Saturday, October 15, 2005

Sefer Yehoshua - Conquest of Yericho


I know I should be preparing for the Bas Mitzva but I can't seem to stop blogging...

Neighbors on my block (Brooklyn) have started learning Sefer Yehoshua. Learning Sefer Yehoshua has really been wonderful. We've been getting material from Meam Loez and has wonderful material on Sefer Yehoshua, pasuk by pasuk. Each week the group meets at a different house on my block (we are around 9 participating women and kids play nearby). The hostess prepares a Perek in Yehoshua (as well as nosh of course). I prepared Perek Vav this week. This week was about the conquering of Yericho. There were 7 Shofars with 7 Kohanim in front of the Aron and for 7 days each day the warriors of the 12 tribes surrounded Yericho. Then they circled it 1 time each day. On the 7th day however, they circled Yericho 7 times. The Seventh day was Shabbat. There's something special about the number 7 and Eretz Yisroel. (There are parallels of encircling Yericho to the Hakