Love of the Land

For the week ending 2 April 2011 / 26 Adar II 5771

Shimon Hatzaddik The Mysterious Vision

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Shimon Hatzaddik was one of the last surviving members of the Anshei Knesset Hagedola (Members of the Great Assembly), who became the Kohen Gadol after Ezra who led the return of Jews from Babylonian exile to Eretz Yisrael.

When he was informed that Alexander the Great was leading an army to destroy the Beit Hamikdash, which the Jew-hating Kuttites (Samaritans) had convinced him was a threat to his Macedonian Empire, he took immediate emergency action. Donning the sacred garments reserved for performance of the Holy Temple services, he walked all night, together with Jerusalem notables, to meet this force. When the two groups finally met at dawn, the mighty king descended from his royal chariot and prostrated himself before Shimon Hatzaddik, explaining that it was this vision which he always saw leading him to victory in battle. The tables were thus turned on the Kuttites as the destruction which they planned for the Beit Hamikdash was visited instead on their idolatrous shrine on Mount Gerizim.

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