Rabbi Onias, mounted on a camel, was sorrow-fully making his way toward the unhappy city. He had traveled many days and was weary from lack of sleep and faint with hunger, yet he would not touch the basket of dates he had with him, nor would he drink from the water in a leather bottle attached to the saddle.
"Perchance," he said, "I shall meet some one who needs them more than I."
But everywhere the land was deserted. One day, nearing the end of the journey, he saw a man planting a carob tree at the foot of a hill.
"The Chaldeans," said the man, "have destroyed my beautiful vineyards and all my crops, but I must sow and plant anew, so that the land may live again."
Onias passed sorrowfully on and at the top of the hill he stopped. Before him lay Jerusalem, not the once beautiful city with its hundreds of domes and minarets that caught the first rays of the sun each morning, but a vast heap of ruins and charred buildings. Onias threw himself on the ground and wept bitterly. No human being could he see, and the sun was setting over what looked like a city of the dead.
"Woe, woe," he cried. "Zion, my beautiful Zion, is no more. Can it ever rise again? Not in a hundred years can its glory be renewed."
The sun sank lower as he continued to gaze upon the ruined city, and darkness gathered over the scene. Utterly exhausted, Onias, laying his head upon his camel on the ground, fell into a deep sleep.
The silver moon shone serenely through the night and paled with the dawn, and the sun cast its bright rays on the sleeping rabbi. Darkness spread its mantle of night once more, and again the sun rose, and still Onias slept. Days passed into weeks, the weeks merged into months, and the months rolled on until years went by; but Rabbi Onias did not waken.
Seeds, blown by the winds and brought by the birds, dropped around him, took root and grew into shrubs, and soon a thick hedge surrounded him and screened him from all who passed. A date that had fallen from his basket, took root also, and in time there rose a beautiful palm tree which cast a shade over the sleeping figure.
And thus a hundred years rolled by.
Suddenly, Onias moved, stretched himself and yawned. He was awake again. He looked around confused.
"Strange," he muttered. "Did I not fall asleep on a hill overlooking Jerusalem last night? How comes it now that I am hemmed in by a thicket and am lying in the shade of this noble date palm?"
With great difficulty he rose to his feet. "Oh, how my bones do ache!" he cried. "I must have overslept myself. And where is my camel?" Puzzled, he put his hand to his beard. Then he gave a cry of anguish.
"What is this? My beard is snow-white and so long that it almost reaches to the ground."
He sank down again, but the mound on which he sat was but a heap of rubbish and collapsed under his weight. Beneath it were bones. Hastily clearing away the rubbish, he saw the skeleton of a camel.
"This surely must be my camel," he said. "Can I have slept so long? The saddle-bags have rotted, too. But what is this?" and he picked up the basket of dates and the water-bottle. The dates and the water were quite fresh.
"This must be some miracle," he said. "This must be a sign for me to continue my journey. But, alas, that Jerusalem should be destroyed!"
He looked around and was more puzzled than ever. When he had fallen asleep the hill had been bare of vegetation. Now it was covered with carob trees. "I think I remember a man planting a carob tree yesterday," he said. "But was it yesterday?"
He turned in the other direction and gave a cry of astonishment. The sun was shining on a noble city of glittering pinnacles and minarets, and around it were smiling fields and vineyards.
"Jerusalem still lives," he exclaimed. "Of a truth I have been dreaming--dreaming that it was destroyed. Praise be to God that it was but a dream."
With all speed he made his way across the plain to the city. People looked at him strangely and pointed him out to one another, and the children ran after him and called him names he did not understand. But he took no notice. Near the outskirts of the city he paused.
"Canst thou tell me, father," he said to an old man, "which is the house of Onias, the rabbi?"
"’Tis thy wit, or thy lack of it, that makes thee call me father," replied the man. "I must be but a child compared with thee." Others gathered around and stared hard at Onias.
"Didst thou speak of Rabbi Onias?" asked one. "I know of one who says that was the name of his grandfather. I will bring him."
He hastened away and soon returned with an aged man of about eighty.
"Who art thou?" Onias asked.
"Onias is my name," was the reply. "I am called so in honor of my sainted grandfather, Rabbi Onias, who disappeared mysteriously one hundred years ago, after the destruction of the First Temple."
অন্যদিকে, রারখের ৪র্থ এপোক্রাইফার ৫ম অধ্যায়ে এমনিভাবে বর্ণিত হয়েছে- After the Lord had promised Jeremiah before the destruction of Jerusalem to protect and save Abimelech “until I bring back the people to the city” (3.11), Jeremiah sent Abimelech away with the words, “take a basket and go to the estate of Agrippa by the mountain trail; bring a few figs in it and give them to the sick among the people” (3.15). And Abimelech did what he was told, while in the meantime Jerusalem was destroyed by the Chaldaeans.
Abimelech carried the figs in the heat of the day and coming upon a tree, he sat down in its shade to rest a while. And leaning his head on the basket of figs, he fell asleep and slept for sixty-six years, and he was not awakened from his sleep.
After these things he awoke from his sleep and said, “I would gladly have slept a little longer; my head is heavy because I did not get enough sleep.”
