Answer: Sacrifice is a very interesting action. If I reflect on the subject of who we are, we are beasts. I exist within my body and constantly think about it. As long as it is alive, I am also alive, and when it dies, I no longer exist either. The sacrifice of my animal indicates that I am truly sacrificing my entire beastly life to the Creator.
Sacrifice (Korban) is from the word “Karov” (close). It symbolizes a person getting closer to the Creator. The person nullifies his egoistic desires one after another and rises above them. In that way he approaches the Creator, the characteristic of bestowal and love, by nullifying his beastly ego. He gradually reaches closeness to Him.
The 17th of Tammuz, the date on which the priests were finished with their sacrificial animals, indicates that they could no longer bring themselves closer to the Creator. They fell from a spiritual level and returned to the level of the beast; they became “beasts” themselves. Today we must raise ourselves from this level since that is also what is said about our world: “They are all like beasts” (see Psalms 49:13).
The 17th of Tammuz symbolizes the downfall of even those great people who were on a spiritual level and those characteristics that were in every person when feeling the Creator fell to the level of the beast. Descent for the purpose of ascent is a mixture of the characteristics of the Creator with the characteristics of the creature.
So the 17th of Tammuz also symbolizes the collective fall of the people, the fall of the highest Kabbalist Kohanim among the people and the fall of every person from his spiritual level so much so that after that nothing remains besides absolute destruction. As a result, we begin to realize the conditions for correction.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 7/11/16