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Through those near to Me I show Myself holy,
And gain glory before all the people.”And Aaron was silent.
Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra also wrote: “This is that the Eternal spoke, saying, means: G-d had already told me that He would show His sanctity through those that were near to Him. This is similar in meaning to the verse, You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will visit upon you all your iniquities. And when I will show them this holiness of Mine, then I will become glorified before all the people and they will fear Me.” But if this is so, then this is a statement not written [in the text], that G-d informed Moses of His ways and that such is the nature of His attribute!
In my opinion there is no need for all this. For by way of the plain meaning of Scripture, the expression “G-d spoke” refers to His decrees, His thought, and the manner of His ways, and the term “speaking” is used with reference to all these [in humans]. Thus: I spoke with my own heart, means “I reflected on this thought.” And this is ‘hadavar’ that Joshua did circumcise, means “this is ‘the cause’ why Joshua did so.” ‘Al d’var’ (because of) the money. Similarly, And let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the Eternal hath spoken, means “as He hath decreed.” Likewise: In his days did Hiel the Beth-elite built Jericho; with his firstborn he laid the foundation thereof, and with his youngest son Segub he set up the gates thereof; according to the word of the Eternal, which He spoke by the hand of Joshua the son of Nun. Thus Moses said here: “This incident is that which G-d decreed, ‘saying to His heart': Through them that are nigh unto Me I will be sanctified so that they should not break forth into My sanctity; and before all the people I will be glorified, so that they treat My dwelling-place with respect.”
עָלֵֽינוּ לְשַׁבֵּֽחַ לַאֲדוֹן הַכֹּל לָתֵת גְּדֻלָּה לְיוֹצֵר בְּרֵאשִׁית שֶׁלֺּא עָשָֽׂנוּ כְּגוֹיֵי הָאֲרָצוֹת וְלֺא שָׂמָֽנוּ כְּמִשְׁפְּחוֹת הָאֲדָמָה שֶׁלֺּא שָׂם חֶלְקֵֽנוּ כָּהֶם וְגוֹרָלֵֽנוּ כְּכָל הֲמוֹנָם: שֶׁהֵם מִשְׁתַּחֲוִים לָהֶֽבֶל וָרִיק וּמִתְפַּלְּ֒לִים אֶל אֵל לֹא יוֹשִֽׁיעַ, וַאֲנַֽחְנוּ כּוֹרְ֒עִים וּמִשְׁתַּחֲוִים וּמוֹדִים לִפְנֵי מֶֽלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּ֒לָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, שֶׁהוּא נוֹטֶה שָׁמַֽיִם וְיוֹסֵד אָֽרֶץ, וּמוֹשַׁב יְקָרוֹ בַּשָּׁמַֽיִם מִמַּֽעַל, וּשְׁ֒כִינַת עֻזּוֹ בְּגָבְ֒הֵי מְרוֹמִים, הוּא אֱלֺקֵֽינוּ אֵין עוֹד, אֱמֶת מַלְכֵּֽנוּ אֶֽפֶס זוּלָתוֹ כַּכָּתוּב בְּתוֹרָתוֹ וְיָדַעְתָּ הַיּוֹם וַהֲשֵׁבֹתָ אֶל לְבָבֶֽךָ כִּי ה' הוּא הָאֱלֺקִים בַּשָּׁמַֽיִם מִמַּֽעַל וְעַל הָאָֽרֶץ מִתָּֽחַת אֵין עוֹד:
It is our obligation to praise the Master of all, to ascribe greatness to the Creator of the [world in the] beginning: that He has not made us like the nations of the lands, and has not positioned us like the families of the earth; that He has not assigned our portion like theirs, nor our lot like that of all their multitudes. For they prostrate themselves to vanity and nothingness, and pray to a god that cannot deliver. But we bow, prostrate ourselves, and offer thanks before the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy One blessed is He, Who spreads the heavens, and establishes the earth, and the seat of His glory is in heaven above, and the abode of His invincible might is in the loftiest heights. He is our God, there is nothing else. Our King is true, all else is insignificant, as it is written in His Torah: And You shall know this day and take into Your heart that Adonoy is God in the heavens above and upon the earth below; there is nothing else.
