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Judah ben Bava

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Judah ben Bava was a rabbi in the 2nd century who ordained a number of rabbis at a time when the Roman government forbade this ceremony. The penalty was execution for the ordainer and the new rabbis. The rabbis ordained by Rabbi Judah ben Bava include Judah ben Ilai. Rabbi Judah ben Bava was killed by Hadrian's soldiers at the age of seventy, and is known as one of the Ten Martyrs. Rabbi Judah ben Bava was caught by Hadrian's soldiers while ordaining his students in a place between Usha and Shefaram.[1] He told his students to run, but he himself was too old. Hadrian's soldiers threw 300 javelins at him, causing his death.[2]

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  • ✪ The Miracle of Chanukah
  • ✪ Rabban Gamliel of Yavneh
  • ✪ Say it in Hebrew with The WORD in HEBREW

Transcription

Shalom welcome to light to the nation's and chag ohrim Sameach a joyous festival of light Chanukah joyous holiday is called the festival of light everybody knows that a commemorates a great miracle that happened long ago and we light these beautiful lights the Chanukah flames that according to tradition actually bring in the aspect of a hidden light of creation that the Holy One blessed be he originally brought forth at the time with the creation of the world was originally in the Garden of Eden the first 36 hours of the career of Adam harishon Adam and then God hid it only for the righteous in the world to come but somehow through these 36 lights that we kindle all together over the eight days of Hanukkah the original hidden light of creation comes back into the world and this is the reason why the festival of Hanukkah is so joyous why it touches a chord in every Jewish soul and in the soul of all those who align themselves with the God of Israel and so much we know about Hanukkah but of course the principle of Torah and especially this is apropos to every aspect of the cycle of the seasons and our observance of the holidays we always talk about the new sock the version the way the words are worded in our liturgy in our Tefila and the prayers how we always say that the only way to understand the cycle of our calendar is as we mentioned in our prayers by Yamim haheim, bazman hazeh that this thing occurred in those days but at this time and you know it bothers me when I when I hear the song sometimes that little children sing in Hebrew school and a school the songs that Jewish kids are taught or the books that some kids read about how this is all commemoration of the bravery of our forefathers so long ago it's all about what happened so long ago because the truth is the main miracle of Hanukkah is now just like the main lesson of the Torah the main aspect of every holiday is really how the story's being playing at played out right now as well and that is such an important idea but but I would really like to discuss is the miracle of Hanukkah because everybody knows that you know according to the story most famous aspect of the story the Hashmonaim, the Hashmonaim priests were the descendants of Yohannan and Matityahu and his brothers and their whole band which were vastly outnumbered by the Helenist Assyrians who invaded the Land of Israel and who destroyed the temple who rendered the Temple impure and destroyed the vessels they had a tremendous victory over them they were able to drive them out of the land it was a it was a battle over the holiness of the Jewish people it was a battle over the values of the Torah because they had made decrees against learning Torah and Shabbat observance Rosh Chodesh circumcision all the things that are the intimate signs between the Jewish people and the God of Israel and in this military campaign against which the odds were stacked tremendously against the Jewish people there was a victory and in the course of that victory when the Hashmonaim, the Maccabees returned to Jerusalem according to the story that we all know they found one cruse of oil which was not rendered impure and still bore the stamp of the high priest that it was pure and it was going to take a long time a week to make pure olive oil to rekindle the menorah the menorah by the way had also been rendered impure and most of the vessels were had been destroyed and the altar had been rendered a pure everything had to be done all over again a new menorah had to be constructed but this cruse of oil lasted for eight days and everyone considers that that is the major miracle of Hanukkah the holiday that we've been celebrating now for over 2,000 years so what we really want to understand is what is the nature of this miracle and maybe in so doing we really have to ask ourselves but what is the nature of a miracle altogether and this actually is very similar to the thoughts that we've been developing in our series about the Temple and the whole consideration the whole question that people are wondering is the temple something that Israel is commanded to really mean like actually in this world or is it something that is relegated to the time of the messianic redemption that the Messiah figure is going to come and he's going to build the Temple or or tell us that it's time to build a Temple or worse yet I'm giving it away here because we're in the middle of this series but I'm tipping my hat to my own personal agenda worse yet there are people who think that the Temple is going to come down from heaven already made. Well this issue has a great deal to do with the miracle of Hanukkah what that miracle is and how we fulfill the concept of our own Hanukkah lights because you know there is a principle in the Torah that we never rely on miracles and this is related to the expression that our sages tell us 'lo bashamaim he' - the Torah is not in heaven and we have one passage in the Talmud where are the sages discuss the fact that even in God would give a sign some sort of wonder one passage in the Talmud attracted Bava Metzia where we have an incident that's recorded there where there was an argument in learning between the sages and one of our greatest sages brought