Filed under: Chanukah | Tags: Aristobulus, Hellenism, Hyrcanus, Kabbalah, Sadducees, Shimon ben Shetach, TORAH
Chanukah בס”ד UPDATED FEBRUARY 9TH 2016
Chanukah is about revolution. It is a reminder to stand up against the oppression. Especially when the nations values and politics have overcome the government of the Jewish people living in the land of Israel. It is a time to establish a truly Torah government. Israel has a mission to bring the world to awareness of God. Thus Israel is called a “Nation of Priests” in the Bible. This can only be accomplished when the Jewish people have sovereignty over the Land of Israel and they govern according to God’s will as found in the Torah.
The victory of Chanuka requires pride, sacrifice and resolve. You must live its virtues not just talk about them in prayer. They are not a thing of the past they are powers of Chanukah. Compromise is a weakness that victors cannot afford. Freedom is reserved for those who fight for it. Standing up against all the odds is the Macabee way. Standing up for the Divine truth. Chanuka is a time to remember the price of victory. It is not cheap!
We can light all the Chanuka lights that we want but we must remember that the purpose of light is to cancel out darkness. We will never cancel out darkness or defeat evil all the while that we lack the commitment and resolve and the sacrifice necessary to win the day. All our Chanuka lights will be nothing but hollow and empty shells if we fail to remember what it is that they are supposed to really be.
Chanukah is a time of ever increasing light. This is seen and accomplished through the service of Chanukah which includes lighting of the “Menorah”. The main service of Chanukah is the illumination of the darkness of night with the manorah in increasing intensity from 1 to 9 lights including the ”shamash”. It was on the first night of Chanukah the 25th of kislev that Antiocos made the temple into a shrine for idolatry. On that day he placed a idol in the Temple’s Holy of Holies and did lewd sexual acts there. They defiled Holy things. This was the darkest moment when the house of GOD became a place unfit for his dwelling .This was the climax of the decent of the Jewish people led by their ”high society” as they slid down to the depth of spiritual depravity being absorbed in the ”upper class” (Greek) values of their day, which was called HELLenism. The enemy may have stimulated the decline of Yisrael from outside yet the real enemy was within, it was ourselves. We allowed non-Torah values to infect us to the point that a Cohen Gadol (High Priest) was placed in the temple who had values opposite that of the Torah.
The enemy was within but salvation came from without and within as only a small group of Cohaniem who were living in the hills were able to bring about the spiritual redemption of our people. Reclaiming the Holy Temple, with the miracle of the oil, and the physical miraculous victory where our enemies were concurred. On Chanukah we went from the darkest darkness of our souls, spiritually and physically captured under the dominion of strangers, yet we came to witness miracles and salvation. The Greeks deliberately and methodically defiled all the oil in the Temple. They purposefully wanted to stamp out the means for Yisrael to serve God. The existence and discovery of one undefiled cruse – despite the aggressive efforts of the Greeks – was a miracle in and of itself.
The ruling in Israel of the Hasmoneans began during the rein of Antiocus the 4th, who was also called אפיפנס the King of Syria and Talmy Philamtor King of Egypt. They ruled for 132 years till Herod, the Edomite slave . Tis was from 143-36 Bce.
The Megillat Antiochus tells us that the Hasmonean Kohanim “They found only one cruse of oil which was sealed with the insignia of the Holy Kohen from the time of Samuel the prophet.” Know, that just as this jar of Holy oil was hidden all those years, so to no Jew is ever lost from the collective entity called “Canneset Yisrael” (The Jewish supernal community). Though they may have strayed so far from the path and ways the God showed the nation of Israel so many years ago. As the hidden wisdom received at the Sinai experience when we received the Torah so many years ago is still deep inside every Jewish soul who stood at that fateful day at Sinai. Know, these deeps spiritual roots can never be blotted out though though if one contaminates their soul enough by transgressing the Torah it takes a considerable effort to relight the lamp of their Jewish soul.
It was also a miracle in and of itself that this one cruse of oil was not seen by the Greeks and destroyed. Like the light of “Aor Ganuz” (the hidden light) radiated by by the lights of Chanukah which are only perceived by those who merit so and others cannot see it. So too the Greeks could not see this cruse of oil so could not destroy it !
We came to witness oil that burned miraculously. That which had the physical potential to burn for one day burned for eight. This infinite quality of oil represents the permutation of the spiritual quality of oil, which from kabalah we learn is ” chuchmah ” (creative inspiration), right into this physical world.
It is known that ”chuchmah” (Divine wisdom-creative power) is above space and time. Thus we see its revelation in this physical world “mamash”. The oil from the Manora allows us to Contemplate the surrounding lights and עליוןרצון (supernal will). We know rabbi Moshe Chym Lazatto says this light comes around every year for those who are there to receive it, blessed are those who reach this time. Now the ”Chuchmah” (Divine Wisdom-creativity) dresses itself in our dedication as Chanukah means dedication. Chanukah being the celebration of our dedication to Holiness, which is during the time of ”chanuc” (dedication) of the alter as described in the Torah in the book of ”Bamidbar” (Numbers), the dedication of the temple by King Salomon, the dedication of the temple by Yehuda Macabbe, and today our personal dedication to the Holy Blessed One NOW.
Our personal dedication to the Torah is the absolute fixing of the present exile of Edom (the west ), which is rooted in Yavan (greek culture ), which is the source of the hellinism that Yehuda Macabee rebelled against. Yavon is the same spelling as Zion, except for missing the letter צ ’sawde”. A sawdeek is represented by Yosef ha Sadeek. He represents the sefira yesod. As taught by rabbi Shimon bar Yochi yesod is 9th of the sefirot, it is as the 8 Chanukah lights and the ”shamash”. They are paralleled by the 7 lights of the manorah in the temple, and the bulb where the branches meet. Thus it is said by kindling the Chanukah manorah the manorah in the Holy Temple is lit. On Chanukah there shines the lights of ס”ג (light of Divine understanding) to Z’a (source of the Ruach, emotional soul). ס”ג =חנה and יהו”ה (is Z’a)=וכ together is חנוכה . Every aspect can be lit up by נר (lamps) of chanucah. Thus נר is gematria of the Yichudim (unifications) of אהי”ה אלהי”ם אדנ”י each with יהו”ה = נר.
There are 5 aspects of “Erev Rav” according to the Zohar, they are called “Nifalim, Geborim, Anakim. Rafiam and Amakim” these correspond to the 5 times ביד in the prayer for Chanukah in the “Amida”. 1)The “geborim” correspond to were given ביד “chalshim”, 2)“The many” were given ביד “the few” corresponding to “Rafiam”, 3) “Rashiam” were given ביד “Sadeekem” corresponds to “Anakim”. 4) The inpure were given ביד “pure”, the impure correspond to the Nifalim. These include Azza and Uzzial5) “the strange ones were given ביד of those who occupy in your Torah” Strange ones referring to “Amalakim”. Also the יד cooresponds to the 14 evil time all 5 aspects the Erev rav want to bring upon Yisrael.
Shar Yoseph teaches that we talk in the Chanukah addition of the Amida about how the Hasmoneans stood up and fought the Greeks, but they never fought Greeks only Syrians. Antiocus was king of Syria and not of Greece. It says “You gave the impure into the hands of the pure”. Who were the “impure”. Impurity does not apply to gentiles. It says “you gave strangers (zarim) in hands of Jews”. If the impure mentioned before was referring to non-Jews this is double “lashon”. Also double “lushon” on תשועה and פרקן. Alsoדביר ביתך ,היכלך . מקשדך are triple “lushon”. And why also “lushon” חצרת קדשך it says we lit candles but they are lit in “hachel Kodesh” ? Why is the miracle of the oil not mentioned ? There is a lot of secrets hinted to in these words.
דביר ביתך corresponds to Nefesh, היכלך corresponds to Ruach. מקשדך corresponds to Nashama. The “kidusha” of Nashama is called “Bait haMikdash”.
The way to subdue “zarim” is by Torah.
“Malchut HaRusha” refers to Malchut of the Klippa. The Hasmoneans fought the Syrians who nourished from the klippa of the Greeks. Yavan has many Holy sparks that fell into them. That is why they present a great danger to us.
We see this by the success of the Erev Rav in out days, as they have uprooted judiasm from “Am Yisrael”. Which is what the nations were unable to do in 2000 years. Damages by the Greeks is greater than any other nation. Since the time of Noach many sparks of “kidusha” have went into the Greeks so it says “Yephet shall dwell in the Tents of Shem”. A Safer Torah written in Greek can be read on Shabot and YomTov. The sages say Greek is a beautiful language. But the sages says its forbidded to call something of the nations beautiful. But this beauty is from the sparks of holiness they have taken. Their philosophers came upon many true things, that are in the Kaballah we have today including the 4 “Yesodot” and “hyuli”. The greatest of them learned from the mouth of David HaMelech. Aristo converted through Shimon HaSadeek. If the war would have been with Syria alone there would not have been the miracles. The greeks desired to uproot the aspect of the nation of Yisreal so there would only be left the aspect of Yaakov. This is “katnut”. Then there would not exist in Yisreal the idea of “Am Segulah” or chosen people. This is why they specifically rulled against Shabot, chodesh and meilah as these are the foundations of the “chosen people”. The “erev rav” in our days walks in the footsteps of the “Greeks” to nullify Chodesh and Shabot so Yisrael does not use a Jewish calander but keep Chodesh according to the nations, and to turn Shabot into a secular time. The God must help. But they were unable to get rid of “Brit melah”. But they were able to involve the people in “aryot” (sexual sins). It says in the Yerushalmi that “You will turn away from Me, by My Torah will return you to Me”. So they want the Torah forgotten. So Their will not be merited its light. So the “Chiloni haam” (Secular of the people) include Torah like the 5 books of Moses but the impression they make from it is not as before but its presented like Greek ideas. They learn Torah , Kaballah and philosophy but this Torah does not enliven and illuminate to cause the people to return to Hashem. They may fulfill “mitzvot” as Greeks only prohibited Shobot, Chodesh and Mikavah but not as statutes of Hashem. They can do them in the way thats commonly popular. Like the other nations. And they are דתי . They dont make a nice “succah” and the like. It is in this way that they want to make the Torah forgotten. To not have it Recognized as the Torah of Elokim Chyim. Not as the will of heaven