Asaph, the greatest of the Levite singers in the Beth-Hamikdosh, had a vision.

The holy Beth-Hamikdosh was in flames. The enemies of the Jews had broken into the holy place and set it afire. The Jews were broken and in despair.

Asaph broke into song: "Oh G‑d, strange people have broken into Your Sanctuary!"

"Who is singing at such a terrible moment?" many people asked.

"Asaph! Asaph is singing!"

Astonished, all turned to Asaph:

"Asaph! Our holy, Sanctuary is burning and you are singing?"

"Dear brothers, listen to me," Asaph answered. "I saw a wonderful vision. A king built a wonderful palace and presented it to his only son. The greatest artists of the land were busy decorating the palace. The most exquisite draperies and rugs were ordered. Everyone who set eyes upon the palace was filled with admiration for its unique beauty. Upon its completion, the prince moved into the palace, together with his teacher. Both the king and his son were very happy. The king gave his son many servants to take care of all his needs. After a short while, when the prince saw that he had everything his heart desired and lacked nothing, he started to forget his kind father. He started behaving badly and caused his father unhappiness. The king became very angry and immediately destroyed the palace, tore down the costly draperies and tapestries and burned them. The prince, in utter despair, wrung his hands together and so did the servants. The teacher, though, took his flute and started to play...

"There was a commotion. The servants turned towards the teacher and said: 'The king has destroyed his son's palace and you are playing?'

"The wise teacher replied: 'When I see that the good king has poured out his anger on the wood and stones, on the precious contents of the palace, but has spared his son, I feel compelled to play a song of praise to the good and merciful king.'

"Dear brothers," Asaph further explained. "we have sinned, but our Father in heaven has poured out His anger on the wood and stones of the Beth-Hamikdosh. He has destroyed His beautiful, holy palace, but He has not destroyed His only nation. We must be thankful for His great mercy at the very moment He is punishing us. Now do you understand why I am singing to G‑d? Let us return to our Father in heaven whole-heartedly, and He surely will return to us our land and rebuild our holy Beth-Hamikdosh."