Chagigah 4 - When the Sages cried
We mentioned that a deranged person does not have to appear in the Temple , as well as do any other mitzvah. Who is considered deranged? - One who goes alone at night to uninhabited places, sleeps in a cemetery, and tears his clothes for no reason. Do we need him to do all three? Rav Huna said that we do. Rav Pappa said, "Had Rav Huna heard another definition, 'One who destroys all that people give him', he would change his mind." However, the Talmud is not convinced, for sleeping in a cemetery may be done for spiritual reasons, and walking alone at night can be explained by being depressed.
Rav Huna, when he came in his studies to the following phrase, wept. The Torah said, " Three times a year every male will come to be seen in the Temple. " "To be seen" can be read as "to see," and one who is blind in one eye does not have to go. Said Rav Huna, "The servant was beloved to his Master, and the Master wanted to see him, and now suddenly he is distanced!"
Rabbi Elazar wept when he came to the phrase, " And Joseph's brothers could not answer him, because they were confused ." He said, "If because of the rebuke of a human one is confused, how much more so before God!"
Rav Ami wept when he read about the destruction of the Temple and the following dispersion, " Let him put his mouth to the dust - perhaps there is hope. " He said, "All this suffering - and only 'perhaps'!?"
Art: Fishermen's Cemetery by Franz Heinrich Louis Corinth