Av 29, 5771
In Rabbi Berl Wein’s book Echoes of Glory it says that Herod (Hordus) was Antipater’s son. I saw the same claim in other sources. But in Bava Basra daf g. it says that he himself was a slave that rebelled. What is Rabbi Wein’s source? Is this a machlokes?
Shalom. Both are correct. Herod (or Hordus) was the son of Antipater (Sefer HaYuchshin I and VI), who was an Edomean ruler and “strongman” who basically ruled Judea, in the name of the weak Horkenus II, who was the official Hasmonean ruler and Kohen Gadol. Horkenus’s nemesis was his nephew Matityahu Antigonus (son of Aristobulus, Horkenus’ brother), who together with the Partheans, fought bitterly against Horkenus and Herod (who ruled after his father Antipater was killed). Herod was blamed for the eventual death of Antigonus whom he soundly defeated with the help of the Romans, and thus became known in Baba Batra 3b, as the “Edomite slave” (all of the Edomeans were originally subjects to the Hasmonean dynasty) who rose and “stole the scepter” from the Hamonean royal heirs, Hurkenus (who was kidnapped by the Partheans and was symbolically brought back by Herod, who by then was ruling unequivocally- even marrying the granddaughter of Hurkenus, to be just a “figurehead”) and Antigonus (who was killed by the Romans, apparently at the request of Herod).
Most importantly, we should learn from history that Jews must unite and not break into factions, and surely not turn to gentile super-powers, be it the European Union or the United States, to help defeat the opposing Jewish party! Only when we solve our internal disagreements, can we stand as one against the enemies of each generation.
With Love of Israel,
Rav Ari Shvat
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