web analytics
December 27, 2014 / 5 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



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.


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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

muqata logo 486x300
Current Top Story
Ayala Shapira, 11, is fighting for her life after suffering burn wounds when an Arab terrorist threw a Molotov cocktail at the car in which she was riding.
‘Slight Improvement’ in Life-threatening Condition of Firebomb Victim
Latest Blogs Stories
Stairway to success!

My stairs had been built, big and strong-BUT ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE APARTMENT!

HaTnua Party Meeting

Is his article satire? Or does Kai Bird really think Tzipi Livni heads a “center-right” party?

Shabbat Table

Much as I’d like to see the Jewish nation fully observant forcing Shabbat on people is NOT the way.

Loyalty seems to be a lost trait in Israeli politics, whether it’s to ideals, principles or parties.

Apartment hunting is kinda like dating: You go see anything that looks right on paper-and pray.

Latest headlines say that Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s Likud may only make third place if…

What are the roles of leadership and communication in running a “tight ship”?

Sabraman: Israel’s first superhero, combining the courage of the Sabra and the faith of Abraham.

Is Haredi open-ended learning on charity better than earning a living that would obviate that?

Hanuka is the miracle of emunah- belief in the L-rd of Israel and the light of our faith.

Limiting Jewish success and revival is that the anti-Jewish, anti-History Left rules here in Israel

The crisis in Jewish education is of existential importance. How should it be resolved?

BBC GUIDELINES ON TERRORISM: The word “terrorist” itself can be a barrier rather than an aid…

Discussion with entrepreneur William Heinecke on how he became a young, successful businessman

Did Cuba apologize for their spies the way Israel apologized for Pollard?

More Articles from JoeSettler
HaTnua Party Meeting

Is his article satire? Or does Kai Bird really think Tzipi Livni heads a “center-right” party?

PM Benjamin Netanyahu with Yishai and Tamar Fogel, survivors of an Arab terror attack which killed their parents and 3 siblings.

A number of Israeli papers regurgitated a biased AP article on settlement growth, but they should have read it more carefully before hitting publish.

The party chiefs are acting drunk and childish – making stupid mistakes and inadvertently showing their true selves – just like on Purim.

JoeSettler explains the electoral mess we’re in, and a possible solution for fixing it.

If Bennett and Ariel split the party, Bayit Yehudi votes will go to the only party fielding a strong, stable religious bloc… the Likud.

Everything you thought you knew about the “Jewish Nation State” law is wrong. Here are 5 common misconceptions about the proposed law.

The silly people on the left have created a new campaign to try and force the rest of the country to capitulate to their suicidal fantasies, this time by riding trains and imposing themselves onto other people’s conferences.

President Rivlin’s recent statements are only half right, and that’s why he’s completely wrong.

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: