Pesikta Rabasi (28 mid.) suggests that there are two aspects of the Temple. An upper [spiritual] one and a lower [physical] one.

אחריבנו אמר רבי תחליפא בר קרויה באותה שעה נכנסו כל מלאכי השרת ועמדו לפני הקדוש ברוך הוא ואמרו לפניו רבונו של עולם עולם ומלואו שלך הוא לא דייך שחרבת דירתך של מטה אלא שתחריב בית דירתך של מעלה אמר להם וכי תנחומים אני צריך או בשר ודם אני שאני צריך (תנחומיך) [תנחומיכם] הרי אני מכיר בסוף..

Rabbi Yitzchak Chaver, in his Talmudic glosses (Brachos 3a) comments on the phrase “I have destroyed My house and burned My Temple” as referring to the aforementioned upper and lower Temples respectively.

Is there any significance in the Pesikta’s consistent use of the the verb ‘destroy’ both [aspects of the] Temples, while the Talmud, according to this reading, varies between ‘destroy’ and ‘burn’?

1 Answer 1


The answer is quite simple. It is impossible to 'burn' the upper one, so they were only mentioning the fact that the lower one was destroyed to say that he shouldnt destroy the upper one. For instance if one cant eat cream only cheese. Do you tell him so and so eats cream and cheese so why dont you eat cheese (he cant eat cream) or do you tell hi so and so eats cheese why dont you. Here as well do you say why do you destroy the upper (you cant burn it) because you destroyed and burned the lower, or do you say why do you destroy the upper because you destroyed the lower without mentioning burning which cant be done on the upper.


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  • 2
    Can you edit your answer to include reference details for your citation.
    – Alex
    Commented Mar 4, 2020 at 23:42
  • 1
    This answers why the Gemara distinguishes between the two, but why does the Midrash not distinguish?
    – DonielF
    Commented Mar 4, 2020 at 23:43
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    @DonielF I think the point is that either "burned" or "destroyed" is an option for the earthly Beis HaMikdash, but "burned" is totally inapplicable to the supernal Mikdash.
    – Fred
    Commented Mar 5, 2020 at 1:31
  • @Fred Not what I meant. I have written at length in chat what I meant if you agree please edit the answer accordingly. I thought mistakenly it was very simple.
    – interested
    Commented Mar 6, 2020 at 5:19
  • @interested Okay. I guess I misread your interpretation of the suggestion from your source (Avodah Berurah, as you mentioned in the chat, which is put out by Rabbi Mitnick's kollel in Har Nof). Anyway, I'm glad you're enjoying your new Meforshei HaOtzar resource. :)
    – Fred
    Commented Mar 6, 2020 at 6:08

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