And when he uncovered the basket of figs, he found them dripping with their milky sap. And he said, “I want to sleep a little because my head is heavy. But I am afraid that I might fall asleep again and wake up too late and Jeremiah, my father, would have a low opinion of me. For if he were not in a hurry, he would not have sent me today at dawn. So I will get up and proceed in the heat and go to where there is neither heat nor toil every day.”
So he got up, took the basket of figs and placed it on his shoulders. And he entered Jerusalem, but he did not recognize it, neither the house nor the place nor his own family, and he said, “Blessed be the Lord, for a great trance has come upon me: This is not the city. I lost my way because I came by the mountain trail when I awakened from my sleep. And sine my head was heavy because I did not get enough sleep, I lost my way.
This is an astonishing thing to say to Jeremiah, ‘I lost my way.’” And he went out of the city and when he looked carefully, he saw the landmarks of the city and said, “Indeed, this is the city, but I lost my way.”
And again he went back into the city and searched, but he found no one of his own people. And he said, “Blessed be the Lord, for a great trance has come upon me.” And again he went out of the city, and he remained there grieving, for he did not know where to go. And he laid down the basket, saying, “I shall sit here until the Lord lifts this trance from me.”
And while he was sitting, he saw an old man coming from the field. And Abimelech said to him, “I say to you, old man, what city is this?” And he said to him, “It is Jerusalem.” And Abimelech said to him, “Where is Jeremiah the priest, and Baruch the reader, and all the (other) people of this city? For I could not find them.”
And the old man said to him, “You are from this city, aren’t you? You just remembered Jeremiah, seeing that you are asking about him after such a long time. For Jeremiah is in Babylon with the people, for they were taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar, and Jeremiah is with them to announce to them the good news and to teach them the word.”
As soon as Abimelech heard this from the old man, he said, “If you were not an old man, and if it were not improper for a person to upbraid one older than oneself, I would laugh at you and say that you are crazy because you say, ‘The people have been taken captive to Babylon.’
Had the heavenly torrents descended to them, there would not yet have been time to go to Babylon. For how long has it been since my father Jeremiah sent me to the estate of Agrippa for a few figs so that I might give them to the sick among the people? And I went and brought them, and when I came upon a tree in the scorching heat of the day, I set down to rest a little and leaned my head on the basket and fell asleep. And when I awoke I uncovered the basket of figs supposing that I was late, and I found the figs dripping with their milky sap, just as I had picked them. And then you say that the people have been taken captive to Babylon? But that you might know, take the figs and see!”
And he uncovered the basket of figs for the old man. And he saw them dripping with their milky sap. And when he saw them, the old man said, “O my son, you are a righteous man and God did not want to show you the desolation of the city, so God brought this trance upon you. Behold, it has been sixty-six years today since the people were taken captive to Babylon. But that you may learn, child, that it is true, look at the field and see that the growth of the crops has just begun. Notice also the figs, that their time has not yet come, and understand.”
Then Abimelech cried out in a loud voice, saying, “I will bless you, O Lord, God of heaven and earth, the rest of the souls of the righteous in every place.”
And to the old man he said, “What month is this?”
And he said, “Nisan, and it is the twelfth day.” And taking a few of the figs, he gave them to the old man and said to him, “God will lead you by his light to the city above, Jerusalem.” - Paralipomena Ieremiae (or 4 Baruch),Ch.5, 1-34.
ওযাইর জেরুজালেম থেকে ফিরে আসবার সময় তাওরাতের একটা কপি সঙ্গে করে নিয়ে আসেন। এই কপিটি তার পিতা নেবু চাঁদ নেজ্জার জেরুজালেম আক্রমণ করার সময় মাটির নীচে লুকিয়ে রেখেছিলেন যার খোঁজ একমাত্র তিনিই জানতেন। দীর্ঘকাল মাটির নীছে থাকাতে কপিটি আর পড়ার মত ছিল না। তখন ওযাইর অনেক কষ্টে সেটির কপি করে ইস্রায়েলী মাঝে বিতরণ করেন। তার মৃত্যুর পরও জীবিত হয়ে নিজ গোত্র মাঝে ফিরে আসা এবং তাওরাত উদ্ধারের কারণে কিছু লোক তাকে আল্লাহর পুত্র হিসেবে ভাবত। আর এর প্রমান কোরআনেও রয়েছে-
আবার ইহুদিরা বলে উজায়ের নাকি আল্লাহর পুত্র। আর খ্রীষ্টানেরা বলে মসীহ হচ্ছে আল্লাহর পুত্র। এসব হল ওদের উদ্ভট কথাবার্তা যা ওদের মুখেই শোনা যায়। ..তারা তো আল্লাহকে বাদ দিয়ে নিজেদের পাদ্রী-পুরোহিতদেরকেই পালনকর্তা প্রভুর আসনে বসিয়ে রেখেছে। ওরা তো চায় নিজেদের মুখের ফুঁৎকারে আল্লাহর আলো নিবিয়ে ফেলবে।(৯:৩০-৩২)
|ওযাইর তাওরাত পাঠ করে শুনাচ্ছেন ইস্রায়েলীদের।|
|বসরার নিকট ওযাইরের সমাধি।|
|প্রাচীন একটি সিনাগগ, গালী।|
- Aunt Naomi, Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends, (1919), P-187-193,
- 4th Apocrypha of Baruch, Ch.5, p- 1-34.