Posts Tagged ‘Zachor’

11
Mar

Four Songs of the Four Portions

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

There is one who sings the song of his own life, and in himself he finds everything, his full spiritual satisfaction.

There is another who sings the song of his people. He leaves the circle of his own individual self, because he finds it without sufficient breadth, without an idealistic basis. He aspires toward the heights, and he attaches himself with a gentle love to the whole community of Israel. Together with her he sings her songs. He feels grieved in her afflictions and delights in her hopes. He contemplates noble and pure thoughts about her past and her future, and probes with love and wisdom her inner spiritual essence.

There is another who reaches toward more distant realms, and he goes beyond the boundary of Israel to sing the song of man. His spirit extends to the wider vistas of the Majesty of man generally, and his noble essence. He aspires toward man’s general goal and looks forward toward his higher perfection. From this source of life he draws the subjects of his meditation and study, his aspirations and his visions.

Then there is one who rises toward wider horizons, until he links himself with all existence, with all God’s creatures, with all worlds, and he sings his song with all of them. It is of one such as this that tradition has said that whoever sings a portion of song each day is assured of having a share in the World to Come.

And then there is one who rises with all the songs in one ensemble, and they all joined their voices. Together they sing their songs with beauty, each one lends vitality and life to the other. They are sounds of joy and gladness, sounds of jubilation in celebration, sounds of ecstasy and holiness.

The song of the self, the song of the people, the song of man, the song of the world all merge in him at all times, in every hour.

This full comprehensiveness rises to become the song of holiness, the song of God, the son of Israel, in its full strength and beauty, in its full authenticity and greatness. The name “Israel” stands for Shir el, the song of God. It is a simple song, a twofold song, a threefold song, and a fourfold song. It is the Song of Songs of Solomon, Shlomo, which means peace or wholeness. It is the song of the King in Whom is wholeness. (Orot Kedushah, II, Pages 458-459)

I believe that these Four Songs are represented by the Four Portions: Shekalim, Zachor, Parah, and HaChodesh, culminating in the Song of Songs of Pesach. Can you see how each portion expresses a different song?

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
1
Mar

Fighting To Look Up

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

Dedicated to the memory of Raizel Devorah bat David Shaykin on her Yahrtzeit

“It happened that when Moses raised his hand, Israel grew stronger, and when he lowered his hand, Amalek was stronger (Exodus 17:11).” “Was it Moses’ hands that won the battle or lost it? Rather, as long as Israel looked heavenward and subjected their heart to their Father in Heaven, they would prevail (Rosh Hashanah 3:8).” Sounds beautiful, but who was watching Moses’ hands? It couldn’t have been the soldiers engaged in battle; “Can we please pause our sword fight so I can look up toward Heaven?” It must have been the people safe inside the Clouds of Glory who were watching Moses. Did they stand around all day at the foot of the mountain watching, and immediately forget God when Moses lowered his hands? If they were looking up toward Moses on the mountain, why did he need to raise his hands?

This was the battle of “Zachor,” which means, “Remember.” We are commanded to remember how Amalek attacked Israel on their way from Egypt to Sinai. Moses raised his hands because he wanted the people inside the Cloud to remember that there was a war just outside the camp. The soldiers were doing their job. The people had to remember the soldiers during every moment of the battle. When the people stopped looking up toward Heaven in prayer for those who were engaged in battle, the soldiers lost their strength. They needed the people back home to remember them, and pray for them.

How often do we think of our soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq who are fighting for their country? How many times a day do we pray for them? Do we “lower our hands,” and forget to look up toward Heaven and pray for their protection. How often do we remember the soldiers putting their lives on the line for Israel? Are we looking up at Moses’ hands reminding us to constantly think of them and pray? Do we forget them and stop looking up toward Heaven in prayer?

