On the 9th of Av, (this Sunday), the Beit Hamikdash was destroyed in Jerusalem over 3000 years ago. The Holy Temple was the place where G‑d’s presence could be felt physically. It was the window to G‑d; and the Temple was His physical home in Jerusalem.

After the destruction of the second Temple, G‑d placed the Temple within us. Instead of traveling to a physical structure in Jerusalem, it is up to us to find Him in our inner Jerusalem. “Now, our bodies are our Temples, our souls are our windows, our minds are our kohanim and our animal instincts are our sacrifices*.” We don’t bring sacrifices today, but we can pray. We don’t travel to the Temple, but we can journey into our souls everyday. We cannot find the Temple in Jerusalem, but we can find G-d in us.

On the 4th of Av, 30 years ago, my dear father, a beloved teacher, Azriel Yitzchok Wasserman o”bm, left our physical world at the age of 37. Every Jew is a Temple – a Beis Hamikdosh and on Shabbos during the Shiva week, Shimshon Stock a”h (a dear friend who helped our family) got up in the 770 Synagogue and proclaimed, “This week, we lost two Botei Mikdosh (Temples).”

My heart felt the pain of the passing of my holy father for years. Until one day, I realized that although I cannot visit my father in his home on earth, G-d placed my father in my heart and soul. It is up to me to find him within me. I cannot hear my father teach, but I can spread his timeless teachings. I am not able to hold his hand, but I can hold hands in unity with Jewish girls from around the world. I cannot see his smile, but I can smile for him and share his love and joy.

Now, I understand that this is G-d’s master plan.

G-d wants us to reveal the holiness of the Temple in every part of our being. He wants us to transform this entire world into a home for Him.

And… G-d wants me to reveal my father’s deep connection to Hashem and his joy and positivity in my heart and soul. He wants me to spread my father’s timeless teachings to the entire world.

Our efforts to reveal G-d within us, leads us to live with true inner joy and peace. Likewise, when I reveal my beloved father in my heart and soul, I am filled with tremendous inner joy and peace.

May our efforts bring us to the time when all sadness will be transformed into joy forevermore with the rebuilding of the third Holy Temple and the coming of Moshiach!

P.S. As I write this tears roll down my cheek, not from sadness, but from the realization of the great responsibility I carry to be the voice, hands and feet of my beloved father. I cannot do it alone. Please help me carry on my dear father’s legacy.

with blessings for joy and peace,

Nechama Laber