The Zohar/Rav Brandwein Writings
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Written by Rabbi Yosef Shani in the book Shaar Yosef (1983), Israel.
(Disclaimer by the translator!) The conclusions herein are questionable, especially as to their source. All Kabbalah must be transmitted from teacher to student. New, innovative, novel conclusions could be quite incorrect and harmful to the development of one’s character. In addition, please be very aware that the planets, stars, etc. have no independent control over the world, only G-d does. The planets, in their spiritual level, act as intermediaries of emanations from Heaven, and transfer a specific influence unique to them. They are like the cold and hot water faucets. The cold water comes from the cold faucet and the hot water comes from the hot faucet. The faucet only helps us identify the flow and the plumber sends the appropriate type of flow, cold or hot, to the right pipeline and faucet. So too, all emanations, influences and control come only from Hashem. Hashem sends them through the Sefiros through infinite numbers of worlds and eventually way down at the bottom through the spiritual level of the stars and planets, and then eventually to our world. Never attribute control or dominion to a sign or planet. It is like crediting a pen for the writing it does. Only the writer is responsible for the writing. The pen is a tool used to accomplish the task. So too, the signs and planets, etc. are just tools which Hashem uses to help us know what type of influence is occurring, but our souls and spirits are much greater and loftier than the planets or even the angels so we can go beyond the control of the planets and be directly connected to Hashem.)
According to the Rambam, during the second Holy Temple in Jerusalem, the Greeks made decrees on Israel, canceled their Jewish religion, did not allow Torah study of Mitzvah performance, plundered Israel’s money and daughters, broke into the Temple and defiled what was pure. Israel suffered much from the Greeks until Hashem, the Lord of their fathers, had compassion upon them and saved them from the Greeks. The Chashmonaim, the priests and sons of the High priest, killed many Greeks, saved Israel from the Greek Empire and established a line of Chasmonaic Kings which lasted more than two hundred years, until the Roman destruction of the Second Temple. After Israel conquered their enemies, on the twenty-fifth of the month of Kislev, they entered the Temple and found only one pure flask of olive oil. Their was just enough pure oil to burn the menorah lights for one day, yet the oil burned for eight days, until they had processed more pure oil. Therefore, the Sages of that generation decreed that the eight days, beginning from the 25th of Kislev would be days of joy and praise. These days are called Chanukah.
Let us look at the Maccabean war through astrology and its connection to Torah, to be able to focus in on the hidden light behind the miracle of Chanukkah. Alexander the Great of Macedonia conquered the entire world, even Jerusalem, where he befriended Shimon the Tzaddik, as the Talmud Yoma relates.
After the death of Alexander, his awesome kingdom faltered and the Seleucids took control of the Syrian Empire with its capital in Antioch (today, a small city in Turkey called Anatolika), from which the rulers obtained their title Antiochus. The Ptolemys took Egypt and its surroundings. The Land of Israel was the boundary of both Empires with Syria to the North and Egypt to the South. The two Empires constantly waged war over the Land of Israel trying to annex it into their own Empire. The era of the Chashmonaim began during the days of Antiochus the Fourth called Epiphanes, the King of Syria. Ptolemy Philometor (and his younger brother Ptolemy Piskun) was the King of Egypt. This covered a time span of 1043 years until the kingdom of Herod the Edomite slave (years from creation 3617-3724, which is 143 to 36 BCE).(The books of the Maccabees date the first war in 3585, but the Talmud explains that the rulership of the Chashmonaim which was established five years after the war began was 103 years prior to Herod, since from Herod’s reign until the destruction of the Holy Temple in 68 CE was also 103 years. Herein we have used the chronology of the Talmud and not the Maccabean or Josephusan versions, since their rendering in Hebrew has been lost and only translation have remained, their chronology did not remain accurate and contains many internal conflicts.)
In the year 3617 (143 CE), Antiochus Epiphanes retuned from a victory over Egypt by way of Israel on his return to Syria. He passed through Jerusalem and plundered the Temple, stealing the Holy Vessels, and appointing the Hellenist Menelaeus as the High priest, who turned his back on the Jewish religion and built a stadium in Jerusalem. He sent out the priest to fight with their friends in the coliseum, but the service in the Temple continued.
