THE BELOVED ONES
“Of Benjamin he said: May G-d’s beloved dwell securely by Him” (Deuteronomy 33:12)
The Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni) observes that Benjamin was one of six in the Bible to be called ‘beloved’ or yedid. His merit began even before he was born since he was the only one of Jacob and his family not to bow down to Esau the idolater. Moreover, he was the only one of Jacob’s children to be born in the land of Israel. That is the reason why most of the Temple in Jerusalem was erected in the territory of Benjamin.
The other five yedidim or ‘beloved ones’ are:
- G-d. As the prophet Isaiah says, “I will sing on behalf of my beloved.” [Isaiah 5:1]
- Abraham. As the prophet Jeremiah says: “What has this beloved one (Abraham) to do in the Temple whilst these carry out their evil schemes?” [Jeremiah 11:15]
- Solomon. As it is written in the book of Samuel: “He sent word through the Nathan the prophet and called his name, Yedidiah.” [ 2 Samuel 11:25]
- Israel. As the prophet Jeremiah says: “(G-d says) I have delivered the beloved one of my soul into the palms of her enemies.” [Jeremiah 12:7]
- The Temple. As it says in Psalms: “How beloved is Your dwelling place, O L-d of Hosts.” [Psalms 84:]
The first Temple was built by the yedid, Solomon. The Midrash concludes its comment with the following aphorism:
Yedid the son of yedid will build a yedid for yedidim in the territory of yedid.
The Messianic generation of Israel, descended from Abraham and Solomon, will build a Temple to G-d, for Israel, in the portion of Benjamin.