My Chanukah (part 7 of 8)

Day 7 The Hallel of this day parallels the Holiday of Rosh Hashanah.

Daily Torah Reading

Day #7 – Elishama son of Ammihud, tribe of Ephraim. 

Sefirah – נצח שבהוד

Netzach represents the vision and the dream. This includes eternity and perpetuity. It’s is the transition from the spiritual to the material; as was present in The Beis Hamikdash where Heaven Touched earth. Netzach brings concept to reality, this is victory.

Spirit Sustenance and Struggle

Following Yehuda’s death, the Reform assimilated Hellenist Jews persecuted the Torah observant Jews and even executed many of them. The Orthodox Jews were forced to flee to the desert to escape Bacchides. Those who remained from the family and friends of Matisyahu gathered in the wilderness of Tekoa. They planned their war agains the Greeks and their Jewish Helenist partners. Yonatan, Yehudas brother was chosen to lead the war to libereate the Beis Hamikdash and Yerushalyim again.

Bacchides heard about Yonatan and his followers and set off with his soldiers to suppresss the new rebellion. Yonatan and his men were forced to flee from place to place hiding in caves. Yonatan sent his brother Yochanan with their supplies to the Nabatean tribes in edom for storage.

The Nabateans did not uphold their treaty with Yehuda and killed Yochanan and his men, killing all of them and took their supplies. Yochanan planned to avenge his brother’s death.

They set off for the city of Meidva on the east of the Jordan river. The Nabateans were celebrating the wedding of the daughter of one of the tribal leaders. Yonatan and his men killed many of them.   Bacchides could not catch Yonatan. Yonatan would ambush and kill Bacchides men when the opportunity arose. Bacchides decided to return home after making a peace treaty with Yonatan. He returned all of the captives to the land of Judea and revoked all the privileges he gave to the Jewish Hellenists.

Yonatan returned from the desert and settled in Michmas North of Yerushalayim. Again Jews were free to keep the Torah and fulfill the mitzvos without fear. The Jews who collaborated with the Greeks ran away to the fortress in Yerushalayim.

In the Seleucid kingdom many people vied for the throne following the death of Antiochus. They all sought Yonatan’s support. Yonatan gave his support to Alexander Balas, who in turn appointed him Cohen Gadol.

On Sukkos, Greek year 160, Yonatan entered the Beis Hamikdash to perform the avodah, wearing the clothing of the the Cohen Gadol. He restored Yerushalyim to its glory, rebuilt its walls and Torah learning was once again rampant.

Demetrius, Alexanders adversary, sent a large army to engage in war against Yonathan. Not scared, Yonatan met him in battle in the Ashdod plain. Yonatan defeated Demetrius. Demetrius’s soldiers fled to Ashdod. Yonatan burned the city to the ground.

Alexander eventually died, and Yonatan joined Tryphon, who was a friend of Alexander. Tryphon appointed Shimon and Yonatan’s brothers as heads of the army of the land of Israel. Shimon set out to fight the supporters of Demetrius in the Gaza plain. He eventually conquered Ashkelon and Gaza. Yonatan and Shimon ruled the entire Eretz Yisrael.

They fortified Yerushalayim. Tryphon saw Yonatan getting stronger and felt threatened. Tryphon sent out his army against Yonatan. Yonatan met him with his army of 40,000 soldiers. Tryphon sent deceptive emissaries to Yonatan promising him friendship and no harm; he was invited to join him in a party in Acre. Tryphon took Yonatan captive and killed him with his two sons. Yonatan was mourned by all of Israel. He was buried in Modiin near his father and brothers. Shimon erected great monuments atop their graves, so that the nation should remember their deeds and continue their ways and wars on behalf of G-d’s Torah and Beis Hamikdash.

About the Author
Arie E. Pelta, M.D., a Board Certified General and Colorectal Surgeon from the USA , made aliyah with his wife and 7 children in 2013. He is also a active Medical Corps Officer holding the rank of Captain in the IDF Reserves. Currently practicing in Laniado Hospital in Netanya and at Assuta Medical Center in Tel Aviv, part of the Assia Medical group; speciaizing in the surgical care of all problems of the colon, rectum and anus.
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