In the year 3621 (139 BCE), Appolonius, a general of Antiochus was sent to Israel. He decreed a ban on the Mitzvah of the New Moon (Rosh Chodesh), the Sabbath, and circumcision. On the 15th of Kislev, he plundered the Temple. On the 25th of Kislev, Menelaeus sacrificed a pig on the altar of the Holy Temple to Zeus the Olympian. From then on, the service in the Temple ended. That year, Mattisyahu, the son of Yochanan the High priest, and his sons Yehuda, Yochanan, Elazar, Yonasan and Shimon led the revolt against the decrees of Antiochus. The Maccabees are called the Chashmonaim since they came from the city of Chasmone in Judah (which is mentioned in the Book of Joshua, Chapter 15). Afterwards they moved to live in Modi’in. There they killed the King’s messenger who commanded them to worship idols. The Chashmonaim gathered together several hundred Jews who created the base for the Chasmonaic Army.
In the year 3622 (138 BCE), a year after the revolt, Mattisyahu the High Priest passed away and gave over the leadership to Yehuda his son (the well known Judah the Maccabee), who immediately went out to war against Appolonius and his soldiers. He killed Appolonius and wore his shield during the battles. That year, Siron the Aramean fought against Yehuda at Beit Choron (near the city of today’s Latrun). Yehudah killed him and scattered his armies.
In the year 3623 (137 BCE), Antiochus traveled to Persia leaving behind Lizius, the Guardian of his son Antiochus Apbatur. His General, Gargeus, saw what Yehudah had accomplished so Gargeus amassed an army of 40,000 men and 7000 horsemen and waged war at the city of Ammaus (5 KM SW of today’s Gezer) against Yehudah and his army of 3000 men, who lacked sufficient weapons. At this battle, Yehudah was victorious, killed 3000 of the Syrian soldiers and Gargeus returned in shame to Antioch.
In the year 3624 (136 BCE), Lucius was sent by Gargeus, heading an army of 60,000 men and 5000 horsemen to fight Yehudah and his army, now numbering 10,000. The battle took place at Beit Tzur (1 KM from today’s city of Chalchul, on the way to Chevron). Yehudah defeated the Syrians in the beginning of Kislev and immediately afterwards returned with a crown of victory to Jerusalem, which was freed by him entirely, except for a fortress on Har Tzion. On the 25th of Kislev, he purified the Holy Temple, and the well-known miracle of the flask of oil took place. The following year, the holiday of Chanukkah was established for all generations. That year, Yehudah fought the Edomites in TransJordan, since they oppressed the Jews living there and he captured Akraba, Be’one, Rabat Amon and Ya’zer. He brought the Jews back to the land of Judah. His brother Shimon fought in the Galil heading a force of 3000. His victories reached Akko in the Western Galil. He killed 3000men and brought the Jews back to the Land of Judah. That year, in Gilead, Yehuda and Yonasan conquered Botzra and Mitzpeh. They killed 8000 men and returned the Jews who lived in Gilead to Judah. Yosef Ben Zecharya and Azaryah went without the permission of Yehudah the Maccabee, to wage war in Yavneh. Two thousand Jews were killed there. The same year, Yehudah conquered Chevron, but for the first time, many Priests were killed. When they went to bury them, they found idols in their garments, which they had liked and taken as spoils from their earlier conquests. The Maccabees understood the cause behind the loss of these men.
In the year 3625 (135 BCE), Antiochus Epiphanes died and his son Antiochus Apbatur (which means the lover of his father) ruled under the guardianship of Lizius. Immediately, Apbatur, with an army of 100,000 infantry, 22,000 horsemen, and 32 highly trained elephants, warred against Yehudah at Beit Tzur. Yehuda killed 600 men, but his brother Elazar was killed. The war did not stop and Yehuda and his troops went to Gofna in the Shomron (today a small city called Jufna, left of the Ramallah Shechem highway). One of the reasons was that it was a Shemittah year (where the fields lay fallow) so there was not enough food for his men. In the meantime, Antiochus and Lizius feared a rebellion in Antioch, so they made a truce with the Jews and returned to Antioch.
