“For these things do I weep, My eyes flow with tears: Far from me is any comforter Who might revive my spirit; My children are forlorn, For the foe has prevailed” LAMENTATIONS 1:16 (The Israel Bible™)
The Sages explain that Hashem intentionally selected the ninth of the month of Av as the day on which both the first and second Temples would be destroyed. According to Jewish tradition, the reason for this is that it was on the ninth of Av that the twelve spies returned from their mission to scout out the land of Israel. As reported in Sefer Bamidbar (13-14), following the spies’ pessimistic and libelous report, the people fearfully cried out to God: “How will we ever conquer the land? Why did you take us out of Egypt to die at the hands of the Canaanites?” The Sages (Taanit 29a) record God’s reprimand of the people for their lack of faith: “You cried on the ninth of Av for no reason, and so this day will become a day of crying for all generations.” The events surrounding the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash are linked back to the biblical account of the twelve spies, to illustrate that all of Jewish history is inexorably interwoven; it all represents the unfolding of Hashem’s master plan. Furthermore, we must never forget that one of the keys to the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash and the commencement of the Messianic Era is our unquestioning trust in God and appreciation for Eretz Yisrael. This is the very trait that the spies and nation failed to exhibit when they rejected His land, and it is one which we must constantly seek to achieve.