Ezra 3
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1  And when the seventh month was come, and Bnei Yisrael were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Yerushalayim.

va-yi-GA ha-KHO-desh ha-sh’-vee-EE uv-NAY yis-ra-AYL be-a-REEM va-yay-a-s’-FU ha-AM k’-EESH e-KHAD el y’-ru-sha-LA-yim

א  וַיִּגַּע הַחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בֶּעָרִים וַיֵּאָסְפוּ הָעָם כְּאִישׁ אֶחָד אֶל יְרוּשָׁלִָם.

3:1   The people gathered themselves together as one man to Yerushalayim

This particular wording brings to mind the event of receiving the law at Mount Sinai. Regarding that event it says: “they encamped [plural] in the wilderness; and there Israel [singular] encamped before the mount” (Exodus 19:2). The great medieval commentator Rashi points out that the switch to the singular verb indicates that the people were “as one person, with one heart.” Just as the magnitude of the Sinai experience had the power to unite the independent tribes into one nation, so too is the power of Jerusalem. The Talmudic sage Rabbi Joshua ben Levi homiletically explains the verse in Psalms 122:3 to mean that Jerusalem is a city “that makes all of Israel friends.” As it did in the time of the return from Babylon, Jerusalem has the power to bring Israel together as one.

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2  Then stood up Yeshua the son of Yotzadak, and his brethren the Kohanim, and Zerubavel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Yisrael, to offer burnt-offerings thereon, as it is written in the Law of Moshe the man of God.

ב  וַיָּקָם יֵשׁוּעַ בֶּן יוֹצָדָק וְאֶחָיו הַכֹּהֲנִים וּזְרֻבָּבֶל בֶּן שְׁאַלְתִּיאֵל וְאֶחָיו וַיִּבְנוּ אֶת מִזְבַּח אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְהַעֲלוֹת עָלָיו עֹלוֹת כַּכָּתוּב בְּתוֹרַת מֹשֶׁה אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים.

3  And they set the altar upon its bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of the countries, and they offered burnt-offerings thereon unto Hashem, even burnt-offerings morning and evening.

ג  וַיָּכִינוּ הַמִּזְבֵּחַ עַל מְכוֹנֹתָיו כִּי בְּאֵימָה עֲלֵיהֶם מֵעַמֵּי הָאֲרָצוֹת ויעל (וַיַּעֲלוּ) עָלָיו עֹלוֹת לַיהוָה עֹלוֹת לַבֹּקֶר וְלָעָרֶב.

4  And they kept Chag HaSukkot, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt-offerings by number, according to the ordinance, as the duty of every day required;

ד  וַיַּעֲשׂוּ אֶת חַג הַסֻּכּוֹת כַּכָּתוּב וְעֹלַת יוֹם בְּיוֹם בְּמִסְפָּר כְּמִשְׁפַּט דְּבַר יוֹם בְּיוֹמוֹ.

5  and afterward the continual burnt-offering, and the offerings of the new moons, and of all the appointed seasons of Hashem that were hallowed, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill-offering unto Hashem.

ה  וְאַחֲרֵי כֵן עֹלַת תָּמִיד וְלֶחֳדָשִׁים וּלְכָל מוֹעֲדֵי יְהוָה הַמְקֻדָּשִׁים וּלְכֹל מִתְנַדֵּב נְדָבָה לַיהוָה.

6  From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt-offerings unto Hashem; but the foundation of the temple of Hashem was not yet laid.

ו  מִיּוֹם אֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי הֵחֵלּוּ לְהַעֲלוֹת עֹלוֹת לַיהוָה וְהֵיכַל יְהוָה לֹא יֻסָּד.

7  They gave money also unto the hewers, and to the carpenters; and food, and drink, and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar-trees from Lebanon to the sea, unto Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Koresh king of Paras.

ז  וַיִּתְּנוּ כֶסֶף לַחֹצְבִים וְלֶחָרָשִׁים וּמַאֲכָל וּמִשְׁתֶּה וָשֶׁמֶן לַצִּדֹנִים וְלַצֹּרִים לְהָבִיא עֲצֵי אֲרָזִים מִן הַלְּבָנוֹן אֶל יָם יָפוֹא כְּרִשְׁיוֹן כּוֹרֶשׁ מֶלֶךְ פָּרַס עֲלֵיהֶם.