In the year 3627 (133 BCE), Demetrius, the cousin of Apbatur, conquered Antioch. He killed Apbatur and Lizius and he ruled there. That year, his general Nikanor fought against Yehuda in Kfar Sabba and 5000 men of Nikanor’s were killed. Nikanor joined forces with the Army of Aram and they fought together against Yehudah at Beit Choron. Yehuda, with a small army of 3000 soldiers, on the 13th of Adar defeated the large Army and killed Nikanor.
The next year, 3628 (132 BCE) Demetrius sent Bacchidus against the city of Arbel and he captured it. He killed many people there. Then he came to Jerusalem, heading an army of 20,000 men and 2000 horsemen. Yehuda led a force of only 800 men. It was an extremely bloody battle near the present city of Ramallah. Many people were killed, including Yehuda Maccabee. At the prisoner exchange, his brothers Yonasan and Shimon received his body and buried him in Modi’in. That year, the Holy Temple fell in the hands of Bacchidus, who appointed the Hellenist Alkemus as High priest, (who later died that year in Cheshvan after he started to destroy the walls of the Temple.) That year, Yochanan the Maccabee was killed by Arabs form the Arabic Tribe Yamri. Shimon and Yonasan, with a number of men, fought valiantly with Bacchidus in the marshes of the Jordan. After killing 1000 men of Bacchidus’ army, they crossed over the Jordan to the Eastern side. Bacchidus remained in power on the western side, which included Jerusalem, for two years.
In the year 3631 (129 BCE) Bacchidus fought with Shimon and Yonasan in Beit Baytzi (East of today’s Tekoa, not far from Bait Lechem). There, Yonasan put enough pressure on Bacchidus that Bacchidus was forced to return prisoners.
In the year 3635 (125 BCE), Alexander the son of Epiphanes fought with his cousin Demetrius for the throne of the kingdom. Each one wanted Yonasan on their side, so they sent him presents and gave him territory in Judah and Samaria. Yonasan took the side of Alexander against Demetrius and after a gruesome battle, Demetrius was killed and Alexander ascended the throne. He kept his promise to Yonasan, especially after his marriage to Cleopatra, the daughter of Ptolemy Philometor, the King of Egypt.
In the year 3640 (120 BCE), Demetrius the son of Demetrius arose with a force of 3000 horses, and tens of thousands of soldiers to fight Yonasan for having sided with Alexander. Yonasan conquered Yaffo without a battle, with a force of 10,000. In Ashdod, there was a harsh battle, where not even one of Israel was lost, but 8,000 were killed from Demetrius’ forces. That year, Demetrius captured Syria and ruled over it as Alexander the King fled to Arabia where he later died.
In the year, 3642 (118 BCE), Tryphon and Antiochus the younger, the son of Alexander, returned and captured Syria from Demetrius and Antiochus ruled in his place and made peace with Yonasan and gave him the Western Galil until Sulam Tzur (today’s Rush Hanikra) and in the south until Nachal Mitzrayim (Wadi el Arish). Then Yonasan conquered the cities in the Lower Galil and Har Chevron, and by Lod and he returned the Jews to their places. In those days, Yonasan went out with 3000 men to greet Tryphon, who came in deceit as an ally, yet his intent was to rebel against Antiochus and to take for himself all of the Land of Israel. When he reached Akko, Tryphon went and killed all of them, only leaving Yonasan alive as a captive. Shimon, the brother of Yonasan, fought against Tryphon, who out of fear fled to Gilad, but not before Yonasan was killed by Beit Sikma near Chevron.
In the year 3643 (117 BCE), Shimon conquered all of Israel and ruled over it. He captured Gezer near Ramallah and Yaffo in the plains, and placed Jews there, and the land was quiet for seven years.
