The Jewish Eye
Plato Meets A Crying Yirmiyahu
It is brought in the sefer Galus V'Nechama of Rav Shimshon Pincus that the Rema writes in the Sefer Toras HaOlah that after the Churban, Plato the Greek philosopher, met Yirmiyahu and Yirmiyahu was crying. Plato asked Yirmiyahu two questions. First, why was the great wise man of the Jews crying over a building made of bricks and stones? Secondly, why was he crying over the past? What happened cannot be changed.
Yirmiyahu told Plato the wisest man among the nations to ask him any questions he had in philosophy that he did not have any answer to. Plato asked many hard questions and Yirmiyahu answered all of them to Plato's great satisfaction. The Rema writes that at this point Plato did not know if he speaking with a human being or a Malach. Yirmiyahu then explained to Plato that all his wisdom came from the "bricks and stones" called the Bais HaMikdash and therefore he cries. Regarding his second question of why he cries over something that already happened, Yirmiyahu said that this question he won't answer because even if he did Plato would not understand.
That the divine Hashem and almighty creator of the universe can have a meaningful and initimate relationship with a mere mortal is not something that even Plato can understand. That He yearns for our tears is something not even worthwhile to try and explain.
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