160 BC

- י י י -

Judas Heroically Dies in the Battle of Elasa

160 BC

1 Maccabees 9:9

In 160 BC, Bacchides once again attacks Judea and Judas’ army finds themselves with a staggering military disadvantage against their enemy, who has gathered forces 10 times larger than their own. Judas nevertheless remains unintimidated. He attempts to rear the Seleucid army and kill their general. Though his tactics prove effective, Bacchides’ second flank manages to encroach the Jewish forces and surround them from every direction. Judas is killed in battle and his army decimated. Judas’ remains are brought to Modi’in, where he is buried beside his father, Mattathias.

Judas Maccabeus faces continuous external attacks and negative energies; however, he bravely stands up to these challengesand it is during this time that the Hasmonean state is built. As a result, when Judas is killed, the infrastructure for the state is already in place. A fiery, internal energy spreads among the Jews, allowing them to achieve freedom and repel the enemies threatening to subdue their spirit. The tremendous Seleucid army seeks to annihilate Judas and effectively end his rule. However, Judas chooses to die for a noble causethereby ensuring that the spark of rebellion remains lit among his people and descendants.

“Bacchides was on the right wing. Flanked by the two companies, the phalanx advanced to the sound of the trumpets, and the men with Judas also blew their trumpets. 13 The earth was shaken by the noise of the armies, and the battle raged from morning until evening. udas saw that Bacchides and the strength of his army were on the right; then all the courageous men went with him, 15 and they crushed the right wing, and he pursued them as far as Mount Azotus. 16 When those on the left wing saw that the right wing was crushed, they turned and followed close behind Judas and his men. 17 The battle became desperate, and many on both sides were wounded and fell. 18 Judas also fell, and the rest fled.19 Then Jonathan and Simon took their brother Judas and buried him in the tomb of their ancestors at Modein 20 and wept for him. All Israel made great lamentation for him; they mourned many days and said, 21 “How is the mighty fallen,   the savior of Israel!”” (1 Maccabees 9:12-21)

Nobility is adopting and practicing good traits, enabling us to rise to the highest levels of humanity.