Apathy

The section in Masechet Gittin that discusses several pages of details regarding the destruction of the two Temples, begins and ends with tragic stories. There is an overall message from these stories. The first story dealt with the feast where Bar Kamtza was mistakenly invited by his enemy. Although there are many aspects to the story, the shame and humiliation Bar Kamtza had to endure was most troubling to the Rabbis. The final story involved a wealthy apprentice who literally took his mentor's wife from him. To add insult to his pain, the mentor was forced to wait on his apprentice and his former wife. His grief was so great that his tears streamed into their drinks when he was serving them. The two stories point to the Rabbis who were present or had knowledge of both incidents and did nothing. The Talmud seems to say that the apathy of the Rabbis in not trying to right the wrongs was the cause for the destruction of the two Temples. Apathy and the inability to feel someone else's pain is inexcusable.