For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'
Leviticus 26 tells us the woes Hashem puts on his children for disobedience. The first woe tells of sickness, and, military and agricultural failure. The second woe speaks of the Temple. Then Hashem says,
And if in spite of this you will not listen to me, then I will discipline you again sevenfold for your sins, and I will break the pride of your power and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. And your strength shall be spent in vain, for your land shall not yield its increase, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit. (Leviticus 26:18–20).
The prophet Ezekiel used that theme just before the destruction of Solomon’s Temple, said, “Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the pride of your power, the delight of your eyes, and the yearning of your soul, and your sons and your daughters whom you left behind shall fall by the sword "(Ezekiel 24:21). At that time, because of sin in the land, the first temple was destroyed by the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar.
Israel’s history tells us that another Temple was built after the Babylonian exile. It was not as beautiful and glorious as the first one but in an effort to win the favor of the Jewish people, King Herod, the one who tried to have the Master killed at birth, transformed that second temple into one of the marvels of the ancient world. As beautiful as it was, that Temple was also destroyed, this time by Titus, a Roman General. On Titus’ victory arch, you can see engravings of enslaved Jews bringing their riches to Rome. You can even see someone carrying the Temple menorah. What an ironic monument now that Israel had resurrected from the ashes of the Roman extermination.
There is a story in the Talmud that tells of a king who twice gave a beautiful coat to his son but twice the son irresponsibly spoiled the coat. The king then decided that he will again buy for his son the most beautiful coat he could get, but will give it to him when he has learned to be more responsible.
As in the story, the Father has a beautiful third garment in store for Israel (Exodus 4:22). It will be the most glorious of all and it will be given to him, when he has matured and learned to say again, Baruch habah b’shem Adonai יי בשם הבא ברוך, Blessed is he Who comes in the Name of Adonai (Matthew 23:29).
May it come soon, Abba, even in our days!
P. Gabriel Lumbroso
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