8  Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Yerushalayim, in the second month, began Zerubavel the son of Shealtiel, and Yeshua the son of Yotzadak, and the rest of their brethren the Kohanim and the Leviim, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Yerushalayim; and appointed the Leviim, from twenty years old and upward, to have the oversight of the work of the house of Hashem.

ח  וּבַשָּׁנָה הַשֵּׁנִית לְבוֹאָם אֶל בֵּית הָאֱלֹהִים לִירוּשָׁלִַם בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי הֵחֵלּוּ זְרֻבָּבֶל בֶּן שְׁאַלְתִּיאֵל וְיֵשׁוּעַ בֶּן יוֹצָדָק וּשְׁאָר אֲחֵיהֶם הַכֹּהֲנִים וְהַלְוִיִּם וְכָל הַבָּאִים מֵהַשְּׁבִי יְרוּשָׁלִַם וַיַּעֲמִידוּ אֶת הַלְוִיִּם מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה לְנַצֵּחַ עַל מְלֶאכֶת בֵּית יְהוָה.

9  Then stood Yeshua with his sons and his brethren, and Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Yehuda, together, to have the oversight of the workmen in the house of God; the sons of Henadad also, with their sons and their brethren the Leviim.

ט  וַיַּעֲמֹד יֵשׁוּעַ בָּנָיו וְאֶחָיו קַדְמִיאֵל וּבָנָיו בְּנֵי יְהוּדָה כְּאֶחָד לְנַצֵּחַ עַל עֹשֵׂה הַמְּלָאכָה בְּבֵית הָאֱלֹהִים בְּנֵי חֵנָדָד בְּנֵיהֶם וַאֲחֵיהֶם הַלְוִיִּם.

10  And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of Hashem, they set the Kohanim in their apparel with trumpets, and the Leviim the sons of Asaf with cymbals, to praise Hashem, according to the direction of David king of Yisrael.

י  וְיִסְּדוּ הַבֹּנִים אֶת הֵיכַל יְהוָה וַיַּעֲמִידוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים מְלֻבָּשִׁים בַּחֲצֹצְרוֹת וְהַלְוִיִּם בְּנֵי אָסָף בַּמְצִלְתַּיִם לְהַלֵּל אֶת יְהוָה עַל יְדֵי דָּוִיד מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל.

11  And they sang one to another in praising and giving thanks unto Hashem: ‘for He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever toward Yisrael.’ And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised Hashem, because the foundation of the house of Hashem was laid.

יא  וַיַּעֲנוּ בְּהַלֵּל וּבְהוֹדֹת לַיהוָה כִּי טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְכָל הָעָם הֵרִיעוּ תְרוּעָה גְדוֹלָה בְהַלֵּל לַיהוָה עַל הוּסַד בֵּית יְהוָה.

12  But many of the Kohanim and Leviim and heads of fathers’ houses, the old men that had seen the first house standing on its foundation, wept with a loud voice, when this house was before their eyes; and many shouted aloud for joy;

יב  וְרַבִּים מֵהַכֹּהֲנִים וְהַלְוִיִּם וְרָאשֵׁי הָאָבוֹת הַזְּקֵנִים אֲשֶׁר רָאוּ אֶת הַבַּיִת הָרִאשׁוֹן בְּיָסְדוֹ זֶה הַבַּיִת בְּעֵינֵיהֶם בֹּכִים בְּקוֹל גָּדוֹל וְרַבִּים בִּתְרוּעָה בְשִׂמְחָה לְהָרִים קוֹל.

13  so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people; for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.

יג  וְאֵין הָעָם מַכִּירִים קוֹל תְּרוּעַת הַשִּׂמְחָה לְקוֹל בְּכִי הָעָם כִּי הָעָם מְרִיעִים תְּרוּעָה גְדוֹלָה וְהַקּוֹל נִשְׁמַע עַד לְמֵרָחוֹק.

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Ezra 3