Ezra 1
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  Now in the first year of Koresh king of Paras, that the word of Hashem by the mouth of Yirmiyahu might be accomplished, Hashem stirred up the spirit of Koresh king of Paras, that he made a proclamation throughouts all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying:

א  וּבִשְׁנַת אַחַת לְכוֹרֶשׁ מֶלֶךְ פָּרַס לִכְלוֹת דְּבַר יְהוָה מִפִּי יִרְמְיָה הֵעִיר יְהוָה אֶת רוּחַ כֹּרֶשׁ מֶלֶךְ פָּרַס וַיַּעֲבֶר קוֹל בְּכָל מַלְכוּתוֹ וְגַם בְּמִכְתָּב לֵאמֹר.

2  ‘Thus saith Koresh king of Paras: All the kingdoms of the earth hath Hashem, the God of heaven, given me; and He hath charged me to build Him a house in Yerushalayim, which is in Yehuda.

ב  כֹּה אָמַר כֹּרֶשׁ מֶלֶךְ פָּרַס כֹּל מַמְלְכוֹת הָאָרֶץ נָתַן לִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי הַשָּׁמָיִם וְהוּא פָקַד עָלַי לִבְנוֹת לוֹ בַיִת בִּירוּשָׁלִַם אֲשֶׁר בִּיהוּדָה.

3  Whosoever there is among you of all His people–his God be with him–let him go up to Yerushalayim, which is in Yehuda, and build the house of Hashem, the God of Yisrael, He is the God who is in Yerushalayim.

ג  מִי בָכֶם מִכָּל עַמּוֹ יְהִי אֱלֹהָיו עִמּוֹ וְיַעַל לִירוּשָׁלִַם אֲשֶׁר בִּיהוּדָה וְיִבֶן אֶת בֵּית יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הוּא הָאֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר בִּירוּשָׁלִָם.

4  And whosoever is left, in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill-offering for the house of God which is in Yerushalayim.’

ד  וְכָל הַנִּשְׁאָר מִכָּל הַמְּקֹמוֹת אֲשֶׁר הוּא גָר שָׁם יְנַשְּׂאוּהוּ אַנְשֵׁי מְקֹמוֹ בְּכֶסֶף וּבְזָהָב וּבִרְכוּשׁ וּבִבְהֵמָה עִם הַנְּדָבָה לְבֵית הָאֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר בִּירוּשָׁלִָם.

5  Then rose up the heads of fathers’ houses of Yehuda and Binyamin, and the Kohanim, and the Leviim, even all whose spirit God had stirred to go up to build the house of Hashem which is in Yerushalayim.

ה  וַיָּקוּמוּ רָאשֵׁי הָאָבוֹת לִיהוּדָה וּבִנְיָמִן וְהַכֹּהֲנִים וְהַלְוִיִּם לְכֹל הֵעִיר הָאֱלֹהִים אֶת רוּחוֹ לַעֲלוֹת לִבְנוֹת אֶת בֵּית יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר בִּירוּשָׁלִָם.

6  And all they that were round about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered.

ו  וְכָל סְבִיבֹתֵיהֶם חִזְּקוּ בִידֵיהֶם בִּכְלֵי כֶסֶף בַּזָּהָב בָּרְכוּשׁ וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבַמִּגְדָּנוֹת לְבַד עַל כָּל הִתְנַדֵּב.

7  Also Koresh the king brought forth the vessels of the house of Hashem, which Nevuchadnetzar had brought forth out of Yerushalayim, and had put them in the house of his gods;

ז  וְהַמֶּלֶךְ כּוֹרֶשׁ הוֹצִיא אֶת כְּלֵי בֵית יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר הוֹצִיא נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר מִירוּשָׁלִַם וַיִּתְּנֵם בְּבֵית אֱלֹהָיו.

8  even those did Koresh king of Paras bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbatzar, the prince of Yehuda.

ח  וַיּוֹצִיאֵם כּוֹרֶשׁ מֶלֶךְ פָּרַס עַל יַד מִתְרְדָת הַגִּזְבָּר וַיִּסְפְּרֵם לְשֵׁשְׁבַּצַּר הַנָּשִׂיא לִיהוּדָה.

9  And this is the number of them: thirty basins of gold, a thousand basins of silver, nine and twenty knives;

ט  וְאֵלֶּה מִסְפָּרָם אֲגַרְטְלֵי זָהָב שְׁלֹשִׁים אֲגַרְטְלֵי כֶסֶף אָלֶף מַחֲלָפִים תִּשְׁעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים.

10  thirty bowls of gold, silver bowls of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels a thousand.

י  כְּפוֹרֵי זָהָב שְׁלֹשִׁים כְּפוֹרֵי כֶסֶף מִשְׁנִים אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת וַעֲשָׂרָה כֵּלִים אֲחֵרִים אָלֶף.

11  All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbatzar bring up, when they of the captivity were brought up from Bavel unto 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-yim

יא  כָּל כֵּלִים לַזָּהָב וְלַכֶּסֶף חֲמֵשֶׁת אֲלָפִים וְאַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת הַכֹּל הֶעֱלָה שֵׁשְׁבַּצַּר עִם הֵעָלוֹת הַגּוֹלָה מִבָּבֶל לִירוּשָׁלִָם.

1:11   When they of the captivity were brought up from Bavel unto Yerushalayim

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, at least in the spiritual sense. The Bible states that “Abram went down into Egypt” from Canaan (Genesis 12:10), and when the people return to the Land of Israel from the Babylonian exile it says they “were brought up.” Often, people will say “I’m going down south” or “I’m heading up north.” This verse teaches that no matter where a person is in the world, their spiritual compass should always indicate that the direction of Jerusalem is always “up.”

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Ezra 2

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  • I felt strongly that HaShem speaks to us today as well, that if we all share and give our part, our best, then God’s house will be rebuilt. Problem is that not everyone really does honour God’s house,we don’t always give our best but sometimes what’s ‘left over’.

    It’s not alway s gold and silver that HaShem wants, it’s our hearts, the gifts he has given us too. He multiplies them as we place them in his hands.

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Ezra 1