Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Tenth of Teves: The Downfall of Yirushalayim and the Downfall of Israel's Enemies

The tenth day of the Hebrew month of Teves of the Jewish year 3,328 (+/- 1 year), the evil Babylonian King, Nevuchadnetzar sent his head slaughterer, Nevuzaradan, (yimach shimo), to Jerusalem to take over the city. The siege of Jerusalem began on the 10th of Teves and lasted for approximately a decade, until the first Beis HaMikdash (Jewish Temple) was destroyed. This destruction preceded the destruction of the second Beis HaMikdash. Therefore, we fast on the 10th of Teves, to recount this terrible tragedy, among other tragedies that occurred on that day.

It is interesting to note that Saddam Hussein, yimach shimo (his name should be blotted out), was executed on the 9th of Teves. Saddam Hussein, yimach shimo, fancied himself and his cruel dictatorial rulership after the evil Nivuchadnetzar. He even believed himself to be a reincarnation of that terrible leader. One of his goals as "leader" of Iraq, was to rebuild Babylon, Nevuchadnetzar's city. I would not be surprised if Hussein was really a reincarnation of Nivuchadnetzar. However, either way, good riddance to him! At the end of maseches Sanhedrin, we learn that "...with the destruction of evildoers is mirth." (Mishlei: 11; 11) As Hussein, im'sh, was clearly an evildoer, not merely some people's enemy, it is only fitting to celebrate his demise, as well as others like him.

It is interesting to note the similarity between the two evildoers, Nebuchadnezzar and Hussein: Both were living like animals toward their ends, both intended on bringing destruction to the Jews of Israel, and both were cruel tyrants (among other similarites). Furthermore, Nebuchanezzar's cruel reign ended in the Jewish year 3,363, Hussein's rule ended in April, 2003, or the year 5,763 on the Jewish calendar, 2,400 years after the demise of Hussein's "hero", Nebuchadnezzar.

We should celebrate the demise of such evildoers, and, G-d Willing, this should be a sign that the four fasts discussed in sefer Zichariah, will turn to days of joy, as Zichariah had prophesied, speedily in our day. Amen!