When Moshiach comes and the Temple is rebuilt, what role
will technology play in the construction process? Will we be using laser
cutters and cranes, or will we be using the Iron Age techniques of the first two
Many Jewish thinkers say that the third
Temple will miraculously descend from heaven, and we will just add the doors.In that scenario,
floodlit construction sites or backhoes will not be necessary. However, if we consider the opinion that human beingsThe explosion of technology is relatively recent
will be doing the building, the question stands.
Let’s begin by clearing up a common
misconception. Many people think that technology is a purely human creation,
unG‑dly and even impure. From this perspective, holiness is sitting on a
mountaintop, with no civilization in sight, barefoot and dressed in a robe.
This attitude may have come about because
the explosion of technology is relatively recent, and our image of holy men is
based on our forefathers who lived long ago. We picture a pious person the way
we view Moses, with a long flowing beard, holding the Tablets of the Law.
Another reason people may view technology
as unG‑dly is because it has brought a significant amount of impurity and
negativity into the world. In many ways, it has degraded our standard of human
connection. Many people feel clearer, and closer to G‑d, when they spend some
time away from their phones, on Shabbat for example.
The truth is that technology is a
creation of G‑d. All of technology. The wheel is just as much an invention as
4G LTE. The potential for both was put into the world at the first instant of
Technology is not inherently good or
evil. It is just like a knife, which can be used for murder, or to make a
salad. At least as much good as negativity has been brought into the world
through the technological explosion of our generation. The fact that I can sit
here and answer your question even though I never met you is a testament to
To put it another way, if Moses lived
today, he probably would have the most popular blog on the planet, and the
internet would crash every time he tweeted.
Similarly, if we were to build the
Temple, it would be a floodlit construction site, maybe with 3D printing
technology, so that the world does not have to wait an instant longer than
necessary to serve G‑d there. In all likelihood, it will be climate controlled,
with smart home technology and biometric locks, if those would be needed.
Anything good that could be put into it will be.
After all, why do you think G‑d created
those good things in the first place?
In fact, in a talk given in 1992, the
Rebbe spoke about one of the differences between the third Temple and the
first two. He explained that iron, which was not allowed to be used in the
first two Temples, was going to be part of the structure of the future Temple.
Iron was the quintessential killing
material. Swords, spears and arrows were all made from iron. A material that
was so stained with blood could not be used in the architecture of G‑d’s houseIron was the quintessential killing material
of peace. When Moshiach comes, on the other hand, iron will no longer have such
uses. Murder and war will be a thing of the past. As such, why not use iron to
build the Temple? Like many other aspects of creation, it will be elevated.
I think that it is very important for
people to realize this. As long as our mental image of Moshiach is one from
over 2,000 years ago, we will feel over 2,000 years from that reality. We can’t
imagine a world without cars, or phones, or any of the other inventions that
pepper our world. That type of existence is too far from our lives to even
Moshiach is an era that takes place in
the world we know. It takes place in our lives and our time. It has a few
crucial differences from the world we know, but it is not another dimension. It
is just a better, revamped tomorrow. It is a tomorrow that we are creating
right here, right now.