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In the song Maoz Tzur that we traditionally sing after the Chanukah candles are lit, we find the following stanza: "Greeks gathered against me then in the days of the Hashmoneans, they breached the walls of my towers and defiled all the oils." Where do we find a breaching of a wall that is of significance?
Rav Gedalia Schorr explains that we see in a Mishna (Midos 2:3) that in the Temple, there was a wall in the courtyard called the Soreg. The Mishna writes that the Greek kings breached the Soreg in 13 places, and when the Jews rebuilt it, the Sages decreed that the nation should bow across from these 13 locations. Rav YomTov Heller, in his explanation of the Mishna, explains the function of the Soreg and why this was a specific target of
Understanding the cultural clash between the Greeks and the Jews
During the holiday of Chanukah, Jews relive their military and ideological victory over their Hellenistic adversaries. We still hear the echoes of this cultural clash today, as Winston Churchill wrote in his History of the Second World War, "No other two races [but the Jews and Greeks] have set such a mark upon the world. Each of them from angles so different have left us with the inheritance of its genius and wisdom...the main
Rabbi Asher Anshel Halevi Jungreis זצוק"ל—The Menuchas Asher of Czenger—Yahrtzeit on Sunday, ה' כסלו
This Sunday, December 4th, marks the 142nd Yahrtzeit of the saintly miracle worker, the Menuchas Asher of Czenger. Known in his time throughout Hungary and even across Europe as a tzadik who was imbued with Divine powers, his memory continues to warm hearts in the service of Hashem today. He was particularly known for his segulos and blessings that healed the sick and aided the needy with a touch
Shattered and made whole. Learning to trust God with everything.
A decade ago, I began a journey toward Jewish observance together with my husband. I embraced performing mitzvahs and keeping Shabbat. I loved the holidays, and began to see through what I previously thought were random events, God’s loving hand in my life.
But all that changed when my husband became ill. Suddenly, God’s management skills came into question. How could this random, awful thing happen to my husband? I much
The Rabbis teach us that Abraham, Avraham Avinu, was tested ten times and he passed each one. There is disagreement among the Rishonim (ten generations of Rabbis who lived between the 11th and 15th centuries of the common era), as to what exactly those ten tests were. If we combine the various lists, we see in reality whether we deem them one of the ten tests or not, Abraham faced many more than ten tests which seemed to continue even after they were supposedly completed (as we will see next week