but as patriotic and so to be popular people. This is what the “Erev Rav” and Zionists do today בדיטק (exactly). Mercy should not be shown towards these “greeks”to appease them. The power of Kidusha will be arroused which will burn them like fire. Now we need to be against these “Greeks”, they are the Nashamot of the Erev Rav that are mixed in with the Jewish people. We must stand up Bina of Kidusha called שם , so to be שם הגדול (great name as mentioned in the Amida Chanukah insert). Chuchmah then called “Kodesh” will be שם הגדול subduing the evil. The miracle of Chanukah is caused by Bina called שם הגדול. Chuchmah and Bina in the Shechinah is called עולם The filling of the Shechinah called “Chanukah” (the 25 letter “Yichud” of נר ) this is his שם called the Shechinah. As it says “כה (thus) shall you bless the Children of Yisrael”. Then rises Malchut to Bina. So there are 8 days of Chanukah as Bina is the 8th sefirah from below to above. The Miracles and wonders of Chanukah are by Bina received from the 32 paths of Chuchmah that permeate to the 50 gates of Bina making נפלאות.
Rabbi Ashlag teaches that all 25 Parzufim (divine faces of revelation) come down to Prophets, they being attached to the highest powers.
This all shines on Chanukah. חן (favor) from the revelation of the 8 days of Chanukah is as a Temple offering or ”Brit Mealah” (circucision) which both must wait till the 8th day. We receive זאת (SHECHINAH) Chanukah by the revelation of the oil (Chuhmah) that illuminates making one’s face to Shine. This Shining is חן. This is what one must find in their wife (Shechinah) as said in the end of Gemora Gitten. The כלה (bride) being the Shechinah. This being revealed as the perfection of man. This is the ”Gadlut” (greatness) of Yaakov which is called Yisrael. This is the סלום (ladder) from heaven. This is the ו . In this time of Chanukah ”dedication”, this is accomplished by doing what Yehuda Ha Makaabe stood for rebelling against what Yavan represents which is striving for beauty alone without the discretion or recognition of GOD which, thus the pursuit of beauty becomes completely a reflection of the love of the body, and self love. Thus we see reason for their obsession with sports, the human body the main theme of their visual arts, and there obsession with abstract intellectual thought. All the things have only one end the glorification of one self, this is the ultimate product of the philosophy of the Greeks, but when the letter צ ’sawde’ is added to the word’ Yavan’ (Greek) it becomes Zion. Thus when one adds ’sawde’ representing yesod, the power of making the most complete revelation of GOD out of all things and places. Perfect uprightness ,acting as a sadeek. Then true perfect beauty is realized. So, on Chanukah we need to dedicate to GOD the beauty that which is unique to ourselves as we each have a different face. So our relationship to GOD is a personal thing . It is our personal expression of beauty in Divine service. We see in the writing of our sages so many things called “hadar mitzvahsefira”, which is performing the mitzvah in a way which is more than is required by the letter of the law. This is why Chanukah is called holiday of the Oral Torah. All Yisrael are required to fulfill the 613 commandments of the Torah. Since we don’t have a temple now, may it be rebuilt soon some mitzvot involving temple service and other mitzvot due to our lackings can only be fulfilled by learning about them. All the mitzvot that we do bind us together. This is the fulfillment of the letter of the law but this is not enough, as it says in the Talmud “ if only the letter of the law was fulfilled, no one could exist ”. If one only does the least that is required what kind of love does this express ?.
A mitzvah is a vessel for the love of GOD. A pitcher holds water so has an intrinsic beauty to its form, yet with ornate engravings it becomes something to behold. If this thing is a mitzvah that has become beautified it is truly something to love. Each person needs to express themselves with in the mitzvot with the uniqueness of their Nashama, this is to discover ourselves, and GOD’s great source of light within each of us.
It is a time to manifest עזותהקושה (brazenness of Holiness) against the “sitra achra” (other side). By this is the perfection of the mitzvot. It is by this that we become Holy, which means separate. Each of us establishing our own personal relationship with GOD. As it say in Leviticus ”sanctify yourselves and be holy ”. This being sanctification in the permitted or separation. Such as cutting the bread slightly before blessing or doing a ”Tynet debor” (fast of speech). Not speaking is equal to many fasts of food. It is the uniqueness of the individual that makes the ultimate fixing for the creation. It is this individuality that is the complete fixing against the exile of Edom. As they want conformity, a lack of individuality , every one to conform to a certain standardization. As taught by Rabbi Kahana in Pesicta Edom the offspring of Yavan (Greek values) tries to push Yisrael off the Torah path to conform to its values ” be like every one else ”. The perfection of the commandments defeats the darkness of exile. It is this dedication that is required. Now lets look specifically at how the klipa (evil) of Yavan Edom attacks.
