Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “The troubles and disasters that befell Israel.”

The inner meaning of the Temple is the dwelling of God’s Presence in the world in general and amidst the Jewish People in particular.

Thus, the meaning of the Temple’s destruction is the removal of God’s Presence from Israel’s midst.

Israel’s suffering throughout the period of the exile is simply an external expression of that same process of hurban, the repeated wounding of a people that lost its sacred center of life.

Hence, all the troubles and disasters that befell Israel are essentially attributed to the destruction of the Temple.

For in all of them is found the deep pain, the essential loss, of the removal of God’s Presence – the suffering of a people that no longer fulfills its role as a united community, but as fragmented parts subject to despoilment and exposed to every abuse.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz