Our sages said (Tractate Yoma) that the Second Temple was ruined because of unfounded hatred. This is despite the fact that people in it were engaged in the Torah, the commandments, and charity, yet they did not do it selflessly but for the sake of a reward; that is, they fulfilled all the actions except for unification and therefore this work turned from the elixir of life into a deadly poison.
The Torah can be a deadly poison, that is, a medicine that helps kill an egoistic desire, and it can be the potion of life that enlivens the desire to bestow. It is the same upper Light. If it comes to the desire to receive while it is still egoistic and does not yearn to be corrected for bestowal, then it further hardens a person’s heart, leading him to the recognition of evil. Once a person recognizes his evil and truly wants correction, the same Light turns into a good angel.1
First of all, we need to come to the recognition of evil; only it can lead us to the prayer, to the request for correction. The recognition of evil can be from my egoistic qualities, from the fact that I do not want to correct myself, or because I already want to correct myself but do not have enough strength for it. Strength is required not for the correction, but in order to ask the upper Light to correct me.2
The day of Tisha B’Av is grief over the broken soul abandoned by the upper Light, that is, the presence of the Creator. We have to bring it back. It is the fact that we do not want to bring it back, do not want to restore the broken soul—this is the ruin and crime that we should regret. That is, we do not mourn the destruction that once was, but our unwillingness to correct it here and now. We do not want to ask the Creator for our correction, we refuse even to approach this request. This is the real ruin.
We should cry not about the ruined building, but about ourselves, about our broken soul that we can, but do not, restore.3
From the 2nd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/22/18, Lesson on the Topic: “Tishaa BeAv (Ninth of Av)”
1 Minute 25:00
2 Minute 27:40
3 Minute 32:40