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Menorah In The Courtyard

The Horn of An Ox

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 Menorah In The Courtyard Festivities On The Fifth Day

The Horn of An Ox

"Write on the horn of an ox that you have no share in the G-d of Israel." (Jerusalem Talmud, Chagiga 2:2)


The Midrash Rabbah (Bereishit 2:4) comments that the passage "there was darkness on the face of the abyss" (1:2) refers to the Greek monarchy which darkened the eyes of the Jewish people with their harsh and cruel decrees. They proclaimed that the Jews should write on the horn of an ox that they had no share in the G-d of Israel. Why did the Greeks specify "the horn of the ox?"

The Gemara (Bava Kamma 2b) explains that an ox can do damage in one of three ways: with its teeth, feet or horns.

The Gemara further explains that when an ox gores with its horns, it does so with the intent to cause damage and derives no personal pleasure from the act.

The Midrash allegorically is describing the psychology and nature of the Hellenistic regime. They made vicious decrees against the Jewish people to deter them from studying Torah and observing mitzvot. Like the ox who gores with its horn and achieves no personal pleasure, they too, had nothing to gain, their sadistic intent was solely to inflict suffering upon defenseless Jews.

 Menorah In The Courtyard Festivities On The Fifth Day

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