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Yoma 69a - Alexander and Shimon Hatzadik

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1 Yoma 69a - Alexander and Shimon Hatzadik on Fri Aug 08, 2014 6:01 pm

The gemara tells the famous story of how Shimon Hatzadik faced down Alexander Mokdon (of Macedon) and his army. I remember hearing a wonderful idea from Rav Shlomo Brevda z"l. He brought the gemara in Megillah 11a: ולא געלתים ־ בימי יוונים, שהעמדתי להם שמעון הצדיק, וחשמונאי ובניו ומתתיה כהן גדול
There were two main threats in the times of the Yavanim: the story with Alexander here, at the beginning of the reign of the Yavanim, and the story of Chanukah much later. In each of them, Hashem spared us, and gave us the great leaders who saved us: Shimon Hatzadik, and the Chashmonaim. But look how different the two stories were! In the time of Shimon Hatzadik, he just had to face the Greek king, the Greek king bowed to him and the threat was ended. In the time of the Chanukah story, on the other hand, there was years of fighting, starvation and hiding in caves, and some of the heroes died al kiddush Hashem.
This fits with all the places in Yoma where Shimon Hatzadik is mentioned: a time that was still connected to the First Beis Hamikdash, a time of shechinah and Hashem showing us favor, a time of clear miracles. This is the Chanukah story too, but as it should have been had they been completely worthy.

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