The destruction of the Second Temple was due to sinas chinam, baseless hatred, say our sages.
*But they also give other reasons, which if examined, all can be seen to be rooted in a lack of love for others, for self, or even Hashem.
In fact, the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile has important lessons to teach us about own personal exile, and the multiple spiritual journeys each of us needs to complete, in this lifetime, G-d willing.
In Turning Hatred Into Love, live on BreslovCampus.org this Wednesday night, August 10, at 8:30 pm (NY time), we begin with Rebbe Nachman’s short story “Simplicity”. We’ll discuss our own personal uniqueness (a vital topic in Breslov) in the context of ahavas Yisrael and unity. We’ll be able to reflect on what our heartfelt feelings about others can tell us about our own spiritual state (Azamra.) We’ll find that repairing our relationships (even if only possible within our hearts), is essential to our personal as well as national redemption.
Please join me at BreslovCampus.org for this live discussion relevant to The 9 Days and Tisha B’av.
Chaya Rivka Z.
*The First Temple was destroyed because of idol worship, immoral sexual relations and bloodshed. But the Second Temple and Jerusalem also was destroyed for the very same reasons (the story of a kohen who fought and killed another kohen over the right to attend to the altar is given as an explicit example.) And the Second Temple was destroyed because they love money and each one hates his neighbor. (Tosefta)
There are more reasons cited in the Talmud, too. Shabbos was desecrated. The Shema was neglected. Children weren’t given a Jewish education. Rav Yochanan said Jerusalem was destroyed because judges ruled according to the strictest letter of the law, instead of ruling more leniently.
The Netziv says that it was destroyed because people felt that their religious scrupulousness entitled them to look down on others for being less “religious” and the Chofetz Chaim said that loshon hara (gossip and talking about others) was a major factor.
The reasons for the destruction and exile reflect our need to make repairs, especially to our relationship with Hashem. Click here for a BRI Breslov study guide on Rebbe Nachman’s teachings about The Three Weeks, The Nine Days, and Tisha B’av.