There are people all around us who are fighting wars against physical enemies, hunger, cruelty, ignorance, and hatred, and Moses points upward for us to remember them and pray, and yet…

Moses was criticized by God for his “Hands Pointed Up” approach. It’s all too easy to climb a mountain and look heavenward when someone else is doing the actual fighting. God wanted Moses to fight, not to be a Heaven Pointer.  Heaven Pointing is a privilege we must first earn by being directly involved. Moses understood, which is why he raised his hands; he was teaching the people to use their hands to reach Heavenward. It wasn’t enough to for them to look up toward Moses; they had to reach upward, as was their teacher. It’s very easy to look up to Heaven in the safety of the Cloud. Looking up toward Heaven without reaching is not considered a commitment to Heaven. Moses lowered his hands and they forgot just like that, because they were looking without reaching.

Zachor is a call to reach, a summons to action; a message we will hear only when we “remember” those who are on the front lines of life directly engaged in the battle. We are commanded to “Remember” Shabbat by sanctifying it with action. We are commanded to “Remember” what happened to Miriam who spoke ill of her brother Moses and actively change our speech.

The best way to “Remember” is to actively reach higher. Write a letter to a soldier. Send a package. We can’t just look up; we have to reach.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
18
Mar

Reading the Text: Haftarah Zachor VII

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.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
18
Mar

Reading the Text: Haftarah Zachor VI

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

Transcribed and prepared by Anna Beller: “Shmuel woke up order to greet Shaul early.” He was crying the whole night, so I don’t know how he woke up early, he must have fallen asleep. “And it was told to Shmuel saying, Shaul has come to Mount Carmel and he’s building there an altar so he turned and he went down to the Gilgal.

So Shaul is building an Altar on Mount Carmel. Know the story of Elijah on Mount Carmel? The verse there says that he rebuilt a broken Altar?  Which broken Altar? It’s Shaul’s!

If he’s building an Altar to offer a sacrifice does he think he did anything wrong? Note where is he building the Altar? To Gilgal? Why does he go to Gilgal? Because one of the places the Mishkan was at Gilgal so to honor the place where the Mishkan once stood he wanted to be in that area. He obviously feels the place has holiness even if the tabernacle isn’t there.

This a man who is sensitive and is aware of what he’s doing and pays attention to details.

So Shmuel went to Shaul, and Shaul said, I bless you in the name of God. I kept the word of God.

Is this a man who did something wrong? Unless he’s a liar but it doesn’t make sense that he think he can outsmart a prophet.

Shmuel says: why do I hear sheep, and my ears hear to pick up the sound of some cattle? (We know that Shaul had at least 210,000 sheep to count his soldiers, so why would Shmuel be surprised by the sheep? And if you say because Shaul went to Gilgal, and did not bring all the sheep; Why did Shaul go to Gilgal? To offer sacrifices. Of course, he has sheep!)

So Shaul says, I brought them from the Amelekites,  the nation had mercy on the best of the sheep and the cattle in order to sacrifice them to God, your Lord, and whatever was left, we destroyed.

What stands out here? He has no hesitation saying he got them from Amalek. That the nation has mercy, he’s leaving himself out. In verse 9 it says Shaul and the people has mercy. He leaves out himself. Now does it mean that he’s lying?  Why is he leaving it out?

And Shmuel says to Shaul I want you  to pay attention so I can tell you what God said to me this past night. Shaul says to him speak: is this a man who has a guilty conscience?

I want you to look at one thing. Vayomer– is how I read it- and he said. How is it actually written in the book? Vayomeru – they said. It’s written one way but we read it another. There are few verses that are written one way but are read another. It’s through mesorah- a tradition passed down. It has incredible implications whenever there’s a switch.

This is an interesting thing. Shmuel doesn’t say to Shaul, Well God said. He says, listen I want you to listen to what I have to say and he waits for Shaul to say okay. So Shmuel obviously understands that Shaul thinks all is fine. So he asks the king’s permission to speak for God, and understands Shaul will say yes. Shaul is dealing with personal things and thinks everything else is okay.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
17
Mar

Esther’s Purim Part Four: Saul and David

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

Transcribed and prepared by Anna Beller: Now you have Shmuel but we have questions:

Why does he say the sin of predicting the future is bitter, what’s he talking about netzach yisrael. What happened to Shaul? A few hours ago he couldn’t stand up to the Jewish people and now he’s ripping the coat off of a prophet of God?

