THEMES of Featured Mystical Classics Articles

Venting Wrath on Wood and Stone
Why does Assaf appear to dedicate a hymn to the destruction of the Temple, instead of an elegy?
Assaf dedicated a hymn to the destruction of the Temple, in gratitude to G-d who had vented His wrath on buildings of wood and stone, such as the holy Temple and the city of Jerusalem, instead of on human beings.
Whenever in Doubt
For something from which one can derive personal gain, one will search for some way to permit even the forbidden.
All doubts and difficulties in life arise from our being out of touch with G·d and with our deepest selves. We live superficially, prey to momentary, material pleasures and gains, torn in different directions at once. Only when we are able to see through them and touch our deepest needs and with G·d, are we able to act assuredly from a place of Truth.
Destruction of Body and Soul
The Temple and its Destruction are matters of the soul
The reason we have lost the Temple and have been sent into exile is that we were guilty of violating those Torah laws designed to perfect our soul, body and financial dealings. Our sages have said that during the period of the First Temple, Israel sinned by worshipping idols, engaging in sexual licentiousness and committing murder.
Peace Between the Nations
We Jews have long memories for those who have afflicted us and all those who made our desert stay less hospitable.
"Do not distress the Moabites"

Abraham and Lot parted in order to maintain peace between them. In the future there would be peace between the nations descended from the two of them, and they would maintain this peace by maintaining distance between them.
Related Topics

The larger, bold text is the direct translation of the classic text source.

The smaller, plain text is the explanation of the translator/editor.
Text with broken underline will provide a popup explanation when rolled over with a mouse.