The Hellenists wanted to destroy our spiritually, and we commemorate this redemption. Yet, this victory does not guarantee our future. Each generation has to fight its own battles againt the other side,each in its own way.
In the era of Chanukah the Greek kings made the religion of the Jews illegal and took their money and their daughters. In 143 Antiocus אפיפנס went from Egypt to Syria by way of Jerusalem and store the Temple vessels and appointed מנלאוס as Cohen Gadol so to change the religion of Isreal and to build אצטדען (stadium) of Jerusalem. He sent Cohaniam in the middle of their service in the Temple out to meet his friends. So that the service in the Temple would be discontiued. In 139 army messengers of “Antiocus” who made new rulings forbidding observance the Rosh Chodesh (new moon), Shabot ,and circumcision . Chodesh being sanctification in time, Shabot being sanctification in spirituality through action, and circumcision sanctification in the most physical our bodies. It is these institutions that Yavan chose to strike at as they are at the root of our service to GOD. by observance of rosh chodesh we make known our time belongs to GOD. With shabbot we realize the spiritual impact of our actions which we might have thought were in consequential, such as turning on a light. While the circumcision Yavan fought against actually represents the sanctification of GOD with our bodies. That the most physical things we are involved in should be dedicated to divine will.
The Greeks were great astrologers, they worshiped the stars. So they ruled specifically against Shabot , Chodesh and Brit Meilah so that Jupiter would rule through mars and saturn in Kislev. For this reason the occupied the Temple on the 15 of Kislev. And on the 25th of Kislev they put the Idol of Zeus Olympus in the Holy of Holies as he corresponds to Jupiter and they offered up a pig which corresponds to mars, which is the planet of the Greeks. It was by this flow they thought to war against Yisrael. Mars is the planet of Asev, Pig is in the “mazel” of mars. Mars is over wars and spilling of blood by preventing “brit meilah” the Greeks hoped to preventing Yisrael from taking power from Mars. They sought to prevent Rosh Chodesh thereby preventing Yisreal’s connection with the “memunah” over set days which is the Moon. The moon rules over sickness of the body. During the month of Kislev there is a overpowering of Chesed of Hashem by Jupiter whose light shines making these days of Joy.
It’s said by Rashi that Yaakov went back across the river to pick up the small bottles that were filled with oil for Chanukah that he had left there. This oil was oil made from the olives of the olive branch brought back to Noah by the dove after the flood. It was when doing this that Yaakov came across the supernal angel of Edom (the west ), and he wrestled with him and won at Bait Ael which illudes to the place of the Holy temple. This shows us by the power of Chanukah we can concur the exile of Edom. As yaakov did fulfilling the verse “ I will punish the Hosts on high “. The threat of Yaakov getting the Chanukah oil was enough to arouse the angel of Asev, Edom to attack him.
Its also written concerning Yakov and containers of oil that Yakov after his vision of the ladder on Mount Moria built a monument in honor of the event. He sanctified it by anointing it with oil. This oil Yaakov found in a small container he found inside one of the stones he put together as a pillow when he had his ladder dream. This container of oil Yaakov took with him. It has the power of not diminishing in quantity even if it is used it says in the Yalkut Ruvaini. This seems very similar to the oil of the Chanukah miracles. Which also burned for 8 days when there was only enough for one day.
A total of 36 candles are burned on Chanukah. “Yaakov avinu” spent a total of 36 years in exile from the time he left Yitzhak and Rivkah, his father and mothers house. He spent 14 years at the Yishivah (school) of Shem and Ever, before going to the house of Lavan. At Lavan’s house Yaakov work 14 years for Lavan so he could marry Rachel and Leah. He worked a additional 6 years making his fortune and fathering 11 of his children, as Benyamin was born in the land of Israel. It took him 2 years to travel back to Aretz Yisrael.
Chanukah itself first happened 36 centuries ago, in 3622 or 138 bce, the beginning of the 37th century. 36 centuries had all ready passed. Moses was born 36 years after the slavery in Egypt began. 36 seems to have alot to do with Chanukah. לאה is gematria 36. Rachel Yaakov’s wife was 36 when she died.
There are 36 offenses in the Torah for which one incurs “corait” (cut off).
Sni luchot ha brit teaches that on Chanukah if one lights the Manorah outside His door and a spark flies to the street burning hay on a wagon. The owner of the Manorah is not liable to damages. It is the function of the Jewish people to destroy the decendents of Asev. The sparks flying out into the public domain do this. But such is only permitted in its proper time, sparks flying into the street and damaging not on “chanukah” is a crime and one must then pay damages. Hastening the redemption led to the premature death of 20,000 of the tribe of Efriam, when they left Egypt early.
