Thursday, December 2, 2010

Another benefit of the victory of the Chashmonaim


"The essential miracle of the Chashmonaim in the second Beit haMikdash was as a preparation for this bitter exile. Had the Jews descended into this bitter exile as they did after the destruction of the first Beit haMikdash, when they were lawless in Torah, they would have lacked the strength to endure this bitter exile and remain Jewish.

"It was only by the miracle of the Chashmonaim, and the subsequent fences and boundaries and protections which were then instituted, that we had strength to remain in our faith all through this long exile."

(Chatam Sofer, Torat Moshe III Devarim pg. 71b)

Chag Urim Sameach,


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Seems there may be a logical contradiction here.

    On the one hand, this "Daily Torah Thought" says that the institution of strict interpretation of Torah allowed the Jews to survive the destruction of the temple and the subsequent exile.

    Yet, on the other hand, it is commonly understood that the cause of the destruction of second temple was due to a civil war among religiously conservative (extremist?) and religiously liberal Jews. (See: or

    It seems the logic is a bit convoluted to suggest that those instituting stricter religious observance on those with a less strict observance somehow caused the Jewish people to survive the tragedy of the destruction of the temple and exile, when the act of instituting this stricter observance (and it's accompanying blood-baths) caused those tragedies in the first place.

  3. Hi Dale,

    Thanks for commenting.

    Religious sources contend that the strife was a product of (a) lack of basic respect for each other, or (b) political strife between those who wished to rebel against Rome and those who wished to make peace. (The sites you cited support both of these.) Historical sources tend to support the latter. Either way, though, the strife was not a product of religious strictures.