Rabbi Meir Lamberski has made a career of synthesizing epic events in history into easy to follow, chronologically written stories. His series of seforim in Hebrew, on Chanukah, Purim, the Churban, and Matan Torah are immensely popular. The stories of the Churban and Purim, On Your Walls O Jerusalem, and Al Hanissim, respectively, have been adapted into English. In time for Chanukah comes the newest adaptation into English, Through Your Hands – The Complete Story of Chanukah. The book can be purchased in better Judaica stores everywhere, or online.
The following is an excerpt from the book:
Elazar the Kohein
The absolute wickedness and cruelty knew no bounds, and Philipus didn’t give himself a moment’s rest from trying to harm those who were loyal to the Torah in Yerushalayim.
One example is the story of Elazar the kohein. Elazar was about ninety years old. A tremendous talmid chochom of sterling character, he was one of the respected members of the community. He was a judge in the Sanhedrin and a rosh yeshiva.
Philipus summoned him one day. He began by flattering Elazar. “Elazar,” he said, “I know you are a wise and understanding man. I’ve always liked you, from the first time we met when you came to translate the Torah in the days of Talmi. Still, I have no choice but to ask you, as well as all the inhabitants of Yerushalayim, to fulfill the king’s command. You must bow down to the idol and eat of the meat of its sacrifices.” Keep reading…