proofs which were heavenly proofs he said if I'm right in my position let the walls of this beit midrash start to slant and if i'm right let's let there be a heavenly voice and some other examples and the heavenly voice came out and said that he's right but are the sages his colleagues respond and they said you know what we have a principle that the Torah is not in heaven Hashem gave over the Torah to us the earthly court to be able to decide these matters we're not supposed to rely on miracles and furthermore there is even a principle specifically that states then when it comes to the Holy Temple itself we do not rely on miracles in fact everybody knows that when it came to the first Temple a great spiritual level that the people of Israel were on fire descended from heaven onto the altar however it was still necessary for fire to be brought from regular conventional kindling because the fire had to also be from human agency because in the Temple as well we do not rely on miracles this is a basic principle in some clean this just like we say that lo bashamaim he - that the Torah is not in heaven so we do not rely on miracles in the temple as well and if that's the case and this principle that even in the temple we don't rely on miracles actually you can see this reflected in the Talmud and tractate shkolim chapter in chapter six and an omission in number three so if that is the case what then is the nature of the miracle of the cruse of oil in the Holy Temple on Hanukkah and how is it that they were able to use this oil if we don't rely on miracles if that's the whole nature of the miracle and what is a miracle you know the classic example that we like to cite is the example of not showing the sin of Aminadav when it comes to the story that we read about in Sefer Shmot in the book of Exodus of how when the people of Israel came to the Red Sea how the sea only split according to the Midrash at the moment that not shown the prince of the trouble the tribe of Judah began to walk into the water and as soon as he had gone into the water and waded in and he was up to his nostrils that is the moment when the sea split and stayed open the entire night for all of the people of Israel to walk through because yes Hashem makes miracles but only after we have done everything possible to make that miracle validated to give Hashem a reason to change the laws of nature to give HaShem a sign of life that we are interested in him and so - you know throughout the generations now as a result of the Diaspora experience when much of the Torah has become mystified to so many people unfortunately there's been a certain exaggerated emphasis on maybe how things happen how things will happen in the future so that now as opposed to a lot of people looking at things developing in in a whether with a resolution that can that can be accommodated through our own human agency people are looking to miracles to happen is the same thing as we're discussing regarding the concept of the temple instead of thinking that this is something that we can do people are waiting for a miracle instead of thinking that people can come right now home to Eretz Israel where the Jewish people belong people are saying well when the miracle of the redemption happens that's when we're going to come to the Land of Israel as well and unfortunately this has a way of limiting and diminishing our faith in our own obligation to observe and to fulfill the commandments of HaShem because we're kind of throwing it on Hashem himself you know what when you do a miracle I'll be ready like when you're interested call me but that's not the way it's supposed to be we're supposed to be the ones that are doing the mitzvot and on the other hand when we realize that our obligation is to follow the mitzvot Hashem to follow the commandments then where we stop kind of anticipating the miracles because we realize that it's really up to us that every person has the obligation to make the miracle happen so there were a number of aspects of the story of Chanukah and everyone's familiar with the cruse of oil and isn't it interesting that this happened in the Holy Temple that the Kohanim in the sanctuary found this cruse of oil and if the miracle was so important for the entire house of Israel to be aware of why is it and we're going to see soon that it's actually very under emphasized in some ancient sources for our learning about the nature of the holiday of Hanukkah if the miracle was so important why wasn't it something that jarred the entire nation immediately why wasn't it something that was readily accessible the only people who were able to see that cruse of oil were a select group of Kohanim because the rest of Israel wasn't even able to enter into that part of the Temple do you hear the question your safety here the question this is really interesting because if it was such an important part of the experience of Hanukkah why was it intimate why was it kept under wraps why is it something there was only seen by the Kohanim in the temple I think the answer is very practical the Kohanim the Hashmonaim who are leading the revolt and the battle against the Helenist Syrians they were military commanders in addition to being the Kohanim in the Holy Temple and this was a long and bloody war which extended 25 years five of those years after the miracle of Hanukkah the war kept on going and do you know that hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed it was a very horrible bloody battle and they were fighting over their rights to be Jews in the Land of Israel and to keep the Torah and to educate their children in the knowledge of the God of Israel and for Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel this is why they were fighting and every day picture the scene for a moment that in the HQ where these military Commandments commanders who happen to be the Kohanim in the Holy Temple they were leading the battle and every day into their HQ poured reports of casualties today ten thousand Jews were killed tomorrow another twelve thousand Jews were killed and they're dealing with this horrendous situation and they know that they're