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Home :: Pichifkes :: Jerusalem Temple and Alexander

Jerusalem Temple and Alexander

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Alexander Macedonian was a great king, warrior and statesman. Tons of books are written about his victories and conquests, numerous legends are composed about his life, but only few know Whom Alexander is obliged to for all of his achievements indeed.

When Alexander with his comparatively not so big army only started moving into the depth of Asia and winning his first victories, Kutim (Samaritans, enemy of Israel) began to instigate him to destroy Jerusalem Temple. They affirmed that Temple service is a riot against the king. Alexander believed them, took his army and went to Jerusalem.

When the high priest Shimon Atzadik found out Alexander and his troops are about to enter the city, he clothed himself into eight Temple garments which he was wearing when performing Temple service and he ordered all other Kohanim (the only tribe of Israel which was allowed to hold service in Jerusalem Temple - Author's note) to also wear the holy garments. After that he and Kohanim went out of Jerusalem to meet the king. Strictly saying, Kohanim have no right to wear the holy garments outside the Temple, still they are allowed to break this prohibition at extreme circumstances.

When Alexander saw the high priest coming to meet him, he got off the chariot and prostrated himself before the high priest, to everyone's amazement. King's surrounding and Kohanim themselves were really perplexed about such unexpected turn in King's behaviour. But Shimon Atzadik already knew the answers to their questions.

The matter is one night Hashem showed the enigmatic dream to Alexander. He let him see the majestic sage in priest garments, looking like Shimon Atzadik. The sage in the dream appeared before him and declared about all his future victories in battles. The dream didn't leave Alexander's head until he met this man.

Shimon Atzadik explained to King that indeed Jews were praying about his welfare in the Temple. And Alexander heeded his words! He allowed Shimon Atzadik to punish Kutim for false accusations.

Since then, Alexander won a lot of brilliant victories. He conquered Persians at Granika, Isse and Gavgamely, subdued the kingdom of Ancient Persia, invaded Middle Asia and vanguished all known lands, as for those days, right up to the river of Ind. He founded the largest world monarchy of ancient times. However, despite all those achievements, Alexander forever remained merciful to the kingdom of Israel, did not intervene into its foundations and customs and did not prevent them from observing the law of Tora.

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