In Blois, France, in 1171, many Jews - reportedly 34 men and 17 women - were burned at the stake for refusing to renounce their faith. They went to the deaths bravely singing Aleinu to a "soul stirring" melody, which astonished their executioners. This act of martyrdom may have inspired the adoption of Aleinu into the daily liturgy.
The earlier form of this prayer contains an additional sentence:
For they worship vanity and emptiness, and pray to a god who cannot save.
This sentence is built from two quotes from the Bible, specifically from the Book of Isaiah, Isaiah 30:7, "For the help of Egypt shall be (הבל וריק) vain and empty...."; and Isaiah 45:20. "... No foreknowledge had they who carry their wooden images (וּמתפּללים אל־אל לא יוֹשׁיע) and pray to a God who cannot give success." (New JPS) The line is still set out in full in Sephardi and Italian prayer books, but was omitted in most of the older printed Ashkenazi prayer books. In some older editions of other rites (e.g. the Maḥzor Aram Soba, 1560) a blank line was left in the printing, leaving it free for the missing line to be filled in in handwriting. In many current Orthodox Jewish siddurim (prayer books) this line has been restored, and the practice of reciting it has increased.
Rabbi Jehudah said: When the blade touched his neck, the soul of Isaac fled and departed, (but) when he heard His voice from between the two Cherubim, saying (to Abraham), "Lay not thine hand upon the lad" (Gen. 22:12), his soul returned to his body, and (Abraham) set him free, and Isaac stood upon his feet. And Isaac knew that in this manner the dead in the future will be quickened. He opened (his mouth), and said: Blessed art thou, O Lord, who quickeneth the dead.
Shahid, or Shaheed (Arabic: شهيد [ʃahiːd], plural: شُهَدَاء [ʃuhadaː]; female: [ʃahiːdah]) denotes a martyr in Islam. Shahid occurs frequently in the Quran in the generic sense "witness", but only once in the sense "martyr; one who dies for his faith"; this latter sense acquires wider use in the hadiths. The word shahid (plural shahada) has the meaning of "martyr" and is closely related in its development to the Greek martyrios in that it means both a witness and a martyr [...] in the latter sense only once is it attested (3:141)." David Cook, Oxford.
[שָׂהֵד] noun [masculine] witness (Aramaic loan-word = Hebrew עֵד; √ סְהַד ); — suffix שָֽׂהֲדִי Job 16:19 ("" עֵדִי). — שָֽׂהֲדוּתָא Genesis 31:47 see Biblical Aramaic Lexicon.
שׂהר (√ of following; compare Arabic new moon ( is make conspicuous, notorious); Ethiopic id.; ᵑ7 סִיהֲרָא, Syriac moon; Old Aramaic שהר moon-god Lzb373).
[שָֽׂהֲדוּ] noun feminine testimony (√ שְׂהַד = ᵑ7 סְהַד testify, Syriac , Arabic testify, compare Biblical Hebrew [שָׂהֵד] (once, as loan-word) KAramaic 86; Egyptian Aramaic plural שהדיאֹ witnesses Cooke404 S-CA. 15 + often); — emphatic שָֽׂהֲדוּתָא Genesis 31:47 ("" Biblical Hebrew עֵד).
In fact, modern research conducted by scholars such as Israel Jacob Yuval author of Two Nations in Your Womb: Perceptions of Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages have argued that there was a perverse belief from the birth of Rabbinic Judaism and into the Middle Ages, that martyrdom could hasten the coming of the final redemption. There is even evidence of a unhealthy competition between the Jews and their Christian neighbors regardin whose martyrs could bring the messiah or the 2nd Coming.. as the case may be.
