King Antiochus said: “But I now recall the evils I did in Jerusalem, when I carried away all the vessels of gold and silver
that were in it, and for no cause gave orders that the inhabitants of Judah be destroyed.
I know that this is why these evils have overtaken me; and now I am dying, in bitter grief, in a foreign land.” (1 Mc 6:1-13)
Progroms against the Jews has been a consistent part of their long history. As we come to the end of the Books of the Maccabees, we hear this remorse from King Antiochus. In Fiddler On The Roof the question is asked, “Is there a proper blessing for the Tsar? And the rabbi answers: “A blessing for the Tsar? Of course, ‘May God bless and keep the Tsar . . . far away from us!’”