The taste of Shabbat – Reah 5777
Rav Mordechai Elon
We reach, in our parsha, the pinnacle of our expactations – Bet Hamikdash, the holy temple. The Torah doesn’t name it but calls it:
הַמָּק֗וֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר֩ ה֨' אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֥ם בּוֹ֙ לְשַׁכֵּ֤ן שְׁמוֹ֙ שָׁ֔ם…
The place God will choose for his name to dwell
No more will we be able to sacrifice offerings anywhere, from now on it will be only on the "holy mountain in Jerusalem". The question we must asked is; why didn’t Moshe tell us the location and speak of Jerusalem? Why isn’t the city mentioned explicitly even once in the whole Torah? Why is the temple mentioned in our parsha nine times with the title:
שָׁל֣וֹשׁ פְּעָמִ֣ים בַּשָּׁנָ֡ה יֵֽרָאֶ֩ה כָל זְכ֨וּרְךָ֜ אֶת פְּנֵ֣י ה֣' אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ בַּמָּקוֹם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִבְחָ֔ר…
Three times a year your males must see God's face at the place he will choose
And at the end of our parsha: –
הַמָּק֞וֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַ֨ר ה֤' אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶם֙ מִכָּל שִׁבְטֵיכֶ֔ם לָשׂ֥וּם אֶת שְׁמ֖וֹ שָׁ֑ם לְשִׁכְנ֥וֹ תִדְרְשׁ֖וּ וּבָ֥אתָ שָּֽׁמָּה.
But only to the place which the Lord your God shall choose from all your tribes, to set His Name there; you shall inquire after His dwelling and come there
Why must we "inquire after" the place and not be given a name?