In the year 3650 (110 BCE), Shimon and his sons Mattisyahu and Yehuda were murdered in the Fortress Doke, near Yericho, by his son in law Ptolemy the son of Chavuvo, who wanted to succeed him. However, Yochanan the son of Shimon came in first and took the power of rulership.
In the year 3654 (106 BCE), the Syrians waged war against Yochanan the son of Shimon the Chasmonai, and they took control of all of Israel except for Jerusalem and its surroundings, which remained in the hands of Yochanan. Afterwards, Yochanan gathered strength and conquered Shechem and destroyed the Samaritan Temple on the Mount Gerizim, and he conquered Edom and forcibly converted the Edomites. In his days, Judaism split into three groups. 1) The Perushim (Pharisees), who made up the majority of the masses who followed the Sages and the Torah; 2) the Tzidokim (Sadducees), who were the minority, they did not accept the leadership of the Sages of Israel; the Issiyim (Essenes), were a small sect who lived primarily in the Judean desert under a unique and rigid way of life.
After the death of Yochanan, in 3668 (92 BCE), his son, Yehuda Aristobulus accepted the role of power. However, he died after one year. His wife, the Queen ShlomTziyon, under Levirate marriage, married his younger brother Alexander Yannai (Yochanan), who became the King and the High Priest for 27 years (during the years 3669-3691, 91-64 BCE). He is well known in the Talmud as Yochanan the Cohen Gadol, who later became a Tzidoki. At the end of his days, after two defeats at the hands of the Syrians and Nivatim, Yannai gain strength and conquered all of the land. After his death, his wife ShlomTziyon ruled for 9 years.
In the year 3706 (54 BCE), after the death of ShlomTziyon, a strong struggle for power began between her two sons Horkanos, the firstborn, and the younger Aristobulus. Pompeyus the Roman, who lived in Syria, was ordered to go down and to settle the matter between them. Then Pompeyus, with the help of the supporters of Horkanos, ruled over Judah and Jerusalem and placed Horkanos in power with an advisor named Antipater the Edomite. When the Prassim conquered Syria and Israel, they gave rulership over to Antignos the son of Aristobulus. Due to this, Hordus (Herod), the son of Antipater, fled to Rome. There the Romans appointed him as the King of Judah under their guardianship. He returned to Judah in the year 3721 and fought there. After a bitter struggle of three years between him and Antignos, Hordus captured the position of King in the year 3724 (36 BCE) and he ruled over all of Judah and he murdered all of the family of the Chashmonaim. Even his own wife, Miriam the Chasmonai and his own sons, he murdered. Not a single descendant from the line of the Chashmonaim remained. (Translator’s note: actually several great Rabbis were actually descendants of the Maccabees) (This history has been compiled from the books of the Chashmonaim and the Maccabees, Yuchsin and Seder Hadoros and others. With regards to the years of rulership of the Kings of the Chashmonaim there are different opinions.)
It is important to point out the words of the Ramban who wrote that the House of the Chashmonaim came to a complete end, since they took the Crown of Kingship for themselves and did not give it back over to the descendants of the House of David. (See Ramban on the Torah, Parshas Bereishis Chapter 49).
From the words of the Rambam at the beginning of this piece, whose source is from the Talmud, it is explained that the miracle of the oil was only for seven days, since the flask of oil contained enough to burn for one day, yet it continued to burn the full eight days. If so, the Holiday of Chanukkah should only be 7 days, of which there was a miracle; why did the Sages of Israel establish the celebration for eight days?
Why were the Greeks so insistent that the Jews stop doing the Mitzvos of the New Moon, Shabbos, and Circumcision? Why did they not want to stop all of the practical Mitzvos?
The Greeks forced Israel to sacrifice a pig to Zeus the Olympian, as was explained in the Books of the Chashmonaim, the Maccabees, and Chazal. The question need be asked, why specifically to Zeus and not to the other gods, like Apollo, who by them was the god of the Sun, or to Neptune, who they believed ruled the sea? Why did they specifically choose a pig for the sacrifice and not any other animal?
