Following on from Beliefs of Judaism – Part 1, we see that the level of spirituality and conversely, physical input required, was severely handicapped by the actions of the Jewish People.
On the first pasuk (verse) in Breishis, Rashi (primary commentary on the Torah) states that at first Hashem planned to create the world with judgement and saw it wouldn’t survive so He partnered the trait of mercy with judgement (Breishis 1:1.)
A world only of judgement would mean one wrong doing and the person suffers immediate consequences. Now, Hashem has given a way of fulfilling the requirement for judgement through parallel means.
For example, if a person does something wrong, instead of physical suffering that such an act might initiate for repairing the spiritual damage, there is an alternative. In certain cases a korban (offering) can completely heal the spiritual ill that a person’s actions or lack of action caused.
The mercy is that instead of offering up ourselves, we can offer up the next closest life form to ourselves, which is supposed, in part, to arouse us emotionally to feel as if it is actually ourselves being offered and bring us thus to a higher spiritual level.
The Beis Hamikdash (Temple) was the means by which we could offer korbanos. It was the epicentre of our spiritual connection to Hashem and if utilised properly, would have kept us on the level of Supernatural.
Because the Jewish people didn’t live up to their potential at the time, the negative power implanted into Tisha B’Av by the incident of the spies, gave our enemies the ability to destroy both Batei Mikdash (also a mida keneged mida- measure for measure, in that the means for restoring spiritual balance was taken away from us on the day that the meraglim brought our level down.)
But even here is evident the partnership of mercy with judgement. Actually it was a merciful act that the anger as it was, of Hashem, meaning the consequence of the descent of the Bnei Yisroel into the physical, was taken out on wood and stone instead of on us (Rashi Bemidbar 24:5)
So, the world (and the Jewish People in particular,) has a balance sheet that measures physical level (credit) relating to spiritual level (debit.) Whilst korbanos were the ultimate tool for balancing the spiritual balance sheet, we still have very powerful tools at our disposal.
Tefilla is called parim sefaseinu (Hoshea 14:3) – the cows of our lips. In other words, we can gain spiritual balance through the power we invest in our davening (prayer.) Torah, mitzvos (commandments) and acts of kindness achieve the same.
The destruction of the Beis Hamikdash is not a loss but a confiscation – the ideal is to do Tisha B’Av so well, that we restore our spiritual level to merit the Beis Mamikdash and the kedusha (holiness – ie. independence from physical,) that follows.
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