Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Foxes....Akiva laughed...MOSHIACH

The Talmud relates that the sage Rabbi Akiva was walking together with his colleagues, Rabbis Gamliel, Ben Azaria, and Yehoshua.
On the way to Jerusalem, they came to Mt. Scopus. On viewing the ruins of the Temple, they tore their garments, as mourners do. As they came closer to the Temple mount, they saw a fox coming where the Holiest place of the Temple had stood. Rabbi Akiva's colleagues started to cry.
And Rabbi Akiva? He laughed.
Shocked, the other rabbis asked him, "Why are you laughing?"
Returned Rabbi Akiva: "Why are you crying?"
Said they to him, "This was the most holy place where only the High Priest could enter and only on the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur; anyone else who entered would be eligible for capital punishment. Now, foxes run in and out from there. Should we not cry?"
Said Rabbi Akiva, "For this very reason, I am laughing. The prophet Uriah foretold: Because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field". Another prophet, Zecharia, said, "There will come a time when old men and women, boys and girls, will once again sit together in the streets of Jerusalem". Since the words of the one prophet warning of the destruction of the Temple has been fulfilled, the words of the other prophet telling us of the rebuilding of the Temple for sure will also be fulfilled."
To this the rabbis exclaimed, "You have comforted us Akiva, you have comforted us."

Knowing that the end of the exile is imminent, comforts us. We are comforted by the reasoning of Rabbi Akiva that the Temple will be rebuilt. We are confident that just as all the prophecies of various punishments both in the Torah and the Prophets, clearly have been fulfilled, so too will the day come when the words of the prophets of the beauty and glory of Moshiach will be fulfilled in full measure. May it happen soon in our days.