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Rav Isaac Sher: Did the House of the Chashmonaim Disappear?
The gemara in Bava Basra (3b) says that Hordus (Herod) a slave to the Chashmonaim massacred the entire Chashmonai family except for one little girl. This little girl then jumped from the roof and declared as she plunged to her death that as the last remaining member of the clan, whoever in the future claims to be a descendant of the Chashmonaim is really a slave.
Rav Isaac Sher asks, "How could it be that our great heroes who saved the Bais HaMikdash and were Mikadesh Shem Shamayim met the same fate as the wicked kings such as Yeravam and Achav who Hashem swore that he will eradicate their families and their remembrance forever?"
He answers that Yeshaya told Chizkiya that his children will be "Sarisim" to the King of Bavel. The gemara in Sanhedrin 93b says that aside from meaning ministers, Sarisim should be taken literally and it means they will be sterile and unable to have children. These Sarisim were Chanaya, Mishael, and Azarya who were Moser Nefesh to jump into the fire rather than bow to an idol and were saved. They were sterile and had no heirs. However the end of the pasuk says "Yad VaShem, Tov MiBanim U'Banos", they will have an every lasting remembrance better than children. Their heroism will be a story for the ages. Similarly the Chashmonaim have the best remembrance possible. Every year on Chanukah we mention their heroic deeds three times a day in Shmoneh Esrei and every time we say Birchas HaMazon. That is far better than children. The end of the family line does not in anyway affect their eternal reward, stresses Rav Sher.
With regard to the famous Ramban that says that the Chashmonaim were punished for taking the Kingdom from Yehuda, he explains that this is not the reason why their family was cut off, rather it is an explanation why there kingdom had no success. Although this was a punishment for an aveira they did, Chas V'Shalom to think that these tzaddikim and this heroic family are not sitting in Olam Haba in a special place for all eternity.
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