Another matter we need to look at is what it means to us that on Chanukah that Asev can only be defeated when Yosef is with Yehuda. Yehuda alone cannot defeat Asev. This brings us to explain Masiach ben Yosef and David. Yuhudah is the fulfillment of the letter of the law. Yosef is service of a personal nature, above that which is required. The god of the Greeks was a impersonal unreachable god. To them god was the unapproachable authority. By the service of Yosef one fulfills the words of the Torah ”I shall dwell in your midst ” . This is how Yavan the exile of Edom is defeated. One must fulfill the mitzvot regularly this is Yehuda, but not only this but in a beautiful way by this we will overcome the present exile. We see the blending of these two aspects in the mitzvah of the Chanukah manora. As almost every one in Isreal fulfills the letter of the law of this mitzvah, being the aspect of Yehuda, yet in many homes even of those who claim to not be religious we find more than one manora lit this being the ”hadar” above the letter of the law being the aspect of Yosef.
In the Chanukah story the enemy of the Jews were not only the Greeks – but the ”reform” Jews who betrayed the Torah, abandoned the Commandments and accepted Greek ways. This was an internal national struggle for the soul of the Jew – the two sides were the ”Sages” and “Hellenists.”. The true story of the Festival of Light is one of a particularly bloody Jewish civil war.As a matter of fact, civil war continued in Judea for twenty years after the first Chanukah. Hanukkah is a festival built upon a mound of suppressed memories and censored texts, a putative celebration of light that in fact commemorates a Jewish civil war.
The true fight on Chanukah is about. Between Jews and Greeks? No, it was a civil war between Jews and Jews! So that’s the primary thing. Mattatiyahu Maccabe started the war by killing a Jewish traitor and a Greek official present. What was his sin? He made a sacrifice according to Greek customs. Then Mattatyahu turned to the crowd and announces: “Follow me, all of you who are for God’s law and stand by the covenant.” (1 Maccabees 2:27)
The Hanukkah story is really about a revolt against the Hellenized Jews who had fallen madly in love with the sophisticated, globalizing superculture of their day. The Apocrypha’s texts make it clear that the battle against Hellenization was in fact a civil war among the Jews themselves. Here is how the first Book of the Maccabees describes Jerusalem on the eve of civil war and revolt in the time of Antiochus :
At that time there were some evil-doers in Israel who tried to win popularity for a policy of integration with the surrounding nations. It was because the Jews had kept themselves aloof for so long, they claimed, that so many hardships had befallen them. They acquired a following and applied to Antiochus, who authorized them to introduce the Greek way of life. They built a Greek gymnasium in Jerusalem and even had themselves uncircumcised.
Uncircumcision was the price of admission to the Jerusalem gym ! Josephus, tells us, in “History of the Jews”, that one of the most popular plastic surgery operations, in Jerusalem, at that time was replacing the foreskin because Jewish men were embarrassed not to have a foreskin for the race. So, Josephus says that a lot of doctors got rich putting back the foreskins. It was a Jewish problem at Chanukah. Not Jews and non-Jews. The problem was Jews who wanted to adopt a Greek way of life. We don’t have a problem with Greeks adopting a Greek way of life.
Only when the Greeks saw that many Jews were prepared to betray their way of life, did Antiochus find the courage to prohibit ”on pain of death,” the study of Torah, the practice of Circumcision, the observance of Shabbat and Divine worship,and the rest of his injunctions against Torah observance. On the 15th of Kislev he defiled the Temple and on the 25 of Kislev he put a statue of Zeus in the Temple and מנלאוס the High priest offered a pig on the alter to Zeus Olympus and at that point was ended the Holy service of the Temple. The Greeks wanted a pig offered on the alter to Zeus Olympus so to effect the “gilgul Makiff” which causes the whole of the “seder” of the cosmos to its conclusion. As pigs receive their flow from the first face of mars close to Jupiter. They are Tami and send flow of Lilly upon Jews who eat them. The flow of the sefirot is above the planets. The planets receive flow from the sefirot through the Torah’s commandments. The sefirot adjust the flow of “din” and “Givurah” coming to a man from the stars, this is why Yisrael is called “Am Segulah”. The Miracles of Chanukah was made through the sefirot of the “Gilgul Makiff” that made flow of Saturn and mars on Jupiter becouse of “misrat Nefesh” of the Hasmoneans for Torah and Mitzvot. 8 days of Chanukah alludes to its source which is above nature, the stars but from Bina.
The Greeks ruled against family purity laws. The violation of Needah brings rulings of Mars and sefirot of “din”. By טהרה is rule of Jupiter with midot of chesed and Rachamim on one. The purity of women from blood niddah is only after 7 days. The water She immerses in purifies by sefirot of Bina. Yisrael is separated from the nations by “milah” of the 8th day. The return of the rulership of Malchut is by Bina.
