Rabbi Sacks writes of the complexity of societies who, after generations of incredible accomplishments, die off.  He evaluates  potential theories, including how the society responds to severe challenges, e.g., with religious sacrifices or changes in religious observance.  Unlike the Mayans, who resorted to extensive human sacrifices to appease deities, the Jews transitioned from a Temple with sacrifices to gemillut hasadim, or Torah Study.

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