1 The whole community broke into loud cries, and the people wept that night.
va-ti-SA kol HA-ay-DAH va-yi-t’-NU et ko-LAM va-yiv-KU ha-AM ba-LAI-lah ha-HU
א וַתִּשָּׂא כָּל־הָעֵדָה וַיִּתְּנוּ אֶת־קוֹלָם וַיִּבְכּוּ הָעָם בַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא׃
14:1 And the people wept that night
The Sages explain that Hashem intentionally selected the ninth day of the month of Av as the day upon which both the first and second Temples would be destroyed. According to Jewish tradition, this is because it was on this day that the twelve spies returned from their mission to scout out Eretz Yisrael. As reported in the coming verses, following their pessimistic and libelous report, the people cried out to God in fear: “If only we had died in the land of Egypt… or if only we might die in this wilderness! Why is Hashem taking us to that land to fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be carried off! It would be better for us to go back to Egypt!” (Numbers 14:2-3). The Talmud (Taanit 29a) records that Hashem reprimanded the people for their lack of faith and said: “As you cried on the ninth of Av for no reason, this day will become a day of crying for all future 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, and is the unfolding of Hashem’s plan. We must never forget that one of the keys to the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash and the heralding in of the Messianic Era is our unquestioning trust in God, and appreciation of Eretz Yisrael.