In Tehillim 79 (1) we read how HKB”H sent his anger on wood and stone (and by implication less on the people of Israel):

A song of Asaph. O God! Nations have come into Your heritage, they have defiled Your Holy Temple, they have made Jerusalem into heaps.

Rabbi Yakov Haber's article quoting the medrash says that instead of destroying the Jewish people, Hashem poured out his wrath on sticks and stones. But pesukim 2 and 3 read:

They have given the corpses of Your servants as food to the birds of the heaven, the flesh of Your pious ones to the beasts of the earth.
They have spilt their blood like water around Jerusalem, and no one buries [them].

So I do not see much of a consolation.

The difficulty can be resolved by saying that if the anger had not been on wood and stone then many more of Yisroel would have died. But this seems facile.

Is there a better resolution of the problem?

  • 1
    If the Temple had not been destroyed, Israel would have been, i.e., entirely. (Mass murder is still not the same as the absolute annihilation of the chosen nation and its covenant.)
    – Loewian
    Jul 24, 2018 at 13:49
  • @Loewian It seems like that is so. But how do we know it? Jul 24, 2018 at 14:33
  • Are you asking a broader epistemic question or for a source?
    – Loewian
    Jul 24, 2018 at 15:47
  • @Loewian Source please. Jul 24, 2018 at 17:40
  • What's wrong with the cited midrash you link?
    – Loewian
    Jul 25, 2018 at 0:04

1 Answer 1



מזמור לאסף אלהים באו גוים בנחלתך וגו' קינה לאסף מיבעי ליה ודרש כך שאמר אסף שירה על שכילה הקב"ה חמתו בעצים ואבנים שבביתו ומתוך כך הותיר פליטה בישראל שאלמלא כך לא נשתייר משונאי ישראל שריד וכן הוא אומר כלה ה' את חמתו ויצת אש בציון (איכה ד):

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