142 BC

- מ צ ר -

Simon Expands the Hasmonean State, Solidifies Its Independence

142 BC

1 Maccabees 13:49

Simon forms a pact with Demetrius II in 142 BC and the Jews formally attain sovereignty for the first time since the days of the last kings of Judah, before the Babylonian exile. Simon leverages his newly expanded powers by conquering key outposts, including the Acra – a Seleucid fortress in Jerusalem that survived many attacks over the course of decades. He furthermore reasserts Jonathan’s treaty with Rome. In Jerusalem, an assembly of priests is summoned to proclaim Simon as ethnarch and high priest. These appointments are lavishly celebrated across Jerusalem.

Simon the Hasmonean succeeds in suppressing and eradicating negative forces and thus reaches the highest level possibleholiness. The Jews’ sacrifice, perseverance, and renunciation of material pleasures in the face of a hostile regime finally pay off.  Under Simon’s rule, they merit seeing the fruits of their struggleand are finally granted their long-awaited freedom.

 “Those who were in the citadel at Jerusalem were prevented from going in and out to buy and sell in the country. So they were very hungry, and many of them perished from famine. 50 Then they cried to Simon to make peace with them, and he did so. But he expelled them from there and cleansed the citadel from its pollutions. 51 On the twenty-third day of the second month, in the one hundred seventy-first year, the Jews entered it with praise and palm branches, and with harps and cymbals and stringed instruments, and with hymns and songs, because a great enemy had been crushed and removed from Israel. 52 Simon decreed that every year they should celebrate this day with rejoicing. He strengthened the fortifications of the temple hill alongside the citadel, and he and his men lived there. 53 Simon saw that his son John had reached manhood, so he made him commander of all the forces, and he lived at Gazara”  (1 Maccabees 13:49-53)

Saintliness is achieved when we overcome negativity and possess absolute certainty that the light of the Creator informs every thought and every deed.