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Once Upon a Time

Rabbi Nachman Zakon

The first light of Chanukah is lit on the 25th of Kislev, the day we mark our victory over the Greeks and, more importantly, the liberation of the Beis HaMikdash from their defiling hands. Throughout history, on this date, amazing, unbelievable, interesting, special, and horrific events happened.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

historyInteresting …

Murder! Two brothers brought gifts to the King, each one hoping his gift would be accepted. As things turned out, only one of the brother’s gifts was accepted. The other brother — yes, you guessed it, we’re talking about Kayin — was rejected by the King of kings, Hashem. Burning with jealousy at Hashem’s acceptance of his brother Hevel’s offering, Kayin killed Hevel. The first murder in history took place on the 25th day of the month of Kislev, in the very first year of Creation.

Jealousy destroys friendships and even gets in the way of love between siblings. Beware!



Chillul Hashem: On Antiochus’s orders, pigs were offered as sacrifices on our Mizbeiyach in the Beis HaMikdash — sacrifices not made to Hashem, but to a Greek idol that had been placed in Hashem’s Temple! Imagine the feelings of the Jewish People when they heard about this great tragedy that happened on … the 25th of Kislev — 3,594 years after creation. How many tears were shed; how many tefillos they must have said.

Hashem answered them. On the same date exactly three years after the tragedy, the Chashmonaim, in a miraculous battle, recaptured the Beis HaMikdash and lit the Menorah. An amazing instance of Hashgachah pratis!

The Mizbeiyach had to be taken apart and replaced with a new one. Once used for idols, it could never again be used for sacrifices to Hashem. The holy stones of the defiled Mizbeiyach were not thrown away. They were kept in a room in the Templeand remained in genizah there for hundreds of years, until the Churban.

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