web analytics
July 2, 2015 / 15 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


Parsha Lesson: Battling Kidnappers and Amalek, Then and Now

Amalek kidnapped an Israelite. They thought they could confuse God and Israel by pretending to be local Canaanites.

Hur and Aharon holding up Moshe's hands as Joshua battled Amalek.

Hur and Aharon holding up Moshe's hands as Joshua battled Amalek.

You learn interesting new things when you visit different towns and Minyanim. Today I learned of a Ramban on Parsha Chukat (the weekly Torah portion that is read in on Shabbat) that I hadn’t seen before, courtesy of Ari Fuld, who gave the Rabbi’s drasha in his neighborhood’s shul.

In Bamidbar 21:1-3 it says,

1:. The Canaanite, King of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel had come by way of Attarim, and he waged war against Israel and took from them a captive.

2:. Israel made a vow to the Lord, and said, “If You deliver this people into my hand, I shall consecrate their cities.”

3: The Lord heard Israel’s voice and delivered the Canaanite. He destroyed them and [consecrated] their cities, and he called the place Hormah.

Seemingly the Canaanites attacked Israel, and to Israel’s surprise managed to take a hostage.

Israel then realized something was off, because they shouldn’t have suffered any losses.

So they then pray to God that they should be victorious over this unspecified, enemy nation.

They then destroy the “Canaanites”.

 

The Targum Yonatan Ben Uziel explicitly translates Canaanite in this first sentence as Amalek, in the third sentence he reverts back and calls them Canaanites.

Why is that?

Rashi points out that just a few chapters earlier in Bamidbar 13:29 it say:

29: The Amalekites dwell in the Negev land, while the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountainous region. The Canaanites dwell on the coast and alongside the Jordan.”

This king of Arad should have been Amalek, not a Canaanite.

So what’s going on here?

The explanation given is that Amalek believed that Israel could defeat them in battle.

They hoped to confuse Israel and God by changing their clothing and language, pretending to be local Canaanites. Their plan was that Israel would pray to defeat the Canaanites and not Amalek, and thus, by praying for the wrong thing, Israel would lose, and they, Amalek, would end up victorious.

But Israel, after a hostage was taken, quickly realizes that something is off, and that they obviously weren’t fighting the Canaanites like they thought.

So they modified their prayer to be generic towards whichever nation it is they were fighting. And of course, as we know, they won.

As an aside,  the hostage that was taken is believed to have been a foreign maidservant – not even an Israelite. But Israel decided to fight full-force to save one of their own, even a foreign maidservant (an important and relevant lesson for today).

Anyway, after modifying their prayers appropriately, Israel is victorious, as if Amalek were the Canaanites they thought they were originally fighting.

Now here’s the most interesting part:

The Ramban (Nachmanidies) say here about the Canaanite/Amalek:

“They [Amalek] came from a far away land, (specifically) to fight with Israel.”

Doesn’t that sound exactly like another group of people pretending to be indigenous, whose sole goal often appears to be nothing more than to kill or kidnap Jews, and destroy the Jewish state? (The answer is yes).

By the way, the Ramban mentions the maidservant was saved – may we also be zocheh that Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel be safely saved and returned home.

 

About the Author: JoeSettler blogs at The Muqata.blogspot.com and occasionally on his own blog at JoeSettler.blogspot.com.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Parsha Lesson: Battling Kidnappers and Amalek, Then and Now”

  1. Prayer were made and God responses .it still happened and God will answer.amen

Comments are closed.

muqata logo 486x300
Current Top Story
Gerstenfeld-070315
Will Defeating Islamic State Take More Than A Generation?
Latest Blogs Stories
Malachi Rosenfeld HY"D

Israel & world Jewry are under attack and in grave danger but UN’s focus is denouncing Israel

Doug Goldstein

What is human chess? How easy is it to predict the actions of others?

Rethink UN bias against Israel

It’s time to stand up against the bias & no longer accept the constant UN prejudice against Israel.

Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, one of four injured in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Shvut Rachel, north of Ramallah, has died (HYD)

Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, injured in a terror attack in Samaria, has died (HYD)

Allah is NOT merciful: Stabbing, beheading, shooting innocents is barbaric & cowardly acts of terror

How could the Jerusalem Post think the attack could have been other than a terrorist act?

Going to Mt of Olives cemetery was like visiting Jurassic Park in a jeep with dinosaurs rampaging

Hanan Porat z”l, teary-eyed said ” We returned to the Gush(Etzion)we shall return to the Gush(Katif)

“Mispachology”: Theory you share a common link with someone you’ve never met or been in contact with

It seems that Pres. Rivlin has joined all other so-called Right politicians and now is trending Left

Dear Muslims, Happy Ramadan. It’s clear from the news that your people are having a “bang-up” month

The President was right, every Jew should have a gun. He just asked the wrong person about it.

Everybody knows that during Ramadan Arab Muslim terror attacks increase.

UN says Hamas tried to warn us of rocket attacks? I was here. Not once did those…I want to scream

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Emes Ve-Emunah} The inevitable finally happened. Rabbi Avi Weiss has dispensed with his prior refusal to call his female ordainees ‘rabbis’.  I challenged him to stop dancing around that title with made up titles  (like Raba and Maharat) and he finally rose to the challenge. His motivation in not […]

How can you transform thinking to action? What are the mountains you need to climb to reach goals?

More Articles from JoeSettler
President Rivlin at a "shiva" call to family of terror victim Danny Gonen.

The President was right, every Jew should have a gun. He just asked the wrong person about it.

The Marianne boat, carrying humanitarian aid such, as a single and useless solar panel.

Let’s make these flotilla activists useful, by sending them to Syria.

Will Israel’s trauma from Lebanon prevent Israel from helping reshape the Middle East in our favor?

Schabas can’t understand how Hamas might commit war crimes, but not Israel.

The RAND report on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a fatally flawed document that offers an unattainable utopian economic vision based on incorrect, impossible, undesirable and immoral assumptions.

The RAND report’s hypothetical scenarios are based on false assumptions, immoral considerations, failed concepts and impossible scenarios.

Introducing Obama’s latest 2-state solution…

President Obama believes anti-Semites limit their anti-Semitism to discrimination and organizing, but will always put their survival first!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/parsha-lesson-battling-kidnappers-and-amalek-then-and-now/2014/06/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: