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November 29, 2015 / 17 Kislev, 5776
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‘In Every Generation They Try To Destroy Us…’


A most incredible yeshuah occurred centuries ago to the Jews of Rome and has been duly recorded in the Sefer Rinah VeYishuah.  The Ben Ish Chai relates this story on pages 118-120 in his sefer Orach Chaim to demonstrate that in every generation the nations rise up against us.

Many centuries ago in Rome there was an ancient tower that was heavily fortified and never opened.   It was the custom of every king of Rome upon his coronation to arrange that extra gates and iron locks be added to it.  With the advent of time, no one seemed to know what was inside the tower or the reason for this unusual custom.   Nonetheless this practice was stringently kept for centuries.

It once happened that a Roman king died without a successor. His advisers decided that one gifted wise man would rule.  The candidate agreed with one caveat: all the noblemen and elders of Rome would have to sign a legal document declaring their obedience to any decree the new king would dictate.  Everyone agreed to this proposition.

On the day of his coronation, the new king called all the noble and wise men of Rome to his palace.  He announced, “I order you to open the ancient tower!”   Everyone was shocked.  “Our Master and King,” they declared, “this tower has been closed since ancient times and never in our history has any king dared to open it.  Please, mighty King, do not ask us to do so.”  The King became angry and exclaimed, “I want this tower opened today! If you do not obey my wishes you are all guilty of treason!”  All those assembled were afraid; with no way out, ironsmiths broke the locks and gates of the ancient tower.

The king entered first, followed by all the noblemen and elders.  The tower was filled with treasure chests.   All eyes were dazzled by the splendor and wealth inside.  In the innermost chamber there was a chest made of pure gold.   When the king opened it he was stunned to see that it contained an incredible amount of cut grass!   Amazingly, each and every blade was green and moist as if it was just freshly cut.   Since no one had access to the tower for centuries, it made no sense!  The king ordered that the golden treasure chest be taken to his palace immediately.  Once back on his throne, he called all for all the priests of the kingdom and asked if any of them could explain how the grass stayed moist. No one had an explanation. The disappointed ruler declared, “In the name of the King, and upon the pain of death, you must give me a proper explanation!”  The priests begged: “Our Master, our King, give us enough time to investigate the matter.  Let us search our libraries for an answer to this mystery.”  The king was appeased and gave them exactly thirty days’ time.   He was very clear that if they could not produce a credible answer, each and every priest would be executed!

The priests hurried from the palace and began searching their ancient books and manuscripts.   They interviewed many scribes and old wise men, but found no answer. Finally, in anticipation of the “thirtieth day,” they declared a day of fasting and prayer.   All citizens were to come to their houses of worship to pray for the welfare of the priests.

There lived in Rome a very old man who had seven sons, each of whom was a priest.   It was the custom of these priests to greet their father each morning and do any tasks that he might ask of them.  But on this day, all seven sons hurried to join in the fasting and prayer.   This was the first time they ever neglected their father, and the old man could not understand why none of them had come to check on him.   The minutes ticked away, becoming worrisome and lonely hours.  The anxious father became apprehensive.

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One Response to “‘In Every Generation They Try To Destroy Us…’”

  1. Why would anyone need to invent such stuff that no one of the Jews who have lived in Rome for the last 2266 years has ever heard of? Isn’t the Torah enough? Isn’t EMETH enough? Do we need ridiculous legends filled with invented creatures for gullible simpletons like the Greeks and the Romans invented?

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