web analytics
December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Kidz
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



The Great Civil War


Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

After the Chasmonaim defeated the Greeks their descendants assumed the throne of Eretz Yisrael and ruled over Bnei Yisrael. In the first years of their reign, they followed the path of Hashem and He was good to them.

The country was prosperous and the wheat grew tall in the fields and the grapes hung heavily on the vines. The rains came as the Almighty had promised, in their proper time, on the eve of the fourth day of the week and the eve of Shabbos. The people were happy and Hashem was happy with them.

In the days of Yannai, however, all this changed. There arose amongst Bnei Yisrael a group known as the Tzeddukim, who rejected the divinity of Torah Sh’Baal Peh and this led to a great split in Klal Yisrael. The story of the beginning of this civil war is told below.

A Great Victory

When King Yannai saw that the land was blessed by Hashem, he said to himself:

“All that I do is blessed with success. I shall now go to war and gain for myself great glory.”

So speaking, he gathered a mighty army and went to war. He succeeded beyond his wildest imaginations and 60 fortified cities with great wealth fell to his soldiers. Returning home in triumph he decided to celebrate with a great feast. Calling the Chachamim to the palace he said to them:

“When our fathers returned from the exile in Bavel they built the Bais Hamikdash again but were so poor that they could eat only humble bitter greens. Now, however, we have been blessed and we are wealthy. No longer must we eat humble foods but we can load our tables with the most delicious of foods and the most expensive of wares.

“I propose, however, that we also eat some of the bitter greens in remembrance of the days of our poverty.”

When the Chachamim heard this they nodded in agreement.

“What you say is good, King Yannai. It is wise that we should remember the days of our poverty now in order that our hearts not become haughty and that we both remember our poor brethren still among us and the fact that all our wealth is dependent upon the bounty of the Almighty, not the strength of our hands.”

The Feast

And so it was agreed to do as the king proposed. On the golden dishes of the royal house there were placed also bitter greens and the people partook of them.

As the celebration moved forward, however, an evil man, one of the Tzeddukim who was jealous of the fact that the Chachamim were held in such high esteem by the king, decided that he would do something to poison the atmosphere.

The man, whose name was Elazar ben Poirah, approached the king and said to him:

“How long will you persist in believing that those Chachamim, the Perushim, are truly your friends and advocates?”

The king looked at him in amazement:

What do you mean? Are you saying that they are secretly my enemies?”

“That is precisely what I am saying,” replied the evil man. “I say that in their mouths they speak peace but in their hearts they secretly despise the king.”

The King Is Fooled

The king was taken in by the scheme of the evil Elazar and he asked him,

“Can you prove the serious charge that you allege?”

“Indeed, I can. Let the king put on his forehead the golden tzitz with the Immutable Name of Hashem on it, the one that can be worn only by the Kohen Gadol. Why cannot you also assume the mantle of the Kohen Gadol? Are you not from the Chashmonaim?

“Do this, and then see if the Chachamim are truly your friends or your secret enemies.”

The king agreed to do as the cunning plotter suggested and when the people saw that he wore the gold tzitz they rose in awe.

Remove It

When the Chachamim saw that Yannai had placed on himself the golden tzitz and that he meant to assume the role of the Kohen Gadol in addition to that of the king, one of them, Yehuda Ben Gedida called out:

“Yannai, the king! It is enough that you wear the crown of the king, remove the crown of the Kohen Gadol.”

The people were shaken and the king was furious.

“What are you saying? Am I not of the seed of the Chasmonaim and were they not descendants of Aharon, the Kohen Gadol?”

“It is true that you are a Kohen,” replied Yehuda Ben Gedida, “but your mother was captured in the wars and she was defiled. You are therefore forbidden to be the Kohen Gadol.

Yannai Kills

Yannai was livid with anger at these words. The evil Elazar, seeing this, approached the king again and said:

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Great Civil War”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Haredi men cast their votes for the 19th Knesset in Bnei Brak, January 22 2013.
New Poll: Shows Netanyahu Will Lead Next Gov’t with Haredim
Latest Kidz Stories
Gross-121914

It’s a special one. Some sort of family heirloom.

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

The man was overjoyed to see his benefactor and gave them food and water besides shelter and safety.

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

Because of this I wandered about and found friends in similar situations who were also unhappy and I began to hang out with them.

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

Time passed and Zemira gave birth to a son but not even this could awaken Avinadav from his melancholy.

Yonadav was greatly impressed at the vast sums of money the young man had in his possessions.

“I do nothing worthwhile,” he modestly replied and refused to discuss any of his deeds. For the man was a very modest and humble person.

While he slept, he dreamed of Eliyahu HaNavi, who was trying to awaken him from his sleep.

“I’ll pay you whether you cure her or kill her,” shouted the loyal husband.

He lacked for nothing materialistic and could have lived the rest of his life, had he chosen to, in the luxury and laziness that dominated the Roman upper class life.

When the soldiers heard this they exclaimed happily: “You mean this is the sacred Jewish fruit? Hurry, get on the horse. You are coming with us to the palace.”

Now let me ask you, what would happen to an infantryman if he deserted his regiment and went to serve in the cavalry? He would be court-martialed, wouldn’t he?”

Dug out beneath his bunk was a little chest which he guarded with his very life. It contained a small Sefer Torah, miniature size, but kosher, and a shofar.

So began a marvelous period of good fortune. He invested the twenty-four gold pieces in many types of businesses and everything his hand touched turned to gold.

Pressing close to the cage, the Ibn Ezra shouted the words, “Shema Yisrael…”

“You can have your choice,” said the wise king. “You can choose to take this gold, 100 pieces each, or I can give you each three pieces of advice.”

“It isn’t the work,” said Eliezer. “I want to learn our holy Torah.”

More Articles from Rabbi Sholom Klass
Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

The man was overjoyed to see his benefactor and gave them food and water besides shelter and safety.

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

Because of this I wandered about and found friends in similar situations who were also unhappy and I began to hang out with them.

Time passed and Zemira gave birth to a son but not even this could awaken Avinadav from his melancholy.

Yonadav was greatly impressed at the vast sums of money the young man had in his possessions.

“I do nothing worthwhile,” he modestly replied and refused to discuss any of his deeds. For the man was a very modest and humble person.

While he slept, he dreamed of Eliyahu HaNavi, who was trying to awaken him from his sleep.

“I’ll pay you whether you cure her or kill her,” shouted the loyal husband.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/kidz/midrash-stories/the-great-civil-war/2012/01/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: