Saturday, December 23, 2006


End of the footnote-introduction to "Haftaras Shabbas Chanukah II" (the haftara reading from the Prophets for the Second Shabbos of Hhanuka, when such exists) in Artscroll's Stone Chumash:
...Israel was charged with the task of being a magnet to the nations, drawing them toward a recognition of God's majesty and service. Hiram and Cyrus saw and responded. Antiochus did not. When Israel is worthy, it is instrumental in leading society toward this state. Indeed, in the aftermath of Chanukah, when the family of Hasmoneans inspired the Jewish people to risk their lives to renew the glory and purity of the Temple, the result was that the Jewish Commonwealth expanded, in size, wealth, and spiritual influence.

I wouldn't quite describe Yohhanan Hyrkanos's forced conversion of Edom to Judaism an expansion of "spiritual influence". Nor the adoption of Greek names by him and his descendents who ruled Judea only a generation after their ancestors, the Makabim, fought so hard to get rid of foreign Hellenistic influence.


Blogger micha said...

'Cept that Alexander Yannai didn't convert them to Judaism, he converted 'em to Sadducism. I don't even know what a Sadducee conversion entails for women, since only milah is mentioned. (En passant, as a rule for qorban Pessach.)


12/28/2006 5:33 PM  

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