TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
PROPHETS
KETUVIM
WRITINGS

Ezra 1

1In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, when the word of Hashem spoken by Yirmiyahu was fulfilled, Hashem roused the spirit of King Cyrus of Persia to issue a proclamation throughout his realm by word of mouth and in writing as follows:

אוּבִשְׁנַת אַחַת לְכוֹרֶשׁ מֶלֶךְ פָּרַס לִכְלוֹת דְּבַר־יְהֹוָה מִפִּי יִרְמְיָה הֵעִיר יְהֹוָה אֶת־רוּחַ כֹּרֶשׁ מֶלֶךְ־פָּרַס וַיַּעֲבֶר־קוֹל בְּכָל־מַלְכוּתוֹ וְגַם־בְּמִכְתָּב לֵאמֹר׃

2“Thus said King Cyrus of Persia: God of Heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and has charged me with building Him a house in Yerushalayim, which is in Yehuda.

בכֹּה אָמַר כֹּרֶשׁ מֶלֶךְ פָּרַס כֹּל מַמְלְכוֹת הָאָרֶץ נָתַן לִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי הַשָּׁמָיִם וְהוּא־פָקַד עָלַי לִבְנוֹת־לוֹ בַיִת בִּירוּשָׁלַ ִם אֲשֶׁר בִּיהוּדָה׃

3Anyone of you of all His people—may his God be with him, and let him go up to Yerushalayim that is in Yehuda and build the House of God of Yisrael, the God that is in Yerushalayim;

גמִי־בָכֶם מִכָּל־עַמּוֹ יְהִי אֱלֹהָיו עִמּוֹ וְיַעַל לִירוּשָׁלַ ִם אֲשֶׁר בִּיהוּדָה וְיִבֶן אֶת־בֵּית יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הוּא הָאֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר בִּירוּשָׁלָ ִם׃

4and all who stay behind, wherever he may be living, let the people of his place assist him with silver, gold, goods, and livestock, besides the freewill offering to the House of Hashem that is in Yerushalayim.”

דוְכָל־הַנִּשְׁאָר מִכָּל־הַמְּקֹמוֹת אֲשֶׁר הוּא גָר־שָׁם יְנַשְּׂאוּהוּ אַנְשֵׁי מְקֹמוֹ בְּכֶסֶף וּבְזָהָב וּבִרְכוּשׁ וּבִבְהֵמָה עִם־הַנְּדָבָה לְבֵית הָאֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר בִּירוּשָׁלָ ִם׃

5So the chiefs of the clans of Yehuda and Binyamin, and the Kohanim and Leviim, all whose spirit had been roused by Hashem, got ready to go up to build the House of Hashem that is in Yerushalayim.

הוַיָּקוּמוּ רָאשֵׁי הָאָבוֹת לִיהוּדָה וּבִנְיָמִן וְהַכֹּהֲנִים וְהַלְוִיִּם לְכֹל הֵעִיר הָאֱלֹהִים אֶת־רוּחוֹ לַעֲלוֹת לִבְנוֹת אֶת־בֵּית יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר בִּירוּשָׁלָ ִם׃

6All their neighbors supported them with silver vessels, with gold, with goods, with livestock, and with precious objects, besides what had been given as a freewill offering.

ווְכָל־סְבִיבֹתֵיהֶם חִזְּקוּ בִידֵיהֶם בִּכְלֵי־כֶסֶף בַּזָּהָב בָּרְכוּשׁ וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבַמִּגְדָּנוֹת לְבַד עַל־כָּל־הִתְנַדֵּב׃

7King Cyrus of Persia released the vessels of Hashem's house which Nebuchadnezzar had taken away from Yerushalayim and had put in the house of his god.

זוְהַמֶּלֶךְ כּוֹרֶשׁ הוֹצִיא אֶת־כְּלֵי בֵית־יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר הוֹצִיא נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר מִירוּשָׁלַ ִם וַיִּתְּנֵם בְּבֵית אֱלֹהָיו׃

8These King Cyrus of Persia released through the office of Mithredath the treasurer, who gave an inventory of them to Sheshbatzar the prince of Yehuda.

חוַיּוֹצִיאֵם כּוֹרֶשׁ מֶלֶךְ פָּרַס עַל־יַד מִתְרְדָת הַגִּזְבָּר וַיִּסְפְּרֵם לְשֵׁשְׁבַּצַּר הַנָּשִׂיא לִיהוּדָה׃

9This is the inventory: 30 gold basins, 1,000 silver basins, 29 knives,

טוְאֵלֶּה מִסְפָּרָם אֲגַרְטְלֵי זָהָב שְׁלֹשִׁים אֲגַרְטְלֵי־כֶסֶף אָלֶף מַחֲלָפִים תִּשְׁעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים׃

1030 gold bowls, 410 silver double bowls, 1,000 other vessels;

יכְּפוֹרֵי זָהָב שְׁלֹשִׁים כְּפוֹרֵי כֶסֶף מִשְׁנִים אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת וַעֲשָׂרָה כֵּלִים אֲחֵרִים אָלֶף׃

11in all, 5,400 gold and silver vessels. Sheshbatzar brought all these back when the exiles came back from Babylon to Yerushalayim.

kol kay-LEEM la-za-HAV v'-la-KE-sef kha-MAY-shet a-la-FEEM v'-ar-BA may-OT ha-KOL he-e-LAH shaysh-ba-TZAR IM hay-a-LOT ha-go-LAH mi-ba-VEL lee-ru-sha-LA-im

יאכָּל־כֵּלִים לַזָּהָב וְלַכֶּסֶף חֲמֵשֶׁת אֲלָפִים וְאַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת הַכֹּל הֶעֱלָה שֵׁשְׁבַּצַּר עִם הֵעָלוֹת הַגּוֹלָה מִבָּבֶל לִירוּשָׁלָ ִם׃

 1:11   When the exiles came back from Bavel to Yerushalayim.

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (1925-1994)

The beloved Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach would quip, “Did you know that Jerusalem is the highest city in the world?” Many were skeptical, but he was correct – in the spiritual, if not topographical, sense. The Bible states that “Avram went down to Egypt” from Canaan (Genesis 12:10), and when the people returned to the Land of Israel from the Babylonian exile, although translated here as “the exiles came back,” the more exacting translation is “the exiles ascended.” Ever since the magnetic north has dictated the directional illustration of maps, people have said things like, “I’m going down south,” or “I’m heading up north.” However, this verse teaches that no matter where a person is in the world, his “spiritual compass” should always indicate that Yerushalayim is “up.”