerings symbolized the intentions in their hearts.
The ruin of the Temple symbolizes the ruin holiness, the attributes of love and bestowal. Since then, these attributes have been missing in Jerusalem. Now we must begin to reconstruct them and draw the rest of the world toward correction. At that time, Jerusalem will once again be sacred heart of the world.
Once, when I was in the US, I stayed for Shabbat in a small town called Jackson, in the northern part of the US. I was staying in a motel and I sat on the lawn with a German man who was staying in the room next to mine. He seemed like a simple working class man, as I could tell by his hands. He realized immediately that I was Jewish and asked me where I was from. When I told him I was from Israel, he had only one question. He asked it seriously and painfully: “Why aren’t you building the Temple?” I replied, “How is it possible to build a temple if there is ruin in our hearts?” He understood this and he said, ”So let’s start from that.”
Indeed, let’s start from the heart, ask for correction over our self-centered desires. Asking for correction is called ”a prayer.” A prayer is not a piece of text in a prayer book; it is what is written in our hearts—a request for correction.
There is only one prayer—Tefiat Rabim (a prayer of many). This means that a prayer should be for the sake of everyone—to connect with everyone as one body, as one man with in one heart, one big heart that includes the whole of humanity.
Let us try to rebuild the city of Jerusalem within us. This will be the true building of the Temple, and the real building of Jerusalem.