...dip the egg in saltwater as a memorial to the destruction of the Temple...

"From the day the holy temple was destroyed," Say our sages, "It was decreed that the homes of the righteous should be in ruins... The servant need not be better off than the master." As long as G‑d remains homeless, expelled from His manifest presence in the life of man, the Jew, too, is a stranger in the material world.

In essence, matter is no less a creation of G‑d, and no less capable of serving and expressing His truth, than spirit; but in times of dimmed divine presence, the substantiality of the physical all too readily obscures rather than reveals its G‑dly essence.

The story is told of the visitor who, stopping by the home of Rabbi Dovber of Mezrich, was shocked by the poverty he encountered there. The Rebbe's home was bare of all furnishing, save for a few wooden boards and blocks.

"How can you live like this?" demanded the visitor. "I myself am far from wealthy, but at least in my home you will find the basic necessities: chairs, a table, beds for the children..."

"Indeed?" said the Rebbe. "But I don't see any of your furnishings. How do you manage without them?"

"What do you mean? Do you think that I carry all my possessions along with me wherever I go? When I travel, I make do with what's available. But at home - a person's home is a different matter altogether!"

"Ah, yes," said Rabbi DovBer. "At home, it’s a different matter altogether..."