Alternate Reality: What the Loss of the Temple Means for Us
רשב"ג אומר העיד ר' יהושע מיום שחרב בהימ"ק אין יום שאין בו קללה ולא ירד הטל לברכה וניטל טעם הפירות ר' יוסי אומר אף ניטל שומן הפירות ר' שמעון בן אלעזר אומר הטהרה נטלה את (הטעם ואת) הריח המעשרות נטלו את שומן הדגן וחכמים אומרים הזנות והכשפים כילו את הכל

Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says that Rabbi Yehoshua testified: From the day the Temple was destroyed there is no day that does not include some form of curse. And since then the dew has not descended for blessing, and the taste has been removed from fruit. Rabbi Yosei says: Since then, the fat of fruit has also been removed. Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says: Since then, the lost purity has removed the taste and the aroma from fruit; the tithes that were not separated have removed the fat of the grain...

אמר רבי אבדימי דמן חיפה מיום שחרב בית המקדש ניטלה נבואה מן הנביאים וניתנה לחכמים אטו חכם לאו נביא הוא הכי קאמר אע"פ שניטלה מן הנביאים מן החכמים לא ניטלה

§ In connection with Rabbi Yosei’s statement that Sumakhos’s words are nothing but words of prophecy, the Gemara reports that Rabbi Avdimi from Haifa says: From the day that the Temple was destroyed prophecy was taken from the prophets and given to the Sages. The Gemara expresses astonishment: Is that to say that a Sage is not fit to be a prophet? Rabbi Avdimi seems to say that these are two distinct categories of people. The Gemara explains: This is what Rabbi Avdimi is saying: Even though prophecy was taken from the prophets, it was not taken from the Sages.

(ה) אוהבי ה' המחכים בבניין אריאל

(ו) ביום השבת שישו כמקבלי מתן נחליאל

Those who love God and eagerly await the building of the Temple

On the Sabbath, they rejoice at having received a divine gift.

(עז) חדש מקדשנו, זכרה נחרבת,

(עט) טובך מושיענו, תנה לנעצבת,

(פא) בשבת יושבת, בזמר ושבחה,

(פג) שבת מנוחה.

Renew our Temple, and remember it in its destruction

Your goodness, our savior, extend to the saddened one

Who, on the Sabbath, sits with song and praise and the tranquility of the Sabbath

(כח) וַיִּפְתַּ֥ח ה' אֶת־פִּ֣י הָאָת֑וֹן וַתֹּ֤אמֶר לְבִלְעָם֙ מֶה־עָשִׂ֣יתִֽי לְךָ֔ כִּ֣י הִכִּיתַ֔נִי זֶ֖ה שָׁלֹ֥שׁ רְגָלִֽים׃

(28) Then the LORD opened the donkey's mouth, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you that you have beaten me these three times (lit. regalim)?”

(א) זה שלש רגלים. רָמַז לוֹ: אַתָּה מְבַקֵּשׁ לַעֲקֹר אֻמָּה הַחוֹגֶגֶת שָׁלֹשׁ רְגָלִים בַּשָּׁנָה? (תנחומא):

(1) THESE THREE TIMES — By these words he suggested to him: You seek to root out a nation that celebrates three festivals (שלש רגלים) annually?! (Midrash Tanchuma, Balak 9).

כל חותמי ברכות שבמקדש היו אומרים עד העולם משקלקלו הצדוקים ואמרו אין עולם אלא אחד התקינו שיהו אומרים מן העולם ועד העולם

The mishna relates: At the conclusion of all blessings recited in the Temple, those reciting the blessing would say: Blessed are You Lord, God of Israel, until everlasting [haolam], the world. But when the Sadducees strayed and declared that there is but one world and there is no World-to-Come, the Sages instituted that at the conclusion of the blessing one recites: From everlasting [haolam] to everlasting [haolam].

Due to what reason was the First Temple destroyed? It was destroyed due to the fact that there were three matters that existed in the First Temple: Idol worship, forbidden sexual relations, and bloodshed... However, considering that the people during the Second Temple period were engaged in Torah study, observance of mitzvot, and acts of kindness, and that they did not perform the sinful acts that were performed in the First Temple, why was the Second Temple destroyed? It was destroyed due to the fact that there was wanton hatred during that period. This comes to teach you that the sin of wanton hatred is equivalent to the three severe transgressions: Idol worship, forbidden sexual relations and bloodshed... § It was Rabbi Yoḥanan and Rabbi Elazar who both said: In the case of the former, the people in the First Temple era, whose sin was exposed and no attempt was made to disguise their conduct, the end of their punishment was exposed, and the prophet informed them that they would return to their land in seventy years. In the case of the latter, the people in the Second Temple era, whose sin was not exposed; rather, they attempted to disguise their conduct, the end of their punishment was not exposed.