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Fast Days: Sefer Hamaccabim 1:3: Concluding With Confidence

[46] So they assembled and went to Mizpah, opposite Jerusalem, because Israel formerly had a place of prayer in Mizpah. (See “Nothing Without You.”)


[47] They fasted that day, put on sackcloth and sprinkled ashes on their heads, and rent their clothes.

[48] And they opened the book of the law to inquire into those matters about which the Gentiles were consulting the images of their idols.

[49] They also brought the garments of the priesthood and the first fruits and the tithes, and they stirred up the Nazirites who had completed their days;

[50] and they cried aloud to Heaven, saying, “What shall we do with these?

Where shall we take them?

[51] Your sanctuary is trampled down and profaned,

and Your priests mourn in humiliation.

[52] And behold, the Gentiles are assembled against us to destroy us;

You know what they plot against us.

[53] How will we be able to withstand them,

if You do not help us?”

[54] Then they sounded the trumpets and gave a loud shout.

The Chanukah warriors fasted and mourned, they then examined their situation through the eyes of the Torah, challenged God, “How can we fulfill Your wishes without Your Home?”

I find the final verse above to be the most powerful; “Then they sounded the trumpets and gave a loud shout.” They concluded their fast and prayer with new confidence and joy. They believed that their efforts would pay off.

If only we could conclude this day of fasting and prayer with the same confidence!

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