Monday, May 3, 2010

Profile: Alexander the Great

The Talmud (Yoma 69a) ascribes righteousness to Alexander the Great. Incited by enemies of the Sages, Alexander intended to destroy the Temple in Jerusalem. On the way, he was approached by R’ Shimon HaTzadik who headed a delegation of rabbis. When Alexander saw him, he got off his horse and bowed on the ground at his feet. The enemies of the Sages questioned why “The Great” should prostrate before the lowly. He replied that at the head of all his conquests he was led by the image of a righteous man, and this image was the countenance of non other than R’ Shimon. The rabbis asked Alexander, “Is it conceivable that your enemies should mislead you into destroying the House in which prayers for your success and for that of your kingdom are offered?” At which point Alexander recalled his soldiers and turned over the enemies of the Sages to the Jews. According to tradition, the Jews accepted several practices to honor Alexander for this event – one of which was to call Jewish children in his name.[1]

1 comment:

  1. Totally enlightening information!! And i like the Ohr website as well; hadn't been there before. Thanks for the "redirection" and this very cool info about AtG.