The Jewish Eye
Sefer Ezra: Part 5 - The Courage to Sacrifice
“And the seventh month arrived, and Bnei Yisrael were in the cities, and the people gathered as one man to Yerushalayim.” “And Yeshua ben Yotzadak arose, and his brothers, the Kohanim, and Zerubavel ben Shealtial and his brothers. And they built the mizbeach of the G-d of Yisrael to bring olos on it, as it is written in Torah of Moshe, the man of G-d.”
This was Tishrei. Bnei Yisrael gathered to observe Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Succos. Yotzadak, who was the brother of Ezra had been the last Kohen Gadol during the first Beis Hamikdah. His son, Yeshua, served as the Kohen Gadol during the second Beis Hamikdash.
When Bnei Yisrael were scattered throughout Eretz Yisrael, they hesitated to establish the mizbeach because they were fearful of the non-Jews. When they gathered together in Tishrei, they felt the “safety of numbers” and built the mizbeach. Three neviim had gone up with them from the golah, Chagai, Zecharya, and Malachi, and one testified to the exact location of the mizbeach.
“They celebrated the Chag of Succos as it is written, “The olos each, its number, according to the law of each day. And afterwards, the olas tamid, for Roshei Chodeshim, and all of the sanctified moadei Hashem, and for everyone who donated a donation to Hashem.”
Afterwards refers only to that Pesach and Shavuos, since subsequently the king canceled his permission, and the offering of korbanos ceased.
"From the first day of the seventh month, they began to bring up olos to Hashem, but the heichel of Hashem was not yet founded.”
Normally, it is forbidden to bring korbanos outside the Bais Hamikdah. However, one of the neviim who came up from Bavel testified that the korbanos could be brought on the mizbeach which was placed in the exact site it was during the first Beis Hamikdash, despite the fact that the Beis Hamikdash was not yet rebuilt.
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