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Michael Laitman, PhD

Spirituality and the Temple

Q: During the days following Pesach (Passover) we mourn for 24,000 of Rabbi Akiva’s disciples who lost their lives in an epidemic. What does this tragedy tell us from a perspective of Kabbalah?

A: All of Rabbi Akiva’s disciples were great Torah sages and were to become Kabbalists. But instead of cultivating love, they devolved to irrationally hate each other. Such negative feelings in the midst of these sages led to the downfall of the entire people and, as a result, to a generally low level of the Jewish people. Their enemies gained strength from Above, attacked, conquered, destroyed and dispersed them.

Our condition is totally dependent on our spiritual level. It determines our strength and our destiny. If we want to feel better, we must ascend to a higher spiritual level. Hence it is said, “A generation in which the Temple is not built is as the generation in which it was ruined.”

If we could climb to a spiritual degree where the Temple could exist, in which people live in love, then the Temple would have to be rebuilt. The Higher Governing Force would instill the necessary desires in people and create general events that would lead to it.

However, the level of our people has hardly improved since the ruin of the Temple. The change can come only through the studying of Kabbalah, because it reveals to us the evil that reigns in us.

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