Hear our voice, Adonoy, our God; spare us and have compassion on us, and accept our prayers mercifully and willingly. Lead us back to You, Adonoy and we shall find the way back; renew our days as of old. Give ear to our words, Adonoy! Consider our meditations. May the words of our mouths be acceptable — and the thoughts of our hearts—before You, Adonoy, our Rock, and our Redeemer. Cast us not away from Your Presence, and Your holy spirit take not from us. Do not cast us off in time of old age, when our strength fails, do not forsake us. Forsake us not, Adonoy, our God, be not far removed from us. Give us a sign of Your goodness that our enemies may see it and be ashamed; for You, Adonoy, have helped us and comforted us. For You, Adonoy, do we wait, You will answer us, our Master, our God. The Ark is closed:
Our God and God of our fathers! Do not forsake us, do not cast us off, and do not disgrace us; and do not nullify Your covenant with us. Draw us near to Your Torah, teach us Your commandments, direct us to Your ways. Incline our hearts to fear Your Name, and open our hearts to Your love, and may we return to You in truth, and with a perfect heart. And for the sake of Your great Name, forgive and pardon our iniquity, as it is written in the words of Your holiness, “For the sake of Your Name, Adonoy, pardon my iniquity for it is great.” Our God, and God of our fathers! Pardon us, forgive us, atone for us. Chazzan and congregation responsively:
For we are Your people; and You are our God. We are Your children; and You are our Father. We are Your servants; and You are our Master. We are Your congregation; and You are our Portion. We are Your inheritance; and You are our Destiny. We are Your flock; and You are our Shepherd. We are Your vineyard; and You are our Keeper. We are Your work; and You are our Creator. We are Your dear ones and You are our Beloved. We are Your treasure; and You are our God. We are Your people; and You are our King. We are Your distinguished ones; and You are our Distinction. We are brazen-faced; and You are merciful and gracious. We are stiff-necked; and You are slow to anger. We are full of iniquity; and You are full of compassion. Our days are like a passing shadow; and You are the same and Your years will not end. Our God and God of our fathers, let our prayer come before you and do not ignore our supplication. For we are not so brazen-faced and stiff-necked to say to you, Adonoy, our God, and God of our fathers, “We are righteous and have not sinned.” But, indeed, we and our fathers have sinned. We have trespassed [against God and man, and we are devastated by our guilt]; We have betrayed [God and man, we have been ungrateful for the good done to us]; We have stolen; We have slandered. We have caused others to sin; We have caused others to commit sins for which they are called רְשָׁעִים, wicked; We have sinned with malicious intent; We have forcibly taken others' possessions even though we paid for them; We have added falsehood upon falsehood; We have joined with evil individuals or groups; We have given harmful advice; We have deceived; we have mocked; We have rebelled against God and His Torah; We have caused God to be angry with us; We have turned away from God's Torah; We have sinned deliberately; We have been negligent in our performance of the commandments; We have caused our friends grief; We have been stiff-necked, refusing to admit that our suffering is caused by our own sins. We have committed sins for which we are called רָשָׁע, [raising a hand to hit someone]. We have committed sins which are the result of moral corruption; We have committed sins which the Torah refers to as abominations; We have gone astray; We have led others astray. We have turned away from Your commandments and from Your good laws, and we have gained nothing from it. And You are the Righteous One in all [punishment] that has come upon us; for You have acted truthfully and we have acted wickedly. We have acted wickedly and have transgressed; we have therefore not been delivered. Grant that our hearts [be inspired to] abandon the path of wickedness, and hasten our deliverance; as is written by the hand of Your prophet, “Let the wicked man abandon his way, and the man of iniquity his thoughts; and let him return unto Adonoy, and He will have compassion on him, and unto our God for He pardons abundantly.” Our God, and God of our fathers! Forgive and pardon our iniquities
On Shabbos say:
