Sometimes I think that if those who we call ‘seculars’ would understand what the Temple really means, they would run and build it – despite the loud protests of the religious.
The Temple expresses the unmediated connection between man and G-d. Religion was created when the Temple was taken from us. The authenticity missing from religious ceremonies, the shivers that run up and down the secular’s spine when he sees the seemingly meaningless routine in those four amot of halacha – which are all we have left since the Temple was destroyed and which are actually the Temple’s replacement – the disconnect between religion and life – are all the product of the loss of the Temple.
If the secular would know that through the Temple it is possible to ascend to a true sense of living – not through ceremonies, but by experiencing the entire breadth of life; personal, national and universal, physical and metaphysical – he would run to build it.
And the religious? They would oppose it, of course. Not only because they would not manage to determine how and how much, when, why and where exactly… but rather because they have become accustomed to ‘religion’ – to the schizophrenic split between faith and life. They have become accustomed to parallel tracks that will never meet – except for in drashas that will end with: “May the Temple be rebuilt…” but not by us, of course.
G-d, however, has His own way to force redemption upon us and the world. It is important to remember that we didn’t get to Jerusalem, the Sinai, the Golan or even Nahariya because we wanted to be there. The Temple will be rebuilt. It will carry us, even though it will be we who build it.