What does Agag mean by the way? On Gods roof. Who’s the person who has perspective of what going on? God who stands above. Cynthia Ozick wrote a story that had something to do with going through a million roofs. And there was a person who was able to understand everything that was going on simply by being on top of the roof.

You all know that the person who is a better man than you. Who becomes his friend David, and he was better than he. Lets just talk about one story about David. That at the end of his life, God said do not fight until you hear the angels, and the plishtim are approaching ad the angels are not moving, and David will not move his sword, and the plishtim will not move his sword, the angels are not moving and David did not move. And it wasn’t until the swords were actually touching, that the angels move the trees, David heard the trees and he fought back. He would not move until he was supposed to.

See the difference between the two? It’s unbelievable. Shaul understands that its David, and what does he spend the rest of his life doing? He tries to kill him but he knows. He spends the rest of his life trying to kill David and he tries to prevent what the prophet would say would happen from happening. What does Shmuel say? God is not a man he doesn’t change his mind, he doesn’t lie. And yet what does Shaul try to do? Change the facts on the ground.

The day before Shaul dies, he knows the next day he’s going to fight against the plishtim. And he doesn’t know if he’s going to win or if he should fight the battle or not because the plishtim have the most incredible army. So he doesn’t know what to do. So he goes to a woman who contacts the dead and he practices and art called Kessem, trying to predict the future. And he calls up Samuel from the dead and Samuel says tomorrow you will go into battle and you will die and your sons will die and you will lose the battle. Here is a man who spent the last 17 years trying to control his future. And the next day he goes into battle, even though he knows he’s going to lose and die.

A heavenly voice comes out and says to the angels, see what a beautiful creation I have.

What was it that Shmuel said to him. The sin of trying to predict the future. What’s the connection between the two its like trying to be a navi. But look at what he’s trying to control. How did Shmuel know that one day he would try to contact, how did he know to stress the Netzach yisrael, or to stress the fact that God doesn’t change his mind, or adjust you cant change what happening. We know what God is saying and he didn’t say that.

The answer is very simple: when Shmuel said to him, you may want to be small but event though you want to be small God wants from you to be big, and circumstances are clear that God wanted to be big. But how did you see yourself? Small, God wanted you to be big and that the position that put you in and demanded from you to be assertive and aggressive but you didn’t do it because its not in your personality.

So if you have a choice between being whom you want to be or whom God wants you to be, which one are you going to choose? There’s only one way that it’ll work, because circumstances are going to keep on coming to you that will force you into situation and you will eventually destroy yourself.

There’s only one way to protect your own view of yourself and that is to control the future. The only way that you can be exactly the person you want to be is if you can control everything that happens to you. You know what you’re going to end up trying to contact the dead to see the future in order to know what to do.

Listen to the conversation between David and his wife Michal. David is dancing in honor of God and he returned the ark to Jerusalem. So Michal the daughter of Shaul, the only time it mentions this, goes out to greet David and says how much honor you received today, now that everyone saw your tushy when you were dancing and your skirt went up in the air, that’s a lot of honor! Come on that’s not the way for a king to dance or preserve his dignity.

And David said to Michal, in front of God, who chose me over your father’s house, and all over your father’s family, to make me the prince over the Jews, I would loose even more of my dignity, and I will be even lower, and I will be low in front of God. Why do I need honor from any one else? I just need to be low in front of God.

What’s this exactly the opposite of? Michal says preserve the dignity. David says I have the chance to bringing Gods arc and I’m going to be concerned with dignity? Instead of doing what right? Are you crazy. That’s what he said that’s what destroyed his father. He was concerned with you people perceived him, what they thought of him and that’s what destroyed him.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
17
Mar

Reading the Text: Haftarah Zachor V

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

Transcribed and prepared by Anna Beller: “The word of God came to Shmuel saying,  I regret that I made Shaul the king, he turned away from Me, he did not keep My word.”

