Thursday, January 25, 2007


The Gemora in Taanis 17a states that Rebbe maintains that it is appropriate for kohanim nowadays to abstain from drinking wine. This is because we anticipate the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdosh at any moment and the kohanim will be needed to perform the service. However, since the kohanim cannot identify as to which mishmar they belong to and there will be a long line of kohanim by Eliyahu Hanavi discovering their mishmar, by that time the effect of the wine will dissipate and they will be able to perform the service.

The Minchas Chinuch (152:9) asks from the Gemora Eruvin (43a) which rules that if one makes a vow to become a nazir on the day that Mashiach ben David will arrive, he is permitted to drink wine on Shabbos and Yom Tov since Eliyahu does not come on Erev Shabbos. According to this, why doesn’t our Gemora mention that the kohanim are allowed to drink wine on Shabbos and Yom Tov?

He answers, based on a Yerushalmi that while it’s true that Eliyahu does not arrive on Erev Shabbos but the Beis Hamikdosh can be built on Shabbos even without Eliyahu arriving first.

Rashi wonders how the Beis Hamikdosh could be built on Shabbos; isn’t that a desecration of Shabbos? Rashi answers that it is only regarding a Beis Hamikdosh built by humans that there is a restriction of building it on Shabbos. The third Beis Hamikdosh, however, will descend from Heaven miraculously, thus there are no restrictions regarding the building of the third Beis Hamikdosh.

The Maharil Diskin is troubled by this answer, as the Jewish People have an obligation to build the Beis Hamikdosh, so why would Hashem prevent us from performing this mitzvah?

The Maharil Diskin answers based on a Medrash in Eicha that states that when the Beis Hamikdosh was destroyed, the gates of the Beis Hamikdosh sank into the ground and in the future, the Jewish People will excavate the gates and affix them to the Beis Hamikdosh. The Gemora in Bava Basra rules that one who secures the gates in an ownerless field is deemed to be the one who acquires the field. Thus, we will fulfill the mitzvah of building the Beis Hamikdosh when we secure the gates of the Beis Hamikdosh. This can also be the explanation of the words that we recite in the Shemoneh Esrei of Mussaf on the festivals, show us its rebuilding and gladden us in its perfection. The word for perfection is tikkuno, which can allude to the securing of the Beis Hamikdosh gates.

According to this, we can still question the permissibility of constructing on Shabbos if we will still be required to affix the doors to the walls, which is obviously forbidden to do on Shabbos. Shemuas Chaim, in his introduction to the Mikdash Dovid answers that korbanos can still be offered even without the doors of the Beis Hamikdosh.


Nosson said...

Isn't there a Medrash someplace that Hashem keeps the laws of Shabbos? How could He build it?

Anonymous said...

the Gemara states that a min asked an amora how HaShem could make it rain on Shabbos because of taking from one reshus to another reshus and the amora answered that the whole world belongs to HaShem.