Israel's Chief Rabbis.
(photo credit: FLASH 90)
As we celebrate the festival of Hanukka, we recall that according to the Second Book of Maccabees, the harsh anti-Jewish decrees of the Seleucid King Antiochus were brought about by endless infighting among the high priests who constantly overthrew one another via bribery and even murder. When one of the deposed high priests tried to capture Jerusalem by force, Antiochus thought that the Jews were revolting against him. He took Jerusalem, killed 80,000 Jews, outlawed Jewish practices and defiled the Temple – all on account of the lust for power among the religious leaders of the Jewish people at the time.I was reminded of this tragic episode during last summer’s unsavory election campaign for the Chief Rabbinate. It included curses, newspaper ads, and political deals between candidates and political parties.