Tisha B’Av: It’s Been Nearly 2,000 Years Since The Destruction Of The Temple, How Come Jews Still Mourn It Yearly On Its Anniversary? (Quora)

Dr. Michael LaitmanMichael Laitman, On Quora: Tisha B’Av: It’s been nearly 2000 years since the destruction of the temple, how come Jews still mourn it yearly on its anniversary?

According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, the mourning at Tisha B’Av shouldn’t be about the ruin of the First and Second Temples that took place in the past, but the sorrow should be in relation to the failure of the Jewish people to make moves in establishing the Third Temple.

How does this work? Firstly, we need to understand that the wisdom of Kabbalah doesn’t relate to corporeal depictions in the Torah, but according to the language of root and branch, relates to the inner processes of human correction that are presented through its writings. Therefore, the meaning behind the establishment of the Holy Temples is the establishment of a united people above division. That is, using the method of correction that guides people to connect on a basis of “love your friend as yourself,” a group of people known as “the Jews” reached a state of spiritual unity (the Hebrew word for “Jew” [Yehudi] comes from the word for “united” [yihudi] [Yaarot Devash, Part 2, Drush no. 2]), and this is what the Torah describes as the construction of the Temples.

The ruin of the Temples that Tisha B’Av symbolizes means the detachment of the Jewish people from their spiritual unity “as one man with one heart,” and their exit into a state of exile, i.e. a state of dispersion from their spiritual unity.

This destruction and detachment is a necessary state in the process of humanity’s development. Why? It’s because we need to reveal the force of our shattered connections as a preparation to correct those connections. Therefore, on one hand, we need to resist the destruction before it takes place, and hold onto our connection as much as possible. On the other hand, since the destruction took place, we need to see that it could not take place in any other way. We thus enter a period of preparation until we are worthy of reconnecting on a new level, i.e. worthy of correction. This explains the laughter of Rabbi Akiva, a great Kabbalist, after the destruction of the Second Temple. Rabbi Akiva saw how it became possible to establish a much greater connection, one not just for the people of Israel, but one that includes the whole of humanity—the complete and final correction. In other words, he saw that the scene was set for the establishment of the Third Temple.

Therefore, if we work on developing our connection, everything should become more corrected without further destruction, wars and so on. If the people of Israel can use and spread the wisdom of Kabbalah, then we can correct ourselves and live in an upgraded harmonious reality.

However, if we fail to implement the method of correction to rise above our divisive drives and establish a new, heightened state of unity in our times, then we experience many delays and enemies on the path, such as the foreboding trend of anti-Semitism. For that reason, the people of Israel suffer from not wanting to accept the method of correction—to correct their connections to be “as one man with one heart” in “love your friend as yourself.”

Therefore, we don’t need to cry about what happened, since everything that happened in the past was necessary and there is nothing we can change about it. What we need to cry about is the fact that we fail to build the new Temple, i.e. a new movement to unite above the growing division of our times, because that is in our hands to establish—the Third Temple—and our idleness in doing so brings about myriad forms of suffering in the world, and also negatively rebounds on the people of Israel in the form of rising anti-Semitism. Therefore, there is no sorrow in terms of what happened, but sorrow in terms of what we’re failing to implement.

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