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The gemarah in gittin (58a) describes a story wherein a carpenter's apprentice manipulates a series of unfortunate events (for the carpenter) which end up with the carpenter's wife now married to the apprentice and the carpenter, who is stuck paying off her huge kesuba, is forced to work off the money he owes his former apprentice by being a servant to the new happy couple. The gemarah describes how his tears mix with the drink he is serving and because of that the decree of the destruction of the temple is sealed.

It's a sad story. But what was so significant about this particular story that this one incident sealed the decree? Why would the entire Jewish people be punished for millennia for what was, at worst, an isolated case of adultery?

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downvoter, can you explain what might make the question better? –  tinok shnishbah May 29 '12 at 19:32
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another downvote!?! :( –  tinok shnishbah May 29 '12 at 19:42
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I think the question reflects a (deliberately?) poor understanding of the Gemara. I think it should be obvious that when the Gemara says a particular incident of bad behavior is the reason the Beith HaMikdash was destroyed, it is meant to be construed as, "How low we have sunk that this was able to occur." –  Seth J May 29 '12 at 20:06
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As for the substance of my comment, and your question, I think the point of the Gemara is to illustrate that someone's life was ruined by the callous way two people who contrived to ruin it within the bounds of Halachah, as in RaMBa"N's famous interpretation of the Naval BiRshuth HaTorah (VaYikra 19:2). –  Seth J May 29 '12 at 20:32
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I might also suggest softening the tone of your question a little bit, in order to elicit more quality answers, but I'm not really one to talk. –  Seth J May 29 '12 at 21:35

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This comment proposes:

I think the point of the Gemara is to illustrate that someone's life was ruined by the callous way two people who contrived to ruin it within the bounds of Halachah, as in RaMBa"N's famous interpretation of the Naval BiRshuth HaTorah (VaYikra 19:2)

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It's one thing to disagree with my criticism of the tone of your question in a responding comment. It would also be acceptable to suggest I write my own comment as an answer to your question. It might even be tolerable to use my point as a basis for proposing an answer. But to take my words and post them as an answer to your own question is offensive. If I had wanted to answer the question I would have. Don't then plagiarize me just to get rep points. Everyone can see my comment; they didn't need you to copy/paste it here for it to be noticed. –  Seth J Jul 30 '12 at 17:08
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If @SethJ posted a comment you think should be an answer, you should comment saying as much, giving him a chance to do so before doing so yourself. That's just common courtesy. (And your original wording, "inspired by", is particularly invidious, inasmuch as you were quoting.) –  msh210 Jul 31 '12 at 17:45

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