How the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) Was Destroyed
Our history proves that the people of Israel cannot exist in exile. They will not find rest like the other peoples who assimilated and dissolved among other peoples until no memory of them was left. According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, the goal of the existence of the people of Israel is to attain unity and bring the whole world to unity. The means for attaining this goal is the wisdom of Kabbalah. When we cast doubt upon the truth of the precept, which is the goal of our existence, we invite disasters upon ourselves that convince us to maintain the inexorable program of nature.
In the past, from the time of Abraham to the destruction of the First Temple, the more we united together, the more rapidly we developed; our growth was faster than the rest of the people. But when we wanted to insert our egoism into our development, this led to the destruction of the First Temple. This was because we wanted to use unity to become wealthy and establish control by power instead of justice, just like the other peoples.
Since the wisdom of Kabbalah prohibits its use for attaining wealth and control, some of the people rejected it and adopted the habits and customs of other peoples, enjoying life as the ego demands. As a result, the people were divided in two. Some of the people followed the egoistic kings and some of the people followed the Kabbalists. This fragmentation and division led to the destruction of the First Temple.
In the times of the Second Temple, this division became more pronounced and was also based on opposition to the Kabbalists by those people who didn’t want to unite. That part didn’t want to be freed from egoism and so the Sadducee sect was created. They were the rich, privileged, and the nobles. Their goal was satisfying their egoistic desires and they fought against the other part of the people whom they called the Pharisees. This led to the establishment of Roman rule over the people of Israel. And this resulted in the destruction of the Second Temple and the exile of the people from the land of Israel.
The Difference Between Egoism and the Principles of the Wisdom of Kabbalah
Everyday ideals are based upon human relations and therefore it is not possible to transcend human characteristics. The principle of the wisdom of Kabbalah, derived from the Creator, makes it possible to rise above human characteristics.
The basis of the human ideal is glory. Therefore all of the actions of a person are directed toward becoming famous among people. The ideal of the wisdom of Kabbalah is the unity of all peoples to attain the essential law of nature. So as long as we developed toward greater unity, we were protected by nature itself. But the moment we began to disregard development toward unity and began competing based on wealth and power, we began to feel the blows of nature.
The cause of all of our suffering is our lack of implementing the conditions the wisdom of Kabbalah indicates and teaches. If we were to implement its demands, nothing bad would happen to us.
History teaches us that we must put an end to our troubles and begin to live according to the laws we received from Abraham, according to “and you shall love your friend as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18), because the pressure of nature to bring humanity to resemble it will not weaken. We don’t have any chance or hope of remaining in the land of Israel if we don’t seriously begin to engage with our unity. If we become involved with unity between us, we will merit becoming stronger in our land.
Based upon the article by Baal HaSulam, “Exile and Redemption”