§ The Sages taught in a baraita (Tosefta, Sota 15:11): When the Temple was destroyed a second time, there was an increase in the number of ascetics among the Jews, whose practice was to not eat meat and to not drink wine. Rabbi Yehoshua joined them to discuss their practice. He said to them: My children, for what reason do you not eat meat and do you not drink wine? They said to him: Shall we eat meat, from which offerings are sacrificed upon the altar, and now the altar has ceased to exist? Shall we drink wine, which is poured as a libation upon the altar, and now the altar has ceased to exist? Rabbi Yehoshua said to them: If so, we will not eat bread either, since the meal-offerings that were offered upon the altar have ceased. They replied: You are correct. It is possible to subsist with produce. He said to them: We will not eat produce either, since the bringing of the first fruits have ceased. They replied: You are correct. We will no longer eat the produce of the seven species from which the first fruits were brought, as it is possible to subsist with other produce. He said to them: If so, we will not drink water, since the water libation has ceased. They were silent, as they realized that they could not survive without water. Rabbi Yehoshua said to them: My children, come, and I will tell you how we should act. To not mourn at all is impossible, as the decree was already issued and the Temple has been destroyed. But to mourn excessively as you are doing is also impossible, as the Sages do not issue a decree upon the public unless a majority of the public is able to abide by it, as it is written: “You are cursed with the curse, yet you rob Me, even this whole nation” (Malachi 3:9), indicating that the prophet rebukes the people for neglecting observances only if they were accepted by the whole nation. Rabbi Yehoshua continues: Rather, this is what the Sages said: A person may plaster his house with plaster, but he must leave over a small amount in it without plaster to remember the destruction of the Temple. The Gemara interjects: And how much is a small amount? Rav Yosef said: One cubit by one cubit. Rav Ḥisda said: This should be opposite the entrance, so that it is visible to all. Rabbi Yehoshua continues: The Sages said that a person may prepare all that he needs for a meal, but he must leave out a small item to remember the destruction of the Temple. The Gemara interjects: What is this small item? Rav Pappa said: Something akin to small, fried fish. Rabbi Yehoshua continues: The Sages said that a woman may engage in all of her cosmetic treatments, but she must leave out a small matter to remember the destruction of the Temple. The Gemara interjects: What is this small matter? Rav said: She does not remove hair from the place on the temple from which women would remove hair. The source for these practices is a verse, as it is stated: “If I forget you, Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its cunning. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember you not; if I set not Jerusalem above my highest joy” (Psalms 137:5–6).