ELIANA BENADOR: WHO IS A “HERO…?” TRY THE TEN MARTYRS
About the word “hero”.
It’s overrated. People say it without knowing really what they are talking about, its real meaning and above all they don’t even think whom they are labelling it with.
Sometimes saying from someone he/she are heroes is more about the person saying it than about their subject matter.
Saying someone is a hero makes you part of it…. and, oh boy, it feels good.
But truth is to be a hero takes much more than making the right thing because making the right thing is simply normal, nothing more to it.
Therefore people use “hero” indiscriminately and mostly for themselves…. Let’s see why?
Think, who is a hero, a real, true hero?
A true hero is one who gives his life for a worthy cause. Or one who risks his life to save others’ lives. In fact, a hero is about sacrifice. It’s not about telling the truth. There is nothing more normal than to inform telling the truth.
Let me tell you who I think are real heroes, in the hope this will make you reflect about the use of language, for which we are warned to be careful about.
Indeed, we are warned to be careful about our use of words and, for instance, avoid saying anything not good, because words are part of the Divine breathe G d instilled in us as he “breathed life into Adam…”
The Ten Martyrs (Aseret Harugei Malchut עשרת הרוגי מלכות) were ten rabbis living during the era of the Mishnah who were martyred by the Romans in the period after the destruction of the second Temple. Although all ten could not have been killed at the same time, since two of the rabbis listed lived well before the other eight, they are listed together, in a manner of a dramatic poem, known as the Eleh Ezkera,which is recited on two important Jewish holidays, one of them, Yom Kippur, to elicit the proper mood of the day, one of reflection and the hope of redemption in the face of attacks on Jews and Judaism.
The term “martyrology” is also used about the story of the deaths of several famous Rabbis, including Rabbi Akiva, by Romans, read both on Yom Kippur and Tisha b’Av.
Those facts became subject of special midrashim.
Obviously the leftist Wikipedia will not make exception and although their martyrdom was witnessed by many and written about in many books, they still write: “The deaths are described as being gruesome, including allegedly being wrapped in Torah scrolls and then being set aflame…”
The rabbis mentioned lived over a period of several hundred years when Romans targeted the Jewish people and also tried to annihilate their Jewish leadership.
According to the poem, the first two to be executed were Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel and Rabbi Yishmael the Kohen Gadol. Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel was beheaded, and while Rabbi Yishmael wept, the Roman ruler’s daughter coveted Rabbi Yishmael for his physical beauty.
When she was told that he would have to be executed as well, she asked that the skin of his head be flayed while he was alive, so she could stuff the skin and look at his face.
The most well known martyr is Rabbi Akiva, who was raked over his skin with iron combs. Despite the pain consuming him, he was still able to proclaim God’s providence in the world by reciting the Shema, drawing out the final Echad – “One”.
Echad… because there is Only One G d. Only One.
Another sage martyred was Rabbi Haninah ben Teradion, who was wrapped in a Torah scroll and burned alive. Damp wool was packed into his chest to ensure he would not die quickly. When he was being burnt, he told his students that he could see the letters of the sacred torah “flying up” to heaven.
The others mentioned in the poem are Rabbi Hutzpit the Interpreter (so named, because he would interpret the words of the Rosh Yeshiva – the head of the Yeshiva – for the masses, who could not follow all his words); Rabbi Elazar ben Shamua; Rabbi Hanina ben Hakinai; Rabbi Yesheivav the Scribe; Rabbi Judah ben Dama; and Rabbi Judah ben Baba.
And, now, the American president is trying to whitewash Islam with the Christians Crusades, which were taken care of a long time ago… His primal knowledge of history is painful… because this is what the Romans did, before the Christians.
SO now we know what is to be a real hero…
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