The Western Wall.
It's been in the news lately and is frequently a focal point of Jewish and world consciousness.
But what is it?
For eight hundred and thirty years, a Holy Temple (Beit Hamikdash, in Hebrew) stood as the center of the Jewish world. The Temple was more than a building; it was the supreme point of contact – the nexus – between the human and the Divine.
But what was, no longer is.
The Temple no longer stands; it was destroyed by the Babylonians and later by the Romans.
We haven't had a Temple for more than two thousand years.
All we have is the "Western Wall," a remnant of a once-magnificent structure.
But, again, what is "it"?
Is the Western Wall a place of national nostalgia, a focal point for our collective pining over a lost glory?
Is it the symbol of our hopes for the future?
Yes. And Yes. But that's not all.
The Western Wall is more than a psychological trigger.
It's a symbol of what still exists.
From a Judaic perspective, We are each a "Holy Temple," a Sanctuary for the Divine.
the Temple's "body" was destroyed but its "soul" remains whole. The Babylonians and Romans – outside forces – destroyed the buildings, but had and have no control over the spirit.
The Divine Presence still resonates in that spot.
So the Western Wall remains a current place of contact, a fresh reservoir of Holiness.
The Temple's soul is whole.
The Rebbe applies this principle to each of us, because we are each a "Holy Temple," each of us a "Sanctuary for the Divine."
When we look at ourselves honestly, we can sometimes see that our spiritual, moral or emotional construct is in disrepair. We can see that we have been impacted by the world's negativity, selfishness and cynicism.
Our personal Temple is "in ruins."
But we need to keep a mental picture of our internal Western Wall. We need to remember that our soul is whole; our basic goodness, our intrinsic Holiness – the soul – remains beyond any external contamination.
That "wholeness" is there.
We just may need to connect more often.
And work toward a better day.