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Sefer Ezra: Part 14 - Bayis Sheini – Not Miraculous, Not Permanent

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Sefer Ezra: Part 14 - Bayis Sheini – Not Miraculous, Not Permanent
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“Then Tatnai, satrap of the Trans-River, Shesar Boznai and their cohorts acted speedily in light of King Daryavash’s message.”

“And the Jewish elders built and succeeded, as told in nevuah by Chaggai the navi, and Zecharia ben Ido. They built and founded by the instruction of the G-d of Yisrael, and with the permission of Coresh and Daryavash Artachshast the king of Paras.”

Hashgachas Hashem caused Coresh and Daryavesh to allow Bnei Yisrael to rebuild the Beis Hamikdash. It was rebuilt through hashgacha obscured by nature, unlike the first Beis Hamikdash, which had been built through open miracles. The Gemara (Brachos 4a) says that the generation of Ezra could also have been redeemed through open miracles, but ultimately they were not worthy to it because of the sins they committed.

“This House was completed on the third day of the month of Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Daryavesh.”

The construction of the second Beis Hamikdash lasted for four and a half years.

“Then Bnei Yisrael, the Kohanim, the Leviim, and the rest of the Bnei Galus celebrated the Chanukah of this House of Hashem with joy.”

The word “this” teaches us that Bnei Yisrael were anticipating a different chanukas habayis. If they had been worthy, the time of the final geulah would have arrived, and immediately after this Chanukah, the third Beis Hamikdash would have descended from the Shamayim, and they would have begun another Chanukah, as discussed in Yechezkel.

The pasuk emphasizes that they celebrated “with joy” to emphasize that despite the fact that the chanukah was celebrated during Purim, which is a time of mishteh and simcha, the ikar of their joy was for the Chanukas Hamikdash which was greater than the simcha of Purim.

Bnei Yisrael then offered korbanos for the chanukas Beis Hamikdash. These korbanos were not according to those listed in the Torah, but were brought by a horaas shah through the neviim. The Kohanim and Leviim were then organized into groups according to the avodah they would perform. The kohanim were divided into twenty-four mishmaros, each to serve in the Beis Hamikdash for one week. Each mishmar was then divided into seven families, each one serving on a different day. The particular avodah they would do was chosen through lottery.

The Leviim were divided in a similar way, but the Leviim were divided even further than the Kohanim. Each Levi was assigned specific avodah for each day, and it was not assigned by lots. Bnei Yisrael then brought the korban Pesach, and joyfully celebrated Pesach together.

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