Thought of the Week: Devorim - 5778


The Talmud shares with us that the reason the second Beit Hamikdash was destroyed was due to Sinat Chinam - baseless hatred that people had towards one another.  Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin, the Rosh Yeshiva of Volozhin, notes that although the sages of the generation of the destruction were righteous individuals and toiled in Torah, they lacked in the realm of social interactions, and developed negativity and hatred towards others who did not practice Judaism in the way they viewed as correct.  Such behavior is unacceptable to the Almighty and, thus, they lost Hashem’s dwelling place, the Beit Hamikdash.

As we study the history of the Beit Hamikdash and its destruction on Tisha B’Av and review the many calamities that fell on our people in the long and tragic exile, we must remember the cause.  As a nation, we will only merit a return to the glory of the past if we truly understand what led to its loss.  Ahavat Yisrael, where we accept and love the other even if their dress, appearance or philosophical outlook is different than ours, is the only remedy to our condition.

May we merit a return to Hashem with true Torah-value behavior and see the Beit Hamikdash in our days.

Shabbat Shalom