(on this Shabbos day, and) on this Day of Atonement, and permit Yourself to be petitioned by our prayer. Blot out and remove our transgressions from before Your eyes, and compel our Evil Inclination to be subservient to You, and subdue our stubborness, that we may return to You in truth; and renew our conscience that we may preserve Your precepts. Open our hearts that we may love and fear Your Name, as it is written in Your Torah: “And Adonoy, Your God will open Your heart, and the heart of your descendants to love Adonoy, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.” Our intentional and our unintentional sins— You recognize— [those committed] willfully or by compulsion, [those committed] openly or secretly— before Your Presence, they are [all] revealed and known. What are we? What is our life? What are our acts of kindness? What is our righteousness? What is our deliverance? What is our strength? What is our might? What can we say before You, Adonoy, our God and God of our fathers? Are not all the mighty men as nothing before You? Famous men as though they had never been? The wise as if they were without knowledge? And men of understanding as if they were devoid of intelligence? For most of their actions are a waste and the days of their life are trivial in Your presence. The superiority of man over beast is nil for all is futile. What shall we say before You, Who dwells on high; and what shall we relate to You Who dwells in the heavens? For everything, both hidden and revealed, You know. Your Name was always the “forbearer of transgression,” give ear to our plea as we stand before You in prayer. Forbear the transgression of a people who repent [their] transgression; blot out our transgression from before Your eyes. You know the mysteries of the universe, and the hidden secrets of every individual. You search all our innermost thoughts, and probe our mind and heart. There is nothing hidden from You, and there is nothing concealed from Your sight. And so may it be Your will Adonoy our God and God of our fathers, that You pardon us for all our careless sins, and that You forgive us for all our deliberate sins, and that You grant us atonement for all our rebellious sins: For the sin we committed before You under compulsion and willingly. And for the sin we committed before You by callously hardening the heart. For the sin we committed before You inadvertently. And for the sin we committed before You with an utterance of the lips. For the sin we committed before You openly and secretly. And for the sin we committed before You in sexual immorality. For the sin we committed before You through [misuse of our power of] speech. And for the sin we committed before You with knowledge and with deceit. For the sin we committed before You by improper thoughts. And for the sin we committed before You by cheating a fellow-man. For the sin we committed before You with [mere] verbal confession. And for the sin we committed before You by joining in a lewd gathering. For the sin we committed before You intentionally and unintentionally. And for the sin we committed before You by insufficient respect for parents and teachers. For the sin we committed before You by using coercion [to harm others]. And for the sin we committed before You by desecrating the Divine Name. For the sin we committed before You with foolish talk. And for the sin we committed before You with impurity of the lips. For the sin we committed before You with the Evil Inclination. And for the sin we committed before You knowingly and unknowingly. And for all of these, God of pardon, pardon us, forgive us, grant us atonement. For the sin we committed before You by forcing someone to give or take bribes. And for the sin we committed before You by false denial and false promise. For the sin we committed before You by evil talk [slander]. And for the sin we committed before You by scoffing. For the sin we committed before You in business dealings. And for the sin we committed before You in eating and drinking. For the sin we committed before You by [taking or giving] interest and by usury. And for the sin we committed before You by haughtily stretching forth the neck. For the sin we committed before You with gazing of the eyes. And for the sin we committed before You by the prattle of our lips. For the sin we committed before You with haughty eyes. And for the sin we committed before You with impudence. And for all of these, God of pardon, pardon us, forgive us, grant us atonement. For the sin we committed before You by throwing off the yoke [of heaven]. And for the sin we committed before You in passing judgment. For the sin we committed before You by entrapping a fellowman. And for the sin we committed before You by a begrudging eye. For the sin we committed before You by lightmindedness. And for the sin we committed before You by being stiff-necked [stubborn]. For the sin we committed before You by running to do evil. And for the sin we committed before You by talebearing. For the sin we committed before You by swearing in vain. And for the sin we committed before You by unwarranted hatred. For the sin we committed before You by breach of trust. And for the sin we committed before You by a confused heart. And for all of these, God of pardon, pardon us, forgive us, grant us atonement. And for sins for which we are obligated to bring a burnt-offering. And for sins for which we are obligated to bring a sin-offering. And for sins for which we are obligated to bring a “fluctuating” offering. And for sins for which we are obligated to bring a guilt-offering for certain or for doubtful trespasses. And for sins for which we incur the penalty of lashing for violations of Rabbinic law. And for sins for which we incur the penalty of forty lashes. And for sins for which we incur the penalty of death at the hand of Heaven. And for sins for which we incur the penalty of excision and childlessness. And