ו וַיַּחְמֹס כַּגַּן שֻׂכּוֹ שִׁחֵת מוֹעֲדוֹ שִׁכַּח יְהֹוָה בְּצִיּוֹן מוֹעֵד וְשַׁבָּת וַיִּנְאַץ בְּזַעַם־אַפּוֹ מֶלֶךְ וְכֹהֵן׃
The destruction of the Beit Hamikdash led to a drastic reduction of holiness in the world. This verse emphasizes the tragedy inherent in the elimination of the observance of Shabbat in the Beit Hamikdash due to the destruction. The famous Jewish author Achad Ha’am once remarked: “More than the Jews have kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath has kept the Jews.” Indeed, in many ways, the tranquility and spiritual rejuvenation which Shabbat offers have proven invaluable to the Jew’s ability to persevere in the face of so much oppression. Many of the Jewish people’s worst enemies were aware of the power of the Shabbat, and thus sought to eradicate it from Jewish life. For example, Antiochus Epiphanes, the villain of the Hanukkah story, prohibited Shabbat observance, as did many subsequent oppressors. Despite the myriad attempts to erase the Sabbath from Jewish consciousness, it has remained a central and defining feature of Jewish life until this very day.