Jason’s time as High Priest was brought to an abrupt end in 172 BCE when he sent Menelaus, the brother of Simon the Benjaminite, to deliver money to Antiochus. Menelaus took this opportunity to ”outbid” Jason for the priesthood, resulting in Antiochus confirming Menelaus as the High Priest. Although during the three years As High Priest Jason had given many proofs of his attachment to the Hellenistic party (by building a gymnasium in Jerusalem and by introducing many Greek customs) the zealous Hellenists of the stamp of the Tobiads plotted his overthrow, suspecting him of partiality to traditional Judaism. At their head stood Menelaus.
Hasmonean Dynasty ruled from 142-63 BCE During that time, there was a great deal of tension between the Hasmoneans and the sages. As a result, the sages were not particularly interested in maintaining a holiday that commemorated the dedication declared by the Hasmonean family. There is not 1 Mishna on Chanukah.
The Maccabees became the Hasmoneans; the Hasmoneans, who were Cohanim, became kings of Israel. But according to Torah Law the King of Yisrael must be only from the House of David. This set them in conflict with the Rabbis, and led to the deep split between the Sadducees (the priestly faction) and the Pharisees (the Rabbinic faction), leading ultimately to much strife and sorrow. It is small wonder then that There is not 1 Mishna on Chanukah.
Sadducees represented the aristocratic group of the Hasmonean High Priests, who replaced the previous High Priestly lineage. The earlier Priestly lineage had been blamed for allowing the Syrian Emperor Antiochus IV Epiphanes to desecrate the Temple of Jerusalem with idolatrous sacrifices and to martyr monotheistic Jews.
Jose ben Joezer was a rabbi of the early Maccabean period 191 BCE, a disciple of Antigonus of Soko and member of the ascetic group known as the Chasidim. Yose belonged to the party of the Ḥasidim, and was a decided adversary of Hellenism. One of Yosi’s ideas was: Let your house be a meeting place for the wise; sit in the dust of their feet; and drink in their words with thirst (Avot 1:4). He belonged to a priestly family. Jose ben Johanan of Jerusalem was his colleague. ) was Nasi (president) of the Sanhedrin in the second century BCE. He was a native of Jerusalem. He and Jose ben Joezer were the successors and, it is said, the disciples of Antigonus of Sokho and the two together formed the first of a series of pairs that transmitted the traditional law; in each pair one, according to tradition, was a prince and a president (“nasi”), and the other vice-president, of the Sanhedrin (Av Beth Din)begins the period known in Jewish history as that of the zugot (pairs), which ended with Hillel and Shammai. According to an old tradition, the member of the “zugot” mentioned first occupied the office of Nasi (president) of the Sanhedrin, while the one mentioned second served in the capacity of vice-president.
The Syrian general Bacchides had Yosi ben Joezer placed on a horse to be hanged. His nephew, an important Hellenist, came to taunt his uncle.
The first pair consisted of Yose ben Yo’ezer as Nasi, and Yose ben Yochanan as the Av Beis Din. They received the Oral Law from Antigonos, as did their contemporary Yochanan, whose son Mattisyahu started the Hasmonean revolt. Yochanon The Kohen Gadol father of Mattisyahu was a great “sadeek”. In his days not a hammer was heard in Yerushalyn during the intermediate days of the festivals. The people were sanctified in theirr Nefesh Ruach and Nashama so they had the power to stand up against the evil decrees of their enemies. Their Nashamot were from the aspect of Bina. As their fathers drew down Nashamot from there. Bina is the 8th sefira from below to above. The famous “Yehudah HaMaccabee” (Judah the Maccabee) from the story of Chanukah was Mattisyahu’s son.
Jonathan Apphus, High priest 153-143 BCE. Yonathan Maccabee was leader of the Hasmonean Dynasty of Judea from 161 to 143 BCE. He is called also Apphus.
Mattisyahu called for a revolt against the Greeks and Jews who had placed idols in the Temple.
Jewish priest Mattatiyahu ben Yochanon led the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire (167 BC-160 BC) with his sons Yuhudah, Yochanon, Eleazer, Yonaton and Shimon. He is acclaimed as one of the greatest warriors in Jewish history alongside Joshua, Gideon and David. Led by Mattatiyahu Jews entered Jerusalem and purified the Temple (164 BCE), these events are commemorated each year by the festival of Hannuka. They were called the Hasmoneans as they lived in חשמון in Yuhudah. Later they moved to “Modian” which is near ben Shemon where they killed the greek kings messenger who commanded them to worship idols.
