I'm translating a short story by Esther Kreitman Singer. She writes: "The Nazi airplanes were still there. Just like the spiders who once brought fire to the Temple, they flew in more and more bombs to drop on the Jewish alleyways..."

I can't find any reference to spiders involved in the destruction of the Temple. Can anybody enlighten me, please?

Many thanks, Marina from Italy

  • 1
    Has it occurred to you that maybe you have translated wrong? Perhaps you could post the original text here for others to attempt translating? It's also quite possible that maybe the author is referring to the Romans in a derogatory way (some consider spiders a very bad thing).
    – ezra
    Feb 5, 2017 at 18:20
  • 6
    dinonline.org/2011/05/25/spiders-in-halachah "Furthermore, spiders contributed to the fire that destroyed the Beis Hamikdash. (Reishis Chochmah)" from btya.org/wp-content/uploads/MenuchaV03I14.pdf which also explains the metaphor
    – rosends
    Feb 5, 2017 at 18:55

1 Answer 1


There is a long-standing Jewish myth that the spider webs helped spread the fire so that the Temple was destroyed faster.

Not everybody agrees that this is to be taken literally; it seems to be based on a Medrash that refers allegorically to Rome.

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