Of all the אומות who ruled over us, the Greeks were the ones we’d least call חושך. This was the first real intellectual threat. We are always battling our instincts, with our שכל. Greece had their share of תואבה, but they also stood for intellect, and it was a question of which intellect was correct. We therefore hit our first real threat, as they were our first intellectual alternative. It was אפיקרסוס as opposed to ע"ז and stupidity. It was therefore a whole new level of threat, which meant that the ישועה was on a much higher level. That which was built on חנוכה was not freedom, nor just Jewish survival; rather it was the חכמת התורה versus the חכמת יונית. We therefore reached a דרגה of חכמה we would not have had if not for our battle with the יונים.

The second ביהמ"ק was missing the ארון and אורים ותומים amongst other things. It was lacking the כח of נבואה. The essence of בית שני was the development of תורה שבע"פ. It was the development of the חכמה of תורה. That came about by fighting חכמת יונית. The new דרגה that we reached, with the organisation of תורה שבע"פ, that came about by way of the מחלמה against the יונים. We had חכמים in place of the נביאים

; it was the דור of the תנאים. That came as an answer to the יונים. This is how עוה"ז works. Today we live with חכמה, not נבואה. The כח of such הכרעה all happened in this תקופה, after פרת under the סכנה of יון. In our own growth, including in our תורה, we must remember the special relationship and growth we have באף, it all comes through challenge. Why is it so hard to get a real קנין in תורה? If it is too easy there is no קנין. It is only נקנית ביסורין.

There must be a struggle. When we learn through struggle, it is a much higher quality, it becomes a real part of us. גדולי ישראל who pushed themselves when they couldn’t, and were constantly exhausted, they were זוכה to greatness, as this is the only way of נצחון and growth in this world.

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