Michael Laitman
Founder and president of Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute

Alexander the Great’s Meeting with Shimon HaTzadik That Saved Jerusalem

It is written in the Talmud about a significant historical encounter between Alexander the Great and the high priest Shimon HaTzadik. Alexander, having conquered half the world, marched on Jerusalem. The Talmud recounts the moment when, under torchlight, Shimon HaTzadik, accompanied by elders, confronted Alexander, and the formidable conqueror knelt before the high priest and abandoned his planned assault on Jerusalem. From that moment on, the name “Alexander” was included in the list of Jewish names.
Alexander the Great felt the higher power. After his many conquests, he never became blind to it and when he felt that power in this elder, he thus climbed off his chariot and bowed before the great wisdom that he felt in this man.
Alexander the Great was a noble and smart man who did not just seek to conquer the world. Rather, he wished to fill the world with science and enlightenment, and to do so first and foremost in those cities through which his troops passed. He did have a wish to make the world Hellenic, but as a means of raising the pagan world to a level of enlightenment.
The high priest had an obligation to remain in Jerusalem. He had nowhere else to go as his mission was completely different: to fill the earth with spirit. The meeting of the high priest and Alexander the Great was a meeting of strength and intelligence, where with mutual understanding and respect of one another, they decided to save Jerusalem.
What is the spirit that Shimon HaTzadik had the mission to fill the world with, and which Alexander the Great recognized? It is the higher force of love, bestowal and connection, the source force that dwells in nature above and behind our inborn egoistic forces. It is a force that any person can access depending on how much we wish to elevate such a lofty spirit above our innate self-serving one. For instance, we could say that Hitler was incapable of doing so, but Alexander the Great could. Therefore, to this day, Jews often call their children “Alexander” in honor of Alexander the Great. It is indeed a unique case like no other in history.
About the Author
Michael Laitman is a PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah. MSc in Medical Bio-Cybernetics. Founder and president of Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute. Author of over 40 books on spiritual, social and global transformation. His new book, The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, is available on Amazon: