It’s impossible not to be moved by the pictures and footage of the flames dancing across Israel with their fiery destruction. Tens of thousands had to be evacuated many suffered loss of their homes, possessions and memories. Many can feel the bitterness of exile and the flames that took our holy temple even as we live in Israel.
In the prayer of “Nachem” which we say on the 9th of Av fast day, we mention that the third temple will be built from fire. “For You G-d have ignited it in flames and with fire you will rebuild it.” Here are 7 tips to take the fires that raged around Israel and turn them into a fire that will rebuild the third temple.
1. Ask- Our redemption from Egypt happened when the Children of Israel cried out to G-d and begged to be saved. We too should turn to G-d with prayer and ask that G-d end this exile, and bring Moshiach along with the final redemption. Specifically when we feel helpless facing disaster that is the time G-d actually wants us to approach him in prayer. Let’s learn from the Jews in Egypt who were in the worst shape physically and spiritually yet G-d heard their prayers as it says “and the children of Israel cried out to G-d and G-d heard their cries”. Remember- our prayers are our number one weapon to face the most difficult situations with and our words are most dear to G-d.
2. Good Deeds- Who knows? Perhaps all the world needs in order to reach the final redemption is your good deed? We should increase our acts of kindness to hasten it! Every good deed, helping someone or charity, every increase in Torah learning or doing mitzvoth hastens the redemption.
3. Love of Israel- Since the destruction of our temple was caused by baseless hatred we must fix it with baseless love. Love with no strings attached and no special reason. Also, try to prevent argument and strife. Rabbi Isaac Sher, Dean of the Slabodka Yeshiva said; “When a person accepts upon himself to embed love for every Jew in his heart and he does kindness with those he can, he fixes up the baseless hatred that destroyed our temple.
4. Charity- This is one of the grates mitzvoth and it has the inherent ability to bring the redemptionas the verse says; “Zion will be redeemed with justice and her prisoners with charity.” Our sages of blessed memory said; “Charity is great for it hastens the redemption.” It’s important to give charity daily even if it’s a small amount. Before Shabbat and Jewish Holidays give double that amount to include what you won’t give the next day. Every home should have a charity box. Family members should put coins into daily and give the amassed amount to a reliable charity.
5. Happiness- True Happiness will only come with the redemption. However when we are happy now and thank G-d for his kindness to us we draw the redemption nearer. The letters that spell “Sameach”, happy in Hebrew, also spell “Mashiach”.
6. Repentance- “Repentance is great for it (also) hastens the redemption. Repentance doesn’t entail a sudden and dramatic change in behavior rather even a small thought or desire to improve also counts. The essence of repentance is the longing of the soul for its Maker, G-d. A small action a person resolves to do can be a catalyst for great changes.
7. Shabbat- The Talmud relates G-d’s promise to us. “If you keep the candles of the Sabbath, I will show you the candles of Zion.” Or another quote, “If Israel keeps one Shabbat according to its laws they will be immediately redeemed!”
Rabbenu Bachya in his book Cad Hakemach, “The Flask of Flour” explained, that every exile or decree against us came from neglecting the Shabbat. Shabbat is called “Rest” and the land of Israel is called “Rest”. If someone neglects the “Rest” of Shabbat, he loses the other “Rest”, the land of Israel. So increasing the honor of Shabbat will bring the redemption and give us full possession of our land. The increase of Shabbat observance in a small measurable way makes a big difference. Buying a book about the laws of Shabbat to be discussed at the Shabbat table is one easy thing to do that yields great results.