If we’re responsible, we need to ask, what’s the real reason the Beit HaMikdash was destroyed, why it hasn’t been rebuilt and, how can we fix it?
We begin with the Talmud Yerushalmi (Yoma 4a) which comes to the same conclusion about the destruction of the Second Temple as does the Talmud Bavli — namely, that it was due to Sinat Chinam.
It wasn’t a lust for money per se, as anti-Semites have accused Jews of historically, but they were obsessive, in what’s commonly called today “keeping up with the Joneses.”
Simply put, they broke the Tenth Commandment, as stated in Parshat Yitro, at Mount Sinai, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, his manservant, his maidservant, his ox, his donkey, or whatever belongs to your neighbor,” (Exodus 20:14).
Are we any better today?
Modern marketing and advertising’s main goal is stimulating the feeling of lack in people. Two minutes earlier, someone didn’t feel anything missing in their life, and now they do.
And, what about when the neighbor rolls up in a new car… How do you feel?
Now that you know the cold hard truth; in a nutshell, beware of modern advertising’s influence and the values of international consumer culture today, which leads to, if unchecked, covetousness, jelousy, dissatisfaction, Lashon HaRa, and finally Sinat Chinam…
Maybe, if we learn quickly enough, God-willing, instead of fasting for Tisha B’Av (the 9th of Av) this year, we’ll be too busy, rebuilding the Beit HaMikdash instead.
Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.