There is an odd statement that we recite during the course of the Birkat Hamazon during the holiday of Succot. We ask G-d to reconstruct the succah of David which is in a constant state of collapse. There is no question that this sentence based on a verse in the book of Amos (9;12) can either refer to the resurrection of the house of David or to the Temple. Most commentators with the exception of the Mahari Kara indicate that this phrase refers to the desired hope that the kingdom of David shall once again rule. Rav Kara (not to be confused with Rav Yosef Karo) states specifically that this is a prophetic statement that G-d will re-establish the Temple.
Regardless of whether the phrase refers to the kingdom of David or to the Temple, the expression of ‘Nofelet’, referring to the ongoing collapse is perplexing. From a purely grammatical point of view, the verb connoting collapse should be in the past rather than the present tense.
Two statements of the rabbis may shed some light on this issue which at first glance seems artificial and harbouring on semantics. The first statement refers to the idea that the Messiah, son of David, seems to be ready to reveal himself to the world, but is prevented from doing so because of some negative action committed by the Jewish people. The second statement indicates that a generation that does not merit the building of the Temple in its time is considered as one that witnessed the destruction of the Temple.
In other words, our actions influence divine responses. If Jews make concerted efforts to join together in mutual respect and cooperation, then both the Temple and the house of David will be re-established.
On reading the balance of that sentence from Amos, one reads that G-d will repair the breaches of the walls of the Temple or the fissures that broke apart the house of David, and will rebuild them to last permanently. Neither symbol will be conceived of as a collapsing succah, but as a
fortified structure able to withstand enemy attack or aspersion. At the end of days, as we read in the haftarah this Shabbat, the house of David and the Temple will be rebuilt. The adversaries, Gog and Magog, will have been defeated.
We may live in an insecure society, considering our enemies from within and without. But we as a people will enjoy true Simcha as reflected as the theme of this period of time of Succot, when our revered institutions are rebuilt.