Why do we not do any remembrance for the remarkable wars and victories by the Maccabees, but only commemorate the miracle of the oil. (As an aside, the miracle of the wars is hinted to in the prayer established for Chanukkah.)
Therefore, let us elaborate. (In Hebrew the word Cochav (star), can mean star, planet or moon.) The seven “moving stars” listed in order are Saturn, Jupiter (Tzedek), Mars, the Sun (Apollo), Venus, Mercury, and the Moon (Luna). They correspond to the Sefiros as enumerated by the Kabbalists as Chessed (Lovingkindness – Jupiter), Gevurah (Strength – Mars), Tiferes (Beauty – the Sun), Netzach (Victory – Venus), Hod (Glory – Mercury), Yesod (Foundation – Saturn) and Malchus (Kingship – the Moon). The impact and application of the “stars”, for good and for bad, applies to all people and nations, including Israel. The difference between Israel and the other nations is in that through the Mitzvos, Israel has the power to neutralize the negative impact of the “stars” upon their bodies and souls. Through the flow and impact of the Sefirah called Binah (Understanding), which corresponds to what the Greek sages called the Encompassing Sphere, (see Rambam Laws of Yesoday Hatorah Chapter 3) which causes there to be a specific order in the cosmos, which controls the activity of every star in a defined and bounded manner. Just as a person is personally influenced by the radiance of the stars, so too the person’s soul is influenced by the radiance of the Sefiros, which are higher than the stars and to which the stars just correspond to them. The Mitzvos neutralize the influence of the Sefiros of Gevurah and Din and thereby automatically, the person is neutralized from the influence of the negative stars, which correspond to that Gevurah and Din. This expresses a part of our special nature, which was promised to us since Mount Sinai, as the verse says, “You will be a special people to me (Hashem) from all of the Nations.”
The three “stars” Saturn, Mars, and the Moon, their radiation causes very negative things. For example, Saturn is appointed over the cold, extreme dryness and desolation. Mars is appointed over wars and bloodshed. The moon is appointed over diseases of the body and soul, poverty and lacking. In order to be saved from these negative influences, (in their physical manifestation, or in their spiritual nature causing damage to the soul), we were commanded to keep Shabbos, circumcision and the New Moon. Shabbos neutralizes the flow of the planet Saturn, which rules on that day of Saturday. Circumcision which is accomplished by cutting off the foreskin and producing blood neutralizes the influence of the planet Mars. The new Moon, which is the establishment of the Hebrew Months, which follow the lunar cycle (in contrast to the secular calendar which follows the solar cycle) neutralizes the influence of the Moon. (See the Chida in Devash Lefi, section Ches, in the name of the Or Ainayim.)
Therefore, even before the Nation of Israel became a unified Nation by receiving the Torah at Har Sinai, they had already been commanded about these three Mitzvos. The Mitzvah of circumcision was given to Avraham Avinu. The people of Israel who did not circumcise themselves while they were enslaved in Egypt, were not delivered with the Exodus until they were all circumcised by the evening of Passover, before they left Egypt. (See the Book of Joshua Chapter 5 verse 5, and the commentary of Rashi and the Radak.) The Mitzvah of the New Moon was given in Egypt to Moshe and Aharon and then given over to Israel as is explicitly stated in the verse, “And Hashem spoke to Moshe and Aharon in the Land of Egypt saying, this month will be for you the Rosh Chodesh of all months, it is the first for you of the months of the year.”(Exodus 12:1-2) After the neutralization of the influence of Mars and the Moon, our fathers left Egypt. When they reached Marah, they were commanded about keeping Shabbos as explained in the verse, “See that Hashem has given you the Shabbos, and the Nation kept Shabbos on the seventh day.” (Exodus 16:29-30). After the additional neutralization of the influence of Saturn, Israel could unite to become a Nation who received the Torah and the Mitzvos and hear and see the sublimely, glorious awesome visions of standing at Har Sinai.
