What do Orthodox Jews understand Temple re-building to mean?

This question was asked on another thread.

Sometimes, over the years here, when asked questions like ‘what do Jews . . . ?’, I want to reply along the lines of ‘on the one hand, while on the other hand, meanwhile on yet another hand’. This is one of those times so this is a kind of summary.

The necessary rebuilding of the Temple is a matter for Messiah and the Messianic Age though there are different views about whether the Temple will be physically rebuilt or whether it has already been built (in some heavenly dimension) and will appear in the earthly dimension in those glorious times.

Some Orthodox can always be found readying themselves in some sense for the great event and the resumption of the Sacrificial system. Except, of course, in the heaven-on-earth of the Messianic Age, there won’t exactly be much need of sacrificial offerings.

During the Messianic Age, wouldn’t the sacrificial offerings be solely a matter of thanksgiving rather than related to atonement since sin would no longer be an issue?

I’m looking forward to reading Kaninchen’s response, but speaking of Jesus, the author of the Book of Hebrews wrote:

Hebrews 7:26-28
26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. **He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. **28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

and

Hebrews 9:27-28
27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

According to our understanding then, the ultimate atonement has already been made.

Inevitably, I would have thought.

Respectfully, I have to ask: Is it simply a coincidence, then, that…

…Jesus appears to fulfill a boatload of prophecies (some are a stretch but many are spot on), dies in a manner that some see as sacrificial and then, allegedly rises again according to some who claimed to be eye-witnesses?

…all this occurs just a few years before the Romans destroy the Temple putting an end to the sacrificial system of the Temple which was rendered obsolete by what Jesus did?

…God has never asked the Jews to rebuild that Temple nor made any provision for them to do so in spite of spending what? 2,000 years? carefully building up, guiding and teaching His people to the point that they could offer Temple sacrifices?

…God has not sent another prophet or given additional scriptures which tells you, the chosen people of God, exactly what you’re supposed to do and how to live now that the Temple no longer exists?

Psalm 147:19-20
He declares his word to Jacob,
his statutes and ordinances to Israel.
20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
they do not know his ordinances.

That’s the way it was…but since Jesus, silence.

Is that just a coincidence?

For Jews, what you describe does not meet the criteria of the Messiah but instead redefines the criteria. There are several considerations, not the least of which is the current state of the world: after all these thousands of years, the earth is STILL rife with sin, which is not supposed to be present at all during the Messianic Age. Christianity has attempted to explain this by formulating the concept of the fallen nature of mankind, that is, the concept of original sin, and by drawing a distinction between Jesus’ redemption of all of humanity by means of His sacrifice and people’s individual salvation from sin, which depends largely on their following the moral principles, including the Sacraments, outlined by the Church.

Another difficulty for Jews is the Christian equivalence of the Messiah to G-d Incarnate. The Messiah was never envisioned in Judaism to be G-d Himself, but rather an exceptional human being, a prophet on par with Moses perhaps, who leads the nations of the world toward universal peace and a recognition and adoration of the one true G-d, none of which has as yet come to pass in the two thousand years since the sacrifice of Jesus.

A third problem for Jews is the Christian belief in the Second Coming of Jesus, which has no justification according to prophecy in the Hebrew Bible. The Messiah is supposed to “get the job done” on his first visit.

These are but some of the reasons (there are some two dozen others, such as the lineage of Jesus, for example) why Jews do not accept Jesus as the Messiah, let alone G-d in the flesh, and why Jews reject the Christian belief in a Trinitarian G-d.

As a footnote, you mention “additional Scriptures.” This is considered to be superfluous according to Judaism. The Torah Law (as well as the Prophets and Writings) contains everything regarding " (what we) are supposed to do," and no further scriptures are needed. In the Book of Isaiah, for example, the prophet emphasizes the importance of prayer and good deeds in the absence of animal sacrifices. It is a simple matter of atoning for wrongdoing. Further, as you are probably aware, the Temple sacrifices by themselves were never regarded as sufficient without an internal atonement to accompany them (and only viable for unintentional sins), and, as Kaninchen noted, even during the period of the Temple, many, perhaps most, Jews were not able to participate in the Temple services but they nonetheless had other, even more vital means to atone for their sins: that is, prayer and alms-giving. BTW, animal sacrifices were not required for the poor: grain sacrifices were considered just as valid.

Okay. I can see why that would be a cause for rejection - IF the expectation of peace was accurate. What passages of scripture do you look to for that understanding of the messiah?

Another difficulty for Jews is the Christian equivalence of the Messiah to G-d Incarnate. The Messiah was never envisioned in Judaism to be G-d Himself, but rather an exceptional human being, a prophet on par with Moses perhaps, who leads the nations of the world toward universal peace and a recognition and adoration of the one true G-d, none of which has as yet come to pass in the two thousand years since the sacrifice of Jesus.

I’m sure that for the Jews of the time (and now), the idea that one God is three persons and that one would become incarnate was a lot to ask. Are you aware of any passages of scripture which would preclude this?

A third problem for Jews is the Christian belief in the Second Coming of Jesus, which has no justification according to prophecy in the Hebrew Bible. The Messiah is supposed to “get the job done” on his first visit.

Christians may look to Ezekiel and Daniel for prophecies that are “multi-layered” for a want of a better word. They were true in their own day, they were true again later in history, and they will be true again in the last days. I believe there are many parallels, for example between Daniel and the Book of Revelation.

These are but some of the reasons (there are some two dozen others, such as the lineage of Jesus, for example) why Jews do not accept Jesus as the Messiah, let alone G-d in the flesh, and why Jews reject the Christian belief in a Trinitarian G-d.

Just one question: are there any OT examples of another king recognized as legitimate who inherited the throne by virtue of his legal adoption rather than by blood?

As a footnote, you mention “additional Scriptures.” This is considered to be superfluous according to Judaism. The Torah Law (as well as the Prophets and Writings) contains everything regarding " (what we) are supposed to do," and no further scriptures are needed. In the Book of Isaiah, for example, the prophet emphasizes the importance of prayer and good deeds in the absence of animal sacrifices. It is a simple matter of atoning for wrongdoing. Further, as you are probably aware, the Temple sacrifices by themselves were never regarded as sufficient without an internal atonement to accompany them (and only viable for unintentional sins), and, as Kaninchen noted, even during the period of the Temple, many, perhaps most, Jews were not able to participate in the Temple services but they nonetheless had other, even more vital means to atone for their sins: that is, prayer and alms-giving. BTW, animal sacrifices were not required for the poor: grain sacrifices were considered just as valid.

Understood. But again, when you look at all of the things which many Jews accepted about Jesus in the earliest days of the Christian Church, is it merely a coincidence that after giving detailed instructions about the temple and design of the vestments and vessels that go on for page after page after page…God just chucked everything and left you with…what? Synagogues? almost immediately after the death and resurrection of Jesus?

Odd timing, isn’t it?

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