doing the right thing they hope they're doing the right thing by leading this battle and they're wondering are we really doing the right thing for our people is this really what Hashem wants does Hashem really want us to risk it all to drive the invaders out of the land to purify the land to purify the Temple and to resume the divine service and HaSHem gave them a very intimate sign a very intimate nod, almost like a like a kiss from heaven this sign the cruse of oil was specifically meant for them to see as the Kohanim because they were the leaders of the battle and that's why it happened in such a way that it would it would come to their attention as Kohanim in the section of the Temple where they were active because they needed to know they needed a sign they needed a a a confidence-building measure from the creator himself that they were doing the right thing in risking at all and all of the terrible casualties that were being racked up on the people of Israel and HaShem was basically indicated to them yes this is my will my will is for you to continue cleansing the land of the invaders and this this was really kind of a a very positive and very and very moving testimony for them Hashem will in the battle but regarding the whole concept of the cruse of oil you know the interesting thing is that when we look at all the sources that talk about Hanukkah we see that the cruse of oil is not as emphasized as other aspects of the clinical story for example in our prayers that we recite on Hanukkah we have a special insertion a special prayer that was composed at that time and it's referred to as al handsome and it's a special part that we put into the Amidah prayer into the silent prayer of the Shmona Esrei the eighteen blessings where we give special thanks and acknowledgment uestion for the miracles and the wonders and the salvation and the victory that he gave our forefathers at the time of Hanukkah and this prayer does not mention the oil the pach shemen it does not mention the the oil at all it only mentions the military victory not only this there is also a special beautiful prayer that we recite when we light the candles themselves and that prayer is called 'haner hatalal' and we and we recount as we say this prayer as we kindle the flames we say that these flames that we that we kindle they are on account of the victories and the battles and the heroism and they and the salvation that You granted our forefathers at those days and at this time and this prayer as well does not mention the cruse of oil and actually if we go a little further back and we investigate this whole development of the story of Hanukkah we go to the most ancient authoritative source that tells us about the holiday and that is called Megillat Ta'anit - the scroll of the fast the scroll of ta'anit is a part of the Talmud which actually recounts all of the cycle of the year and also talks about many holidays and special days that were observed in the time of the Holy Temple which are no longer observed and it is the most ancient source that talks about the festivals and the amazing thing about the rendition the recounting of the story of Hanukkah in this most ancient source Megillah ton it is that it meant it mentions the pach shemen it mentions the cruse of oil but it does not mention it as being really the cause of Hanukkah it does not mention it as being the main significant event in the holiday of Hanukkah in fact the sages in Megillat Ta'anit only states that on account of the fact that they found this cruse of oil there was a special decree that was made regarding the eight days of Hanukkah that one should not deliver a eulogy during these days in other words these days should be considered a certain to possess a certain aspect of festivity and during a festival we have a prohibition against eulogizing so because of the of the revelation the finding of the cruse of oil we do not eulogize during Hanukkah but that is the only thing mention in the Megillat Ta'anit regarding the cruse of oil that we don't that these are not days for for eulogy and this is a very amazing thing because if the the cruse of oil itself is not emphasized moreover our sages actually add another two aspects of observance regarding Hanukkah which correspond to two other events so far okay we know that we have again we're in the text of the most ancient source the most authoritative an earliest source regarding the history of Chanukah Megillat Ta'anit and there it says that an account of the cruse of oil we do not engage in eulogies during these days but then there's another two aspects of observance that are added which correspond to two other events one of these aspects is that our sages say that these are days of Hallel and Hoda'a ah these are days of special Thanksgiving an acknowledgement for Hashem and the second aspect that was added during these days is that these are also days in which special lights should be kindled and these correspond to events that were in addition to the finding of the cruse of oil and further in Megillat Ta'anitt we are told that the second event which occurred on Hanukkah which as we're going to see is actually the main event of Hanukkah the second event is the dedication of the altar itself chanukkat hamizbeach - and indeed the most early sources inform us that the that the name Hanukkah comes from chanukkat hamizbeach the dedication of the altar and in Megillat Ta'anitt we have a very moving description regarding the dedication of the altar which took place during this time and this was really the central event of Hanukkah we're also told there in Megillat Ta'anit that the reason for the observance of lighting the candles is because the Kohanim once they were victorious and returned to the temple they found that all of the vessels had been rendered impure and there was no way that they would be able to rekindle the menorah so when the Hashmonaim am gained the upper hand they formed they forged a primitive menorah out of leaden rods and this is what they began to light until they were able to build the menorah and it's in all of its beauty and splendor which was actually years later