Reading the Text: Haftarah Zachor VII

Mar 18th, 2011 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week
Transcribed and prepared by Anna Beller: And Shmuel said to Shaul; even if you are small in your own eyes, you come from the smallest Binyamin, and Binyamin has history with Yehudah. Because the Gemara says then when the time came to cross the Red Sea, Binyamin jumped into the water to be first and the Yehudah stalled them so they could be first and that’s why the first was Nachshon ben Aminadav from the tribe of Yehudah, because they stopped Binyamin, the same way the first king was from Binyamin, Shaul, and the second king, the real king is from Yehudah, David. Yehudah feels they should go first and Benyamin the younger is less important. Another story, the Concubine in Giibeah is also a fight between Yehudah and Benyamin .

So you think you’re small in your own eyes, you have an inferiority complex,  but you’re the head of all the tribes of Israel, God anointed you king over Israel. Which is interesting because in the first verse of the haftarah whose the one who anointed him? Shmuel.

Remember: it’s not clear with whom Shmuel is angry. There’s a little indication here:  Hashem sent you on your way. And he said, go and destroy these sinners, Amalek, you should fight with them, until you finish them off. Really? Did God ever say that? No, He never refers to them as sinner. He may have sent the same message but not in those words. Shmuel is making changes

Why did you not listen in the voice of God? And you saved the spoils, and you did that what was evil in the eyes of God.

Shaul said to Shmuel, I listened to God, and I went in the path that God sent me, I brought Agag the king of Amalek. and Amalek I destroyed. He’s arguing that he’s innocent and when he argues it he says I destroyed Amalek and not Agag. Is that the way to argue?

Obviously this is Shmuel proving that he was right. He’s saying if you listened clearly to me you would have got it, because that was the message I was telling you. The fact hat you didn’t know what you really should have done means you weren’t really listening in the first verse. He’s now making it more clear because Shaul never listened. That’s why Shmuel says to Shaul, Silence! Listen to what Hashem has spoken. Why does he need to say that? Because he understands that Shaul didn’t listen.

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