Orthodox Judaism/Chanuka story


Dear Ovadiah,
I'm an ultra-orthodox mom.
My daughter just came home from school with a very odd detail. Her teacher told her that Elazer ben Matisyahu died by drowning in the excrement of one of the elephants in the battle. Is there any source for that? I've been learning/studying the story of Chanuka for a LOT of years and have never heard anything like that. Can you possibly shed any light on this for me?
Thank you for your time.
A lichtegen Chanuka,


This sounded like antisemetic propaganda at first blush. I did not know how he died before I researched it, but I did know he died early in the uprising based upon the Maccabee story in the Apocraphal writings. The first link confirms this. I don't know that he fought in any or many battles before he died of natural causes (link 2). So no, there is no truth to the teacher's version of the story. Wishing you and yours a very happy and meaningful Thanksgiving and Hanukkah !



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Ovadiah ben Avraham


Willing to answer and research general Halakhah questions in any field, including medical ethics. No synagogue or ritual type questions except by non-Jews looking for a brief summary.


Yeshiva and self-study

Jewish Spiritual Humanism

Doctorate Degree

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