so they were actually according Megillat Ta'anit, three central events which took place on Hanukkah and each of them was significant in its own right there was the finding of the cruse of oil there was the establishment there the the rededication of the altar and there was the formation of a new menorah and the fact is that these three things taken all together were what was the basis upon which was established the holiday of Hanukkah with all of its halachic ramifications we're as to itself the miracle of the finding of the cruse of oil according to our sage it was really only enough for a special edict that these are not days of eulogy because these are special days actually what happened was that our forefathers the Hashmionaim needed to take apart the entire altar apart and to basically 'gonaze' the expression of 'geniza' as we learned in the Rambam they needed to hide the stones from the altar because they had been sanctified but they were totally sullied they were rendered impure by the invaders so they took the altar apart and they rebuilt the altar from scratch and there's so much information when we go over also the writings of Yosef ben Mattitiyahu, Josephus we read about how the main aspect of Hanukah is just as its name the chanukat hamizbeach, the dedication of the altar and actually we understand that there are there are several different things going on at once as we mentioned in the prayers of Thanksgiving and acknowledgement for Hanukkah we mentioned the wonders and the and the and the deliverance and the wars but we do not mention the miracle of the cruse of oil which lasted for eight days also in the prayer of al hanissim we do not mention the cruse of oil from the words of our sages in the scroll of Megillat Ta'anit we see that there were three central events that took place on Hanukkah and corresponding to each one of these things there's a different takuna a different edict that our sages made there was the finding of the cruse of oil and regarding that our sages made an edict that these are not days of eulogy regarding the establishment of the altar our sages established the eight days of thanksgiving and regarding the construction of the menorah anew our sages established the lighting of the Chanukah flames however they did not establish a a an observance directly related to the oil which lasted for eight days and essentially what we begin to understand is that the major aspect of the miracle of Hanukkah was the fact that the Jewish people were able to rebuild the altar to dedicate the altar anew which was a direct result of the military campaign which was waged with tremendous sacrifice tremendous bravery tremendous courage and as we mentioned the the the intimate sign really that Hashem himself was giving the Kohanim who were also the military leaders that indicated to them that they were doing the right thing they should continue the miracle reached its climax in the resumption of the divine service in the in the building of the altar and the rededication of the altar so that the most famous ironically part of the story of Chanukah the most famous aspect of the miracle which is the cruse of oil was merely an indication of the true miracle of Hanukkah and the true miracle of Hanukkah is that the Jewish people were able to stand up with bravery and courage and determination to their enemy and say this is our land this is our Temple this is our Torah this is our code of our culture of Torah this is the house of the God of Israel these are our children this is our future and we will not tolerate you attempting to destroy it that was really the miracle and this is the whole beauty of the concept of bayamim haheim bazman hazeh - in those days but at this time because we're facing the same challenges today and Hashem also has his way of showing us his sign as well to know that we're doing the right thing so the cruse of oil the pach shemen which lasted for eight days was an indication of the of the the justice of the cause of the fight for purifying Eretz Israel and for rebuilding the Temple and for our the future of our children and for the chanukat hamizbeach - the dedication of the altar which is really the main aspect of the Hanukkah miracle no wonder really that our sages of those general of that generation did not emphasize the miracle of the cruse of oil because we don't want our our children to learn the wrong priorities we don't want to overemphasize Hashem intervention where would where with the story of Hanukkah be if it was only for the cruse of oil and not for the battle and not for the Jews who risked that risk their lives to drive the enemy out of the Land of Israel so the cruse of oil was like the icing on the cake like the cherry on top of a process a historical process in which the Jewish people were involved to show Hashem like enough shown that they would wade into the water that they would do their best and you know what that's the real miracle that the Jewish people did the right thing that's the real miracle that the Jewish people were able to make that stand and arrive at Hanukkah chanukat hamizbeach - to rededicate the altar and that's why the emphasis in all of our prayers is actually on the dedication of the altar.

Contributions to Talmud

Judah ben Bava is the subject of many sayings and legends. He was known as "the Ḥasid," and it is said that wherever the Talmud speaks of "the Ḥasid", it is a reference either to him or to Judah ben Ilai.

He authored several decisions in the Halakha, including the ruling that one witness to the death of the husband is sufficient to justify permitting the wife to marry again.[3] Rabbi Akiva was his most powerful opponent in halakhic disputes.[4]

References

  1. ^ Babylonian Talmud (Avodah Zarah 8b)
  2. ^ Sanhedrin 14a
  3. ^ Hamburger, "R. B. T." ii. 451
  4. ^ Bacher, "Ag. Tan." i. 404
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSinger, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906). "Judah b. Baba". The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls.
This page was last edited on 7 April 2019, at 13:28
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