When Avraham was born, Jupiter stood to one side of Saturn. There was between them a very strong reciprocal influence. Jupiter radiated positive influences to the soul of the man and his personality, and negative influences on his body, amongst which are infertility. Avraham, who was born under Jupiter, was infertile. But after he sanctified his life for the good of mankind and guided the idolatrous world to recognize the one, unique G-d, and he requested children from his G-d who created the world and man. The location of Jupiter changed to the other side of Saturn and it neutralized the negative influences of Saturn and converted it into a planet, which radiates positive influences, amongst which are a preparedness for fruitfulness and high fertility. So too the sages say in the Talmud (Shabbos 156, according to Rashi), “Avraham said to Hakadosh Baruch Hu, ‘I have looked at my astrology and I am not capable of producing children.’ Hakadosh Baruch Hu said to him, ‘Go out from your astrology! Because Jupiter, which is your Mazal “sign” stands in the west, which is the place of coldness and it is infertile, I will change its place, and place it in the East which is a place of heat and you will be fertile.’” This is exactly what happened. This is what the prophet Yeshaya said to Israel, (Isaiah 41) “He who awoke Jupiter from the East, He will call him to His foot.”
From that time, the Mazal of Israel moved between Jupiter and Saturn. When Israel does the Will of G-d, they are influenced also from the radiance of the Sefirah of Malchus within Holiness, which receives light from the Sefirah of Chessed. Then, also the Moon receives radiance from Jupiter and by way of the Moon are received the positive influences. However, if they are not doing the Will of Hashem, they are pursued by the Sefiros of Gevurah and Yesod, which radiate negative influences by way of Mars (Gevurah), and Saturn (Yesod). (See the Biyur Hagara on Sefer Yetzira chapter 4). This is the reason that a Kosher and straight Jew is called Tzaddik (from the term Tzedek for Jupiter), and not called Tov (Good) or Yashar (straight) etc. As the verse says, “Your nation are all Tzaddikim (Isaiah 60:21), since when an individual is straight and worthy, they are influenced by Jupiter which receives from the Holy Malchus the radiance of the Sefirah of Chessed. Even a person who comes to convert, their title in Israel is a Ger Tzedek, for they are coming to enter and join a Nation which receives its Divine influence from the Holy Sefiros by way of Jupiter. Therefore, the capital of Israel is Jerusalem, upon which is the planet Jupiter, as the verse says, “Tzedek will dwell in her.” Therefore, the kings of Jerusalem were called Malki Tzedek, the Kings of Tzedek. Also, honesty and truth are called Tzedek as the verse says, “You should purse Tzedek.” (Devarim 16:20), “A complete and Tzedek weight you should have, a complete and Tzedek measure you should have.” (Devarim 25:15).
The planet Jupiter influences its radiance in the “signs” of Sagittarius and Pisces (the Months of Kislev and Adar). However, Avraham was born on Rosh Chodesh Nissan, which was still under the influence of Jupiter, since the Hebrew calendar does not align with the months of the “stars” since the “stars” correlate to the solar cycle.
So too Moshe Rabeinu, the messenger of the Lord to shape the Nation of Israel and to be their first deliverer, he was born on the 7th of Adar (see Talmud Shabbos 156 and Rosh Hashanah 11) whish is found, as was aid, under Jupiter.
When Israel give up the influence of this planet and are pushed as a result of their negative deeds to under Saturn, there is a greater power and strength to their enemies during the months of the rule of Jupiter, to be given over to them, and they have within their hands to subjugate the spirit of Israel in the month of Kislev. Then the exile (Galus) is given to Israel rather than destruction, since Sagittarius rules in this month and it is known as the “house of roads” causes to exile the “wandering Jew”. In Adar, which is known in the Astrological calendar as the “house of hatred”, they have the ability to subjugate the material realm and the body together. (It is possible that the matter is dependent on the composition of the planet Jupiter, which is Helium gas (the element of fire) which radiates in Kislev, and Hydrogen (the element of water) which radiates in Adar.)
