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Entering the Sanctuary

On the verse “Thus shall Aaron enter the sanctuary” (Vayikra 16:3,) Rashi comments: “Thus [the Hebrew word b’zos] has a numerical value of 410, which alludes to the first Holy Temple.”  The Holy Temple stood for 410 years in Jerusalem.  Aaron’s entry into the sanctuary was the first in a series of many generations of High Priests who succeeded him, who entered the sanctuary every Yom Kippur.

From Rashi’s interpretation, it is apparent that when Moses taught the Jewish people about how Aaron should enter the sanctuary, he also transmitted to them a message about the future Holy Temple.

At first glance, the message does not appear to be inspiring.  Moses, from the outset, revealed to the people that the eventual Holy Temple would not last forever, but would stand for only 410 years.  What was the point in giving over this depressing prediction?

This is why the verse only hints to the future Holy Temple, but does not refer to it explicitly.  This indicates that the number of years that the Temple would last were not an absolute decree, but could be changed.  If the Jewish People would conduct themselves properly in the era of the Holy Temple, the Temple would last indefinitely.  In fact, at the end of the 410 years, the Temple could have been transformed into a permanent Temple which would last forever.

Unfortunately, the people did not heed the warning and the Temple was indeed destroyed after 410 years.  But the future Temple, rebuilt through our efforts and deeds during exile, will never be destroyed and will last forever.

(Torat Menachem 5746, vol. 3, p. 195, 208)



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