In the time of the aforementioned Temple, there were lyres and harps and other instruments that I can’t even pronounce—there was live music as part of serving G-d. There was spirited dancing as well. After the destruction, that went away and was replaced with lots of Jewish liturgy, well it took several hundred years to compile what we now see as the Siddur aka Jewish prayer book, but you get the gist.
But it’s not just that the music ended. That was just a top layer. It was an expression of the underlying synchronization between the worshiper and G-d, including in the relationship with one’s fellow human, who was made in the image of G-d, as well as G-d’s beloved creation. So with the mistreatment of our fellow man, came the deterioration of our relationship with G-d, and ultimately our downfall, and downgrade to a type of worship that was Temple-less, as we no longer carried ourselves in that higher tier of existence.
In the book of Songs of Songs (Shir HaShirim), the love poem about a man and woman is interpreted by the rabbis as a symbol for the relationship between man and G-d.
When a married couple build a home, there is a custom to leave one small area of the home unfinished as to represent the loss of the Temple. There is also a glass broken at the wedding ceremony to represent the same.
And so we see this intertwining of relationship between fellow man, between spouses, and between man and G-d.
And I think one of the things that underly them all, is that when there is this synchronization, there is this sense of harmony and peace and security. It starts from within, and then it can radiate out to the rest of the world—which is why there is a tradition to bless newlyweds to build a home which will serve the greater good of the Jewish people and the world around them.
There is a lot of work to produce this synchronization, a lot of dedication, perhaps a lot of ups and downs. But when the relationship prevails, it not only provides a source of love and solace for those in the relationship, but there is love and light that radiates out to the world.
And—going back to the previous post’s topic of grief—in the breakdown of a relationship, there is a withdrawal of the love, light, and security, as the foundation crumbles and one is left to redefine their relationship to the world as a sole individual as opposed to as part of that pair.