The Sefirah of Malchus receives a negative radiance from the Sefiros of Gevurah and Yesod and corresponding to them are the Moon which corresponds to the Sefirah of Malchus is ruled by the planets Mars and Saturn which encircle Jupiter from its two sides and they overpower and nullify its natural radiance. (This is the secret of what the Sages say in the Zohar and Midrash in many places that the Shechinah is in Exile. This means that the Sefirah of Malchus, which needs to receive from the Sefirah of Chessed, and correspondingly the moon needs to receive the radiance of Jupiter during exile. And it draws and emanates in it the influence of the negative Sefiros and planets.)
Therefore, when the enemies of Israel who knew the astrological influences at an in depth level, they tried to conspire against Israel and almost succeeded. This was during the months of Kislev and Adar. And when the kindness of Hashem became the dominant force, Jupiter returned to radiate and the days themselves turned into days of Holidays for Israel. Purim in Adar and Chanukkah in Kislev. Therefore, Haman was a great astrologer (see Shaar Hakavanos of the Ari, the first Derush of Purim) and he chose the month of Adar through astrological lots for the opportune time to destroy Israel, since Israel was in Galus and they were pushed under the influence of Saturn, as said above. When they repented and Hashem’s mercies came out strongly and Jupiter returned to radiate again to Israel its natural radiances through the Sefirah of Malchus of Holiness, which returned to radiate in it. Then, “it was turned around, and the Jews ruled over their enemies.”
The Greeks who were great astrologers and worshipped the “moving stars” through idols, which were directed to them, knew all this. Therefore, they tried to Hellenize the Jews to not keep Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh, and circumcision. When they succeeded in this, and they caused Jupiter to be ruled by Mars and Saturn, specifically in the month of Kislev, at its height, on the 15th of the month they conquered Jerusalem and the Temple, and on the 25th they placed an idol in the Holy of Holies. However, since Jupiter radiates on Jerusalem, they placed the idol of Zeus the Olympian, who corresponds to Jupiter, and they specifically sacrificed a pig, since a sacrifice is not subjugation to an idol but rather converts the sacrifice into being a part of its nature. (This is just as food becomes part of the person’s body.) The pig represents Mars, as will be explained, which is the planet of the Greeks. Because of Mars’ radiance, they waged war, might and conflict coming through it. (Mars is also the planet of Eisav (Esau) who was given the blessing, “You shall live by the sword.”) Therefore, its sign is also the pig, as the sages explained on the verse, “The boars of the forest ravage it.” (Psalms 80:14). Through this they caused that the Jupiter over Jerusalem and the Temple should receive the negative influence of Mars, in greater measure and degree. (This is similar to the words of Yeshaya in the first Chapter of his prophecy regarding the idolatry of some of Israel in Jerusalem, that, “Jupiter rests on it, and now you are murderers,” behaving like Mars.)
Now we will explain how the pig is in Mars. The Holy Torah forbids eating an animal unless they chew their cud (are ruminates) and also have split hooves. The Torah points out that it is forbidden to eat a camel, hyrax and rabbit, since they do chew their cud, but they do not have split hooves. And not the pig, which has split hooves, but does not chew its cud; they are all unclean to you. Whichever animal is influenced by Jupiter as the Sefirah of Malchus radiates through Jupiter, chews its cud and has split hooves. Even people who are under Jupiter receive this radiance. Therefore, people of the sign of Sagittarius are great and fine talkers, like chewing the cud. Furthermore, many Sagittarians actually chew their cud and after they finish eating, they are capable of bringing back up their food to their mouths and to chew it a second time with pleasure. People of the sign Pisces suffer from problems and pains of their feet especially the ball of the foot, like the split hooves. Therefore, we are forbidden to eat from animals, which do not come from the influence of the Holy Sefiros that passes through Jupiter. However, the “stars” which encircle Jupiter from its two asides, which are as said Saturn and Mars, and the reciprocal influence from between them causes animals that receive the radiance from the third face of Saturn to chew their cud, but not have split hooves. (The camel chews its cud and has a partially split hoof but not entirely, therefore it is impure, since it comes from Saturn closest point to Jupiter. Therefore, the Arabs, who are compared metaphorically to the camel, are closest in their language and customs to the Jews, more than other nations. Nevertheless, they draw their influence from Saturn and therefore they are impure to us and their religion is idolatrous to us).
