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Cyrus the Great & the Jerusalem Wall of 2nd Temple


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Tammuz 24, 5777
a. In Ezra 9:9, the word for "wall" that is used is "gader". Does "gader" indicate that this wall was like a "fence", and therefore not a protective wall, or, "chomah"? Meaning that the Second Temple had no protective wall? b. Also, if the humanitarian values of Cyrus the Great was the reason for the end of the Babylonian Exile, and the reason for the building of the Second Temple, then why are there no holidays celebrating him?
a. In fact, the fence mentioned there in Ezra refers to symbolically acquiring the land through working and constructing, but as of then, there was conspicuously no protective wall around Jerusalem (see also Nechemia 2, 17). That was until Nechemia constructed it (ibid, ch. 3), and then it was enlarged several times, afterwards. b. Cyrus allowed and even encouraged the Jews to return to Israel and build the Second Temple, nevertheless, we believe that God, and not he, was the reason and the cause. We consider him, as all historic figures like Lord Balfour and Baron Rothschild, as messengers of God. They have deservedly gone down in history, and we thank/ed them profusely, but holidays are reserved for thanking God, who really runs the show, and enables those righteous to succeed in helping Israel succeed.
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