In the year 138 the Makabees killed אפולציוס and the people with him. In 137 Antiocus sent 48,000 men and 7000 פרשים (men on horses) to fight against the Makabbees who had only3800 men and not enough weapons. With these he killed 30,000 greek soldiers. In 136 לוסיאס sent 60,000 men and 5000 horse men to fight the Makabees who had 18,000 men at בית צור which is 1 km. From חלחול on the way to Chevron. Here in the beginning of Kislev Yehuda destroyed the Syrian Greek army. Then Yuhudah returned to Yerushayim and purified the Holy Temple and made the miracle with the oil.
In 135 died Antiocus the 4th called אפיפנס and there ruled after him Antiocus אפבטור he warred with Yuhudah with 100,000 foot soldiers, 28,000 horseman and 32 elephants. The battle went to the small town of “gufna” which is between Ramallah an Shechem. It was a “shittah” Year and not enough food could be found to feed his army so Antiocus became afraid and there army returned to אנטוכיה.
In 133 Demetrious son of Doro killed אפבטור and took over. He sent נקנור to fight Yuhudah in “Kafar Slomo”, which is near “kafar Saba”. Here the Makabees killed 500 men. The Battle continued in “Bait Chorin” on the 13th of Adar they killed נקנור.
In 132 Demetrious sent his army to “Arbel” near “Tevariyah” and they killed many people. They came to Yerushalym with 20,000 men, 2000 horseman Yuhudah had only 800 men they fought near Ramallah. Many died in this battle including Yuhudah Makabbee in this year they destroyed the Temple walls. Then Yonaton and Shimon Makabbee fought them by the Jordan River killing 1000 men on the other side of the jordan.
In 129 Demetrious’ army fought Shimon and Yonaton in ביצי which is east of “Tekoa” close to “Bait Lechem”. Yonaton finnished them off and took Booty.
In 125 Alexander fought for the thrown against Demetrious. Yonaton fought for Alexander in Yuhudah and Shamron against Demetrious. He was killed sitting on his throne. After this Alexander married Cleopatra the daughter of the king of Egypt. Alexander trusted Yonaton.
In 120 rose Demetrious son of Demetrious with a huge army to fight Yonaton because of his Allegiance with Alexander. He fell and did not even get close to Yonaton. They fought in “Ashdod”. Not one man from Yisrael was killed. Demetrious lost 8000 men.
In 118 Antiocus the young son of Alexander conquered Syria from Demetrious. He gave Yonaton the eastern “Galil” till “Sulam Sor” which is “ Rosh HaNikra” and the south till the river of Egypt at “Al Harish”. Yonaton went to “Acco” to meet טריפון the general of Antiocus to rebell against him so to take control for himself of all of Aretz Yisrael. טריפון killed all of them except Yonaton. Shimon went out against טריפון. טריפון fled to the “Galil” perplexed but not before he killed Yonaton near Chevron.
In 117 Shimon Makabbee was Ruler of all Yuhuda, He occupied it and ruled. There was quiet for 7 years. In 110 Shimon was killed by Talmi ben Chavuvo near Jericho who wanted to rule but Yonaton ben Shimon took the throne.
In 106 the Syrians warred against Yonaton ben Shimon of the Hashmoniam they wanted to take all of Aretz Yisrael Specifically Yerushalyim and its suburbs. Yonaton won and strengthened his hold on the land. He went to “Shechem” and destroyed the temple of the “Shamroni” on Mount Garazim and he conquered Edom and forced them to convert. It was in his day that the Jews divided to 3 groups Pharisees they followed the tradition of the sages, Saduccem a small group who did not and a very small group called Essene who lived in the desert and were very exacting holding by the most severe ways of Torah law.
In 92 Yonaton died, his son Yuhudah Astrobulus became ruler the “Sultan”. Shalomzion was his wife and Queen. Yuhudah died within a year his wife did “Yovum” and married his younger brother Yonaton, who is called Alexander Yannia.
From 91 to 64 Alexander Yannia was king and Kohen Gadol the Talmud calls him Yonaton the the Kohen Gadol who became a Sadukee at the end of his days. He was strong and captured all of Aretz Yisrael
In 54 ShalomZion died and 2 of her sons had contempt for one another as each wanted to rule. The firstborn was Horkinas, the younger brothers name was Astrobulus. Astrobulus called Pompus of Rome who was in Syria to choose between them. He Choose Horkinus to rule over Yuhudah and Yerushalym. He was advised by the Edomite אנטפיטר until the “פרתים” captured Syria and Aretz Yisrael and gave them to Antigonus son of Astrobulus. At the end of this (period) there came Herod son of אנטפיטר who went to Rome and the Romans made him king of Yuhudah under אפוטרופוסותם Harod returned to Yuhudah and in 36 killed all the house of the Hasmoneans even his wife Myriam and all his children. So there were left no Hasmoneans. (from Sharey Yosef of R. Shabato)
Yuhudah Maccabee removed the idols from the Temple. In 140 B.C. The Hasmonean Dynasty began under the leadership of Simon Maccabee, who served as ruler, high priest, and commander in chief. Simon, who was assassinated a few years later, formalized what Yudah had begun, the establishment of a theocracy ruled by a Kohen Gadol, something not found in the Torah
After the Hellenists killed Yosi ben Joezer the new Nasi became Yehoshua ben Perachyah and the Av Beis Din Nittai haArbeli they were the next of the pairs. According to Rambam, one of the other great Sages who transmitted the Oral Law during this generation was Yochanan, son of Shimon—who was one of the four brothers of Yehudah , known as the Maccabee. Judah and his brothers led the military revolt against the Greeks and Hellenized Jews that led to the miracles of Chanukah.