for sins for which we are liable to any of the four death penalties inflicted by the [Rabbinic] Court [which are]: stoning, burning, beheading or strangulation. For [transgressing] positive commandments, and for [transgressing] prohibitive commandments, whether the prohibition can be corrected by a specifically prescribed act, or whether it cannot be corrected by a specifically prescribed act, for those of which we are aware and for those of which we are not aware. For those of which we are aware, we have already declared before You and confessed them unto You; and for those of which we are not aware, before You they are revealed and known, as it is said, “The hidden things belong to Adonoy, our God, but the revealed things are for us and for our children forever, that we might fulfill all the words of this Torah.” And You, Merciful One, accept the penitent. Concerning repentance, You promised us from the very beginning; and because of our repentance our eyes look hopefully to You. Dovid, Your servant, said before You, “Errors—who can comprehend? From hidden [faults], cleanse me.” Cleanse us, Adonoy, our God, from all our transgressions, and purify us from all our defilement. Sprinkle clean waters on us and cleanse us, as it is written by the hand of Your prophet, “And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you will be clean; from all your defilements, and from all your idols, I will cleanse you.” Our God and God of our fathers, forgive our iniquities
On Shabbos add:
(on this Shabbos day, and) on this Day of Atonement. Blot out and remove our transgressions and sins from before Your eyes, as it is said: “I, I [alone] am He Who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and your sins, I will not recall.” And it is said, “I have swept away like a thick cloud your transgressions, and like a mist your sins; return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” And it is said, “For on this day He will make atonement for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins, before Adonoy, you will be cleansed.” On Shabbos add:
(Our God and God of our fathers, be pleased with our rest) Sanctify us with Your commandments and give us our share in Your Torah; satisfy us from Your goodness and gladden us with Your deliverance,
On Shabbos add:
(And give us as our inheritance Adonoy our God with love and with pleasure Your holy Sabbath; and may Yisrael rest thereon— [they who are] sanctifiers of Your Name) and purify our hearts to serve You in truth, For You are the Pardoner of Yisrael, and the Forgiver of the tribes of Yeshurun in every generation, and beside You, we have no king who forgives and pardons, only You! Blessed are You, King Who forgives and pardons our iniquities, and the iniquities of His people, the House of Yisrael; and Who removes our trespasses each year; King over the whole earth, Sanctifier
On Shabbos add:
(of the Shabbos and) of Yisrael and the Day of Atonement.
The Masada Complex
The ambivalent attitude toward Masada was expressed by Ben- Gurion in 1946. On August 23, 1946, he sent a letter from Paris to Mapai’s conference in Palestine. He could not take part in that conference because he suspected that if he came to Palestine, the British might arrest him. The main question that was to be debated in that conference was whether to renew the struggle against the British occupation of Palestine and, if so, what form it was to assume. Ben-Gurion’s position was “Not Masada and not Vichy” (Ben-Gurion 1993). By this he meant that he did not want to get into a Masada type of struggle, where the physical body of the nation could be destroyed in a desperate and hopeless battle.
There were other, more modern objections as well. Neri Erelli, a member of Kibbutz Ein Gedi, has expressed a negative opinion many times regarding the Masada mythical narrative (see, e.g., his 1983 and 1986 articles and Fishbane 1992). Erelli bases his objection on a strict reading of Josephus Flavius and states that the Zealots were, in fact, murderers—that they murdered the people of Ein Gedi. He also points out that they did not fight and explicitly adds that there is no comparison between the rebels of Masada and the heroes of the revolt in the Warsaw ghetto. In his later criticism (see Fishbane 1992), he directly accuses the Israeli Ministry of Education of deliberately preventing history teachers from teaching the original Masada narrative as Josephus wrote it and of preferring, instead, the Masada mythical narrative. According to Fishbane, thirty history teachers signed a petition protesting a directive by the Israeli Ministry of Education to teach the history of the Second Jewish Temple. According to Erelli, the reason for the protest was that the textbooks contained a clear attempt to mythologize and present this particular period in a heroic manner: “In most cases, [the period] is not taught in a critical way but as a basis for nourishing national values” (p. 9).30 We have already noted that within the debate over the “Masada complex,” quite a number of opinions were voiced against the Masada mythical narrative. Those of Kedar (1973, 1982), Evron (1971), and Rabi (1979:56-57) serve as three illustrations.