Does it say what Shaul did?

“And Shmuel was angry,  and he cried out to God the entire night. What was he crying out? For mercy for Shaul. Does God answer him?

The next verse, “and Shmuel woke up early,” to go to Shaul. Did God tell Shmuel to go and speak to Shaul? God didn’t tell him to. But Shmuel is angry and assuming he’s angry with Shaul. Even though he’s angry he’s crying out to God. He’s davening for him and by the way Shmuel is one of the most powerful prayers in the world: “Moshe ve aharon bekohanov u shmuel bekorei, shimo, korim el hashem,” Moshe and Aaron with their priest, Shmuel calls out to God and when he calls out God answers. Shmuel has an incredible power of prayer.  And he’s crying out, and this is one of the 13 forms of prayer, crying from the gut, a desperate cry of God, it’s not typical. When you cry “God please help me!”

“And the word of God came to Shmuel saying I regret that I made Shaul the king, he has turned away from me, turned from following Me, and My words he did not fulfill.” Whose mistake was this? Gods! Which is a whole thing in itself, the first time He says this was when he said He regrets “making the world,” said just before the flood. We exist from Gods will. What He doesn’t want is no longer a reality. So when God says this, Shaul is no longer king.

Why is Shmuel “angry”? He’s not sad or broken? Why angry? You said to me to make Shaul to be the king, now You say You regret that You ever made him king. You regret? You didn’t know before? What was this all? Not necessarily that he’s angry with Shaul.

If God regretted he did it then what did he do it for? This is the only failure that told. I regret means that’s the things are undone. It never happens. When God says He regrets building the world, He destroyed the world.

What did it mean when they had mercy on Agag? They gave him a certain amount of freedom. That’s why the first verse says he’s captured when they say they had mercy he had the opportunity to sleep with a maid servant and the great grand child was Hamman. Which is why they call him “aggagi.”

Shaul had reason to believe God didn’t want him to kill the king, because the instructions do not include the king, it says, “kill everybody,” but may exclude the king. There’s a difference between kill Amalek and “kill Amalek’s king.”

God doesn’t say to Shmuel what Shaul did wrong. Maybe it wasn’t Agag. Maybe it’s the cattle. In fact, God never gets angry over Agag. You have to realize this isn’t a silly story; you’re discussing the inner tension of what it means to be a human being. The basic fight between good and evil. It’s inside us. It’s not just you should’ve killed the king and you didn’t, he didn’t kill the animals but kills the people. There’s something wrong there’s something raging inside Shaul. Let’s wait until he begins to speak.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
17
Mar

Esther’s Purim Part Three: Shaul & Amalek

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

Transcribed and prepared by Anna Beller: Next story, the next major battle in his life is the battle against Amalek. And he’s told like this, go and defeat Amalek, and you must destroy absolutely everything that belongs to Amalek, have no compassion, kill from man unto woman, from a baby to a nursing baby, from oxen to sheep, from camel to donkey, everything must be destroyed. So they go into battle and Shaul couldn’t kill the king, he killed everyman and every woman, child but couldn’t kill the king. And he couldn’t kill the animals, but everything else he killed.

And Hashem spoke to Shmuel saying, Boy do I regret ever making Shaul the king because he turned away form me and didn’t do what I told him to do. Shmuel came to Shaul, and Shaul said I’m so happy to see you I did exactly what God commanded me to do. And Shmuel says don’t I hear some animals, you didn’t bring those into war with you? And Shaul says no, they are Amaleki animals.

What does he have to do? He needs to explain why he has the Amaleki animals, the people really wanted to bring the best of the animals to God, but I killed the rest of the animals. Meaning that he didn’t kill the animals because of the people. And Samuel said be quite and I want you to hear what God said to me last night. And he said speak.