The pig, which receives its influence from the first face of Mars, which is close to Jupiter, has split hooves, but it does not chew its cud. Therefore, even though other animals, which do not have split hooves, yet chew their cud, they are forbidden and their influence is a negative one on the Jew who eats from it and it damages their soul. The Torah emphasizes the forbiddenness of the animal which has split hooves yet does not chew its cud, and the one which chews its cud yet does not have split hooves, for their influence upon one who consumes them is greatly destructive from the aspect of the damage their soul receives. Therefore, the Greeks preferred to sacrifice a pig over all other animals, since it is in Mars, which is their sign, as was said.
When the Chashmonaim gained power, by getting rid of the Hellenists, they returned the power to Jupiter. And by their self-sacrifice for the sake of a Torah and Pure life, they returned nature to its position, and in these specific months were able to defeat the Greeks. The deciding battle against Nikanor, where there were truly “a few” against “many”, was on the 13th of Adar (and during the Second Temple, this was celebrated as a holiday called The day of Nikanor), and the renewal of the Temple and its service was on the 25th of Kislev, the date of its prior ending. However, the miracle of the oil did not take place at the height of the month on the 15th, since the Hellenists were not totally eradicated. Some of them even remained after the Maccabean victories, so the power of Jupiter was not compete. Even that miracle that took place was through the Sefirah of Binah, which emanated through the Encompassing Sphere, which intervened into what was taking place, and neutralized the influence of Saturn and Mars on Jupiter, because of the self-sacrifice of the Chashmonaim for Torah and Mitzvos. Therefore, the Holiday is celebrated for 8 days to symbolize that its source does not come by way of the seven “moving stars” but from the Sefirah of Binah, which is above them and cancels out their power, and through which Israel is unique from all nations and languages, as was said. Therefore, the miracle of the battles was hidden, since those Hellenist who remained caused that the victories also claimed the loss of Tzaddikim. However, the miracle of the oil symbolizes the eternity of Torah and Mitzvos and that the spirit of Israel is made complete and that the Nation of Israel and the Torah will be established forever.
Lets point out that the Chasmonaic wars were not to achieve National freedom, but religious freedom, to be saved from the Greek lifestyle and to continue in the spirit of Israel and its Torah. What is most absurd within Israel today is that there are Hellenists who continue the lifestyle of the Greeks and the Olympians, under the name “Maccabee”, the name of the Chashmonaim who fought against such a lifestyle and gave up their possessions and lives in order to uproot such an influence from the Jewish people.
Note: The Romans decreed against Shabbos, circumcision and laws of menstruation (Talmud Me’ilah page 17). The status of a menstruant woman who sees blood which came from the “source” (her uterus), causes the empowerment of Mars and the Sefirah of stern judgment and anger, upon her and her soul (the biological cause of this was by Chava (Eve), the mother of all life, having eaten from the Tree of Knowledge which was composed of good and evil, a subject which is not for here). Her purification and empowerment of Jupiter and the Sefiros of Chessed and mercy upon her are required to take place after she ceases to see even a drop of this blood, and then afterwards to wait seven days, clean from blood, during which she is still under the influence of Mars, but not entirely, but with the blending of the other six “moving stars”. From the 8th night and on, if she bathes in the Mikvah (ritual bath), or in a body of water not drawn by man, through the power of the bathing, she is freed from the influence of the negative stars and enters into the influence of the Sefirah of Binah, within which the Jewish people are separated from the Nations. So too the Mitzvah of circumcision is from the 8th day onwards from this very reason. The Romans who feared that Israel would revolt and return the rulership to the influence of the Sefirah of Binah, decreed to nullify these Mitzvos, but they could not destroy the spirit of Israel and their faith. And the Nation of Israel lives!