Megillas Antiochus?!

Home Forums Yom Tov Chanukah Megillas Antiochus?!


Viewing 23 posts - 1 through 23 (of 23 total)
  • Author
  • #611231

    Has anyone ever heard about this? Why didn’t it make the cut??? If history repeater itself (which is what the article was about) wouldn’t this story be something included in Tanach?

    And for Heaven’s sake, why is it named Megillas Antiochus, of all people?!?!


    This didn’t make it into the canon, just like the book of Maccabees didn’t (Catholics, le havdil, view Apocrypha, such as Maccabees, Baruch, Bel and the Dragon, etc. as Mikra).

    There exists a minhag among some communities, including some Temanim, Italkim, etc. to read this on Shabbat Chanukah, similar to how Ashkenazim read Kohelet and Shir haShirim on Shabbat CHM Pesach and Sukkot.


    You can find Megillas Antiyochus on page 441 in the “Avodas Yisroel” Siddur.

    I usually read it somewhere during the course of Chanukah; Often already on the very 1st nite of Chanukah.


    Megillas Antiochus…. Does this have something to do with the story of Yehudis, Antiochus’s valiant killer?

    Although the story itself is pretty IMHO disturbing as they go, I think Yehudis should be celebrated as much as Malkah Esther, for they both gave up so much of themselves to save our nation from oppression and potential annihilation.

    Three cheers for Yehudis!!!


    The Tosfos HaRid I believe in masheches sukkah 44 brings the minhag to read it without a bracha.


    The reason why there is no real Megillah, and it’s attempt to copy the real ones is not read, should be apparent.

    Nations of long ago would revel in war, fighting, combat. That was their pastime, their glory. Reading material (whether real of fake) then was only about warfare and battle. That was definitely not the Jewish way. To read these works and revel in these matters would be playing right back into the misyavnim’s hands.

    We do fight as an emergency measure only, we generally accompany the other two as well, ????? and ?????. We certainly do not revel in these matters, it’s not the Yiddishe pastime, we have something else to occupy our attention – Torah and Avodah.

    A cursory glance at these works show from which angle they’re coming from. Muscles, elephants, brilliant strategies, sprinkles of a few miracles etc. No, nothing of the Jewish sort. Nothing close to the real one – Megillas Esther.

    The gemarah speaks about it, and all we need to know about it, with a mere few words. The big attention Gemarah affords is to the Nes of the Menorah, to show that Hashem was pleased with our actions – the Chanukas Habais.


    That’s basically true. Chazal said it didn’t make the cut, so it didn’t have Kedushah. It’s also possible that Chazal strongly recommended against reading it (a la Ben Sira) once the Christians put it in their canon.


    Froggie, both Dovid haMelech and Shlomo haMelech fought wars of conquest as well as defensive wars., as did later Davidic and Hasmonean kings. These are what we refer to as milchemei reshus. Another interesting item is that none of the Books of Apocrypha cited above mention the neis of the menorah.


    Redleg, yes, they did. As you correctly wrote both types. However, that wasn’t their goal, their pastime, their occupation as by all other nations. Their main focus was on Hashem.

    Indeed, Talmud tells us of numerous Torah inquiries and thoughts that were discussed by generals and warriors WHILE ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN COMBAT. They were most certainly fighting with their hands, however their heads were firmly elsewhere.


    Froggie, if you fight with your hands and not your head, another part of your anatomy is going to get kicked. in the ancient world, which includes includes Israel and Judea, different nations had different attitudes about waging war. Jews fought many wars, some defensive, some aggressive. the difference between us and the other Umos Haolam is that we always, even to the present day, understood that victory and defeat are in the Hands and Head (figuratively speaking) of the Borei Olam.


    Sam2: I doubt it was actively discouraged by chazal given that some communities including the one living in the seat of the Catholic Church read it. Also, there is not one set of Apocrypha. Different Christian Bibles include different books. In fact Ben Sirah (not the “Alphabet of Ben Sirah” which was a poem written later but the actual book) is a standard part of the Christian Old Testament but we consider it sefarim chitzonim and don’t read it except for the handful of quotes in the gemara.

    On a related note, I once heard that Ben Sirah is never quoted in yerushalmi. Can anyone verify this?


    Wow! This is so interesting… Thanks 🙂

    My question still stands though – why was it named after Antiochus of all people? And don’t tell me to look it up somewhere cuz I don’t learn gemara.


    For ‘some reason’ it didn’t make it in to the 24 Sefarim of Tanach that was organized over 200 years earlier by the Anshei Kneses Hagedola.

    It is clear that it was trying to imitate the Megilla form. However, being in a time of Tannaim, had it been recorded by the Chachamim it would most probably have been in the form of a Medrash. And it has been. The Medrash does in fact put it in a different order and perspective — in a way that reflects the attitude that The Frog explained. It’s about Gezeiros as an Onesh for laxity, and Mesirus Nefesh that overcame them.

    It’s about the freedom to do the Mitzvos properly, and not the freedom to have our own criminals.


    Itche Srulik, it is quoted in the Zohar Hakadosh.


    Bookworm, Yehudis killed General Holiphornes, the top general in the Greek army. Antiochus was the king at that time. Please, please get your facts right before you post something.


    HaLeiVi, do you know if the Zohar quotes are from the Greek version or the original Hebrew?


    It may have been Aramaic. I haven’t seen it for a while.

    Oddly enough, it is the exact piece that the Gemara settled on as the reason not to learn it. This would be proof to the Shita that it is Muttar to read it but not to learn it. Don’t treat it as Mikra. Another proof is that the Gemara says you can Darshen the good parts, meaning the Divrei Mussar. How would you find it if you didn’t read it?


    How would I find it without reading it? – By someone posting it here!!


    Believe it or not, it’s actually included in the old Birnbaum daily siddur – the blue ones everyone used in pre-Artscroll days.


    Notasheep, Holiphornos was not a general in the times of Antiochus. Nor was he a Syrian-Greek, or even Hellenic. Sefer Yehudis, which was the source of the story, was set at the time of Nevuchadnezzar. Later interpolations changed the time to the time of the Chanukah story, but that is unlikely to be accurate (if the story is a true one at all.)


    Wow, this a really cool thread!


    Rashi attaches it to Chanukah. There is more than one version of Maasah Yehudis. The expanded one has the taste and smell of a plagiarized fake. It has the whole Nusach Hatefillah of the Jews and of Yehudis. The whole Nusach doesn’t match up to any of our Peyutim or Tefilos. It is a conglamoration of Pesukim.


    HaLeivi: And no sefer quotes the zohar until the middle of tekufas harishonim so we still know about Ben Sirah from the gemarah. (I am purposely ignoring Rav Yaakov Emden’s shittah because some people here are can’t take it.) And Sirah was indeed originally written in Hebrew. Any place you’re likely to find it printed in full will probably call it Ecclesiasticus.

Viewing 23 posts - 1 through 23 (of 23 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.