I always understood, based on the gemarra in Yoma 9b, that the Jews were guilty of the three cardinal sins during the First Temple period (murder, illicit relations, and idol worship). However, I recently saw the Ben Ish Chai, in his commentary to Eichah 1:1, that the Jews were guilty of transgressing the Ten Commandments.

והנה בבית ראשון עברו על עשרת הדיברות, ולכן נפגמו שתי ההי"ן, שהם רומזים לעשרת הדיברות שהיו חמש מכאן וחמש מכאן

I was wondering if he's the first to say this, or if any earlier source says this idea? A quick search on Bar Ilan bore nothing.

  • 1
    Shabbos 119B mentions a number of additional sins. Added together it might include all 10 aseres hadibros.
    – Chatzkel
    Jun 19, 2022 at 4:26
  • Swearing falsely - Yirmiyahu 5:1 - וְאִ֥ם חַי־יְהֹוָ֖ה יֹאמֵ֑רוּ לָכֵ֥ן לַשֶּׁ֖קֶר יִשָּׁבֵֽעוּ׃ Even when they say, “As the LORD lives,” They are sure to be swearing falsely.
    – Chatzkel
    Jun 19, 2022 at 4:41
  • 2
    Can't both be true? They're not exclusive of each other. If they were guilty of transgressing the Decalogue, then קל וחומר they transgressed the 3 cardinal sins as stated by the Gemara.
    – ezra
    Jun 19, 2022 at 13:55
  • @ezra I didn't imply otherwise just that I've never heard someone suggest this
    – robev
    Jun 19, 2022 at 16:01
  • @robev Some things are so obvious they don't need to be explicitly stated...
    – ezra
    Jun 20, 2022 at 3:30

1 Answer 1


Someone pointed out to me the source is Eicha Rabbah 1:1:

אֵיכָה יָשְׁבָה. שָׁאֲלוּ אֶת בֶּן עַזַּאי אָמְרוּ לוֹ רַבֵּנוּ דְּרשׁ לָנוּ דָּבָר אֶחָד מִמְגִלַּת קִינוֹת, אָמַר לָהֶם לֹא גָּלוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל עַד שֶׁכָּפְרוּ בִּיחִידוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם, וּבַמִּילָה שֶׁנִּתְּנָה לְעֶשְׂרִים דּוֹרוֹת, וּבַעֲשֶׂרֶת הַדִּבְּרוֹת, וּבַחֲמִשָּׁה סִפְרֵי תּוֹרָה, מִנְיַן אֵיכָ"ה. אָמַר רַבִּי לֵוִי לֹא גָּלוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל עַד שֶׁכָּפְרוּ בִּשְׁלשִׁים וָשֵׁשׁ כָּרֵתוֹת שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה, וּבַעֲשֶׂרֶת הַדִּבְּרוֹת, מִנְיַן אֵיכָ"ה יָשְׁבָה בָדָד.‏

"Eicha" she sat. They asked Ben Azzai and said to him, expound for us something from the scroll of wailing. He said to them: "The Jews weren't exiled until they denied the Unique One in the world, transgressed bris milah that was given after twenty generations, in the Ten Commandments, and in the five scrolls of the Torah, alluded to in 'Eicha'". Rabbi Levi said: "The Jews weren't exiled until they denied the 36 kerisos in the Torah, and in the Ten Commandments, alluded to in 'Eicha'".

  • Hashem is so patient! We transgressed 9 commandments, brit mila, denied Hashem and 25 keritot and He still let us stay... What does "bris milah that was given after twenty generations" mean?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Sep 19, 2023 at 12:57

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