The third generation of “pairs” consisted of the Nasi Yehudah ben Tabbai and the Av Beis Din Shimon ben Shetach. Shimon ben Shetach defied the evil King Alexander Yannai, ensuring the survival of Torah.
Alexander Yannai was a King from the Hasmonean line. One of the sad postscripts of the Chanukah story is that although the sons of Mattisyahu were Kohanim (Priests, from the tribe of Levi), they took it upon themselves to rule over Israel following their successful revolt. This was a tragic error, because the right to be King of Israel was granted by God to the descendants of King David, who is from the tribe of Yehudah, for eternity.
During the following generations, the Hasmonean leaders were corrupted by their power, both taking upon themselves the title of “King” and also acting with increasing hostility toward the Torah Sages. Alexander Yannai was influenced by an evil advisor to have the Sages killed—but his wife, Shlomis Alexandra, ensured that her brother Shimon ben Shetach was spared.
Hasmonean dynasty ruled Between c. 140 and c. 116 BCE,
Yehoshua ben Perachyah and his colleague Nittai of Arbela were the second of the five pairs (Zugot) of scholars who received and transmitted Jewish tradition (Avot i.6; Haggigah 16a).
After the Hellenists killed Yosi ben Yoeser, Yehoshua b. Perachya became the Nasi in the year 140 At the time of the persecution of the Pharisees by John Hyrcanus (c. 134-104 BC), Joshua was deposed — a disgrace to which his words in Men. 109b apparently allude. However in Sanhedrin 107b and Sotah 47a it was during the persecutions of Pharisees 88-76 BCE by Alexander Jannaeus, not John Hyrcanus whose persecution he fled. He fled to Alexandria, Egypt, but was recalled to Jerusalem when the persecutions ceased and the Pharisees again triumphed over the Sadducees (Sotah 47a).
The Pharisees opposed the wars of expansion of the Hasmoneans and the forced conversions of the Idumeans. The political rift between them became wider when Pharisees demanded that the Hasmonean king Alexander Jannaeus choose between being king and being High Priest. In response, the king openly sided with the Sadducees by adopting their rites in the Temple. His actions caused a riot in the Temple and led to a brief civil war that ended with a bloody repression of the Pharisees. The split came through a tragic event in the Beth Hamikdosh during Succoth.
Yannai, as Kohen Gadol (High Priest), conducted the Service in the Beth Hamikdosh. One of the special services on Succoth was the “Nisuch Hamayim” (Pouring of the Water) on the Altar. According to tradition, together with the pouring of wine which took place during the whole year, a pitcher of water, which had been joyfully drawn from the Spring of Shiloah, was additionally poured over the Altar on each day of Succoth.
This service was, connected with the ceremony of the Drawing of the Water, known as ”Simchath Beth Hashoevah,” and was an annual event during Succoth, which was carried out with great celebration.
When the High Priest was handed the pitcher of water to pour over the Altar, he poured it out on the ground instead, as the Sadducees bad refused to accept this tradition.
Seeing what he had done, the assembled worshippers in the Beth Hamikdosh were infuriated, and began showering him with their Ethrogim.
King Yannai became so frightened at such open rebellion, that he ordered his non-Jewish soldiers to attack the people. This they did, killing six thousand Jews in the court of the Beth Hamikdosh.
After this happening, the people began to hate King Yannai more than ever. There were many uprisings against the King, and he mercilessly crushed the rebels with the help of his paid army. This, in turn, led to further rebellion and bitterness among the people, resulting in six years of bloody civil warfare.
At his deathbed, King Yannai called for a reconciliation between the two parties. Alexander was succeeded by his widow, Salome Alexandra, whose brother was Shimon ben Shetach, a leading Pharisee. Upon her death her elder son, Hyrcanus, sought Pharisee support, and her younger son, Aristobulus, sought the support of the Sadducees. The conflict between Hyrcanus and Aristobulus culminated in a civil war that ended when the Roman general Pompey captured Jerusalem in 63 BCE and inaugurated the Roman period of Jewish history.
Its ironic the the Makabees fought to keep the Jews into the Torah and keep out Greek thought and now under the structure of the Olympic games Israel has the Makabees games.
The Tabernacle’s construction was finished during the month of Kislev, but being its dedication did not take place till Nissan. Hashem made it up for this with the future holiday of Chanuka in Kislev. The Bnei Yissaschar explains that the future dedication of the third Temple will take place during Cheshvan.
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