Shmuel said, if you are small in your own eyes, you’re the head of the tribe of Israel. What does it mean if he’s small in his own eyes, when he hid from the people and blamed it on the people. If you want to be small and sweet and the good person, that’s very nice in your eyes, but God made you a king.

Shaul says to Shmuel what do you mean? I did listen to God. I walked in the path that God told me. I have Agag the king of Amalek right here. The people did it, and they did it for good reason too, because they wanted to bring sacrifices to God.

And Shmuel says do you really think God wants sacrifices more than he wants you to listen. To listen to God is much better that and sacrifice, to pay attention to goes is better than the calf’s of rams. The sin of trying to predict the future is bitter and foolish, and you can look at idols but they’ll break you. You have despised the word of God and God despises you as king. Why is he talking about the sin of predicting the future?

So Shaul says to Shmuel oh I sinned. I did go against Gods will and yours. I was just listening t the people and doing what they wanted me to do.

The Gemara said he failed as king because he never sinned before he was king. So when he sinned he didn’t know who to fix it. And the reason that David was a successful king was because he had sinned all the time so he always knew what to do.

Shaul says please come back to me with the people and Shmuel says he couldn’t. Could you imagine this? All the Jews can see the conversation and tell that it’s not a good conversation. Shmuel says no, God is disgusted by you as king, and turns away.

So Shaul grabbed Shmuel by his coat and he ripped his coat off. It’s very unlike Shauls personality. And Shmuel turns to him and say, God is going to tear the kingdom of the Jewish people away from you the way you tore my coat and he is going to give it to your friend who is much better than you. And the eternal one of the Jewish people doesn’t lie or change his mind and he’s not a man to change his mind. Netzach- the eternal.

And Netzach is that God has a universal view of the universe and sees all time at once so he knows what is going to happen so everything can be predetermined, and how the attribute of Purim is netzach and so is Moshe’s. What does this have to do? God doesn’t change his mind?

Shaul says I sinned, can you please give me some honor so that the people see me getting honor. You’ve got to come back with me and I will bow down to God. and Shmuel says to him bring Agag out, and Agag came out and Agag said oh Mr. Death is here. Shmuel says just as your sword caused women to lose their children, so your mother will be missing women. And Shmuel tore apart Agag, chopped him up into pieces. Shmuel and Shaul went home and never saw each other again. Pretty sad.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
17
Mar

Reading the Text: Haftarah Zachor IV

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

Transcribed and prepared by Anna Beller: Listen to how Reb Tzadok reads this: Shaul understood, that this was not just a fight with the nation but a fight with the exile, so he said like this, “It’s not enough to destroy an external yetzer hara, because if this is truly a battle with evil it has to destroy whatever evil is inside of me as well.”

The one issue Shaul knew he had trouble with was that he was so merciful that he had issues with doing what God told him to do. Therefore he allowed himself leeway with Agag to allow himself to feel his compassion and then to later kill so that he would be fighting his own yetzer hara. But Shaul understood he needed to get within himself at that point.

Did you ever hear of people working on something religiously, and put themselves into a questionable situation so they can deal with it the way they are supposed to? Shaul’s problem was that he never sinned before, he didn’t know how to handle it.

Number 2 is the minute you do that you blur the line, because what your doing is giving into the yetzer harah even if you’re doing it for good reason, the line becomes blurry which is exactly the issue we say he’s been doing all along. Even when he’s driving  himself it is because he doesn’t have a clear distinction as to what he’s supposed to be doing or not. He doesn’t have experience with sin, he doesn’t know how to delineate between what’s good and evil, same issue as Adam and Eve, to them it was blurry that’s why they wanted the Tree of Knowledge so they could know what was good and evil the same thing people want to teach their children. They had to know what was good and evil to teach their children these things.

Back to the beginning of the story: and Samuel said to Saul, it was I whom God said to anoint you over His nation, over Israel and now listen to the words of the Voice of God. So says god the Lord of Hosts.

What’s the verse for? Why do you need the introduction?

Shaul and Samuel are two parts of a whole, he’s saying, we are two parts of one whole. I am the one who anointed you and your strength as king comes from me and your issue will be one of compassion but it comes from me. Same as before I come from the tribe of Levi , the tribe of Din/Judgment. Therefore I gave you the power and the wisdom, the oil, I was the one who gave you what you need to deal with this battle. Whatever issues you’re going to have I know them before. Shmuel knew he would struggle and tried to preempt it.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
17
Mar

Esther’s Purim Part Two: An Introduction to her Ancestor, King Saul

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

Transcribed and prepared by Anna Beller: Now we need Esther’s response to Hamman. This is what’s important. The Gemara in Megilah says, that Rachel had two children, who were Yosef and Binyamin. Benjamin was the great-grandfather of King Shaul. Shaul fought a battle with Amalek, and he allowed the king of Amalek to live, so Amalek’s great-grandson Hamman should come and fight Shauls great-granddaughter Esther. So threes a pattern, Esther is there for Shaul, and in fact there’s another part of Megilah that says Rachel’s personal attribute was tzniut. What was Shaul’s attribute? Tzniut and so was Esther’s. So each one of them is a continuation of the other.

Read the background of this week’s haftarah. And we also discussed how remembering something is a rejection of Amalek.

We’re going to go over the story of Shaul and Agag, and the whole general story of Shaul so we can understand the haftarah of this Shabbat and by understanding the haftarah you will also understand Esther. It’s an incredible story.

There was a man named Kish and to him there was a son and his name was Shaul, he was young and very good, the chosen, there was no Jew amongst the Jewish people who was better than this man. Can you imagine the verse attesting to the virtue of this man? So he was taking care of his donkeys, and the donkeys were lost, and in those days if you lost your donkey you went to the navi and the navi would tell you where to find it. He was going to Shmuel, Samuel the prophet, to look for them.

Why was Shmuel called Shmuel? Because he was borrowed form God. But what are the other two ways to say borrowed, one is Shmuel and the other way, the better way is Shaul. So Shaul is the other side of Shmuel. So before Shaul comes, Hashem says to him, I have seen the man I want to be the first king of the Jews. Shmuel sees Shaul, and God says that’s the guy. Shmuel meets Shaul and Shmuel takes him and says like this: Shmuel takes a jar of oil, and he poured it over the head of Shaul and he kissed him, God has appointed you the prince over his people. And then he tells him where to find his donkeys.

Shaul goes home and his uncle says to him did you see the navi and he says yes I did. The uncle asked what did he say to you? And what would you say; that I’m king, but he says to his uncle, he didn’t say anything. He said hello and where to find the donkey.

He told us that the donkeys would follow. But this thing that he had been made the king he didn’t mention to him.

So Shmuel gathers all the people and says to the people, God has chosen the king for you. So they took the twelve tribes and they pulled out the name of the tribe and it came out Benyamin, then they put in the families of Benyamin and they pulled out the name Atri. Then they put in the names of all the people from the family Atri and they came out with the name Shaul. Everyone is looking around saying they need to find the king. So they began to search for him and they couldn’t find him, so they had to ask God, for prophecy, where is he hiding?

God said he’s hiding under some barrels, so they ran and they dragged him from there and they made him stand up in front of everyone and he was a neck taller than the next tallest Jew. So people said wow, and Shmuel says to the people do you see the one God has chosen, there is non-like him amongst the people. And everyone yelled “let the king live! And then Shaul went home. And a few Jews wanted to go along with Shaul because they wanted to be his soldiers, but he went home. But there were some trouble makers who said, they cursed him and said he was an extremist, and they wouldn’t bring any parties to him and didn’t treat him with respect and Shaul ignored it.

Right away he saves the city and everyone is very happy and now he’s a big hero. So all the people who had been cursing him out before are a little uncomfortable and his original supporters wanted to kill the detractors and Shaul said no man should die today’s a happy day, God has saved us we have won a war let’s be calm. So Shmuel is so happy that everyone accepts Shaul. So he wants to go back to Gilgal and re-anoint him as king. And everyone is very happy, and Shaul goes home, he doesn’t want anything to go with this.

We see that Shaul is an unbelievable person, and you can imagine that someone who’s a head taller than anyone else around is going to be difficult, the man does not assert himself at all as king; he is very private.

So now the time has come for him to battle the Pelishtim. Immediately before the battle with the Pelishtim, the passuk says: Shaul was one year old when he was king. So the Midrash says isn’t that a little difficult to believe? That first of all he was a head taller than everyone else and he had been fighting wars already. A little difficult to believe. The Midrash says that this is the passuks way of telling you that he had as many sins as a one year old has. Meaning none. This is the way of telling you his soul was as pure and clean as a baby.

They are ready now to battle the Pelishtim, Shaul is ready to fight the battle even though they don’t have many weapons, but Shmuel has told him they are going to win the battle. So, Shmuel had told him he would be there on the 7th day and not to fight until he came. And they waited for the 7th day and Shmuel didn’t come, so people began to say Shaul this is scary, the army is approaching we need to give a sacrifice before the battle. Because the only way were going to win is with God’s help, and we need to give sacrifices. They thought they’d be killed before Samuel got there.

So Shaul lost his army, they all began to run away. So what would any normal king do? Kill the army that’s running away. Shaul doesn’t know what to do. Because Samuel said not to go into battle before giving a sacrifice, and couldn’t give a sacrifice with out him so he does not know what to do. He’s not an assertive or an aggressive person. So he says bring me animals we’ll start the sacrifice.

The minute they finish sacrificing the first animal, Shmuel walks up. So Shaul says How are you? And Shmuel says what did you do? Shaul says everyone was leaving? And you didn’t come on time, and the Pelishtim are gathering. I didn’t know what to do should I go to battle without giving a sacrifice?

Samuel says to Shaul, you acted foolish, you didn’t do what Hashem commanded you, until today God was prepared for you to be the king over the Jewish people forever, meaning all his descendants. But now your reign will not last, God wants a man who thinks like God does. God will find such a man and make him the king. You didn’t do what Hashem commanded you to do.

And then they go into battle and he wins but it was tough.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
17
Mar

Reading the Text: Haftarah Zachor III

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

Transcribed and prepared by Anna Beller: And Shaul smote Amalek at this area,  and captured the king Agag of Amalek alive,  and all the nation, he destroyed by the sword.

Why didn’t he kill Agag? Shaul and the nation had mercy on Agag and on the best of the sheep and cattle and the fat ones, and they did not want to destroy them.  But whatever wasn’t choice, that, they destroyed.

Wow! It says they had mercy. It doesn’t mean he wanted to derive any benefit it was mercy. Is that why they captured Agag alive because they had mercy on him? They killed the children. – They captured Agag the king of Amalek alive, the nation they wiped out, and Shaul and the nation had mercy of Agag and on the best of the sheep. Did they capture him alive because they had mercy? They kept him alive from mercy, they captured him alive for a different reason: they didn’t want to kill him, then they wanted to kill him in front of all the Jewish people, so they would know that it had been done.  Something changed.

You wipe out the children but you don’t kill the animals? There’s something more going on here, you kill the children but not the king?   Who’s having the mercy? Shaul alone? The nation alone? Who didn’t have mercy? The 10,000 men of Yehudah who are not mentioned. So that they don’t have passion somehow allows them to produce King David!

So we don’t really understand, we don’t know what the intention was with the animals: how can you have the compassion on the best of the animals and the ones that weren’t so good they killed. There’s one opinion form the Rishonim that any animal that had been used for the wrong kind of purposes, with relationship with human beings are the ones that they had killed.

How could they kill men, women and children and not the animals. What is the verse saying?? It says vayachmol– they had mercy. It wasn’t because they wanted to show off the king. This verse is mercy.

The key is he had a name; Agag. Everyone else was a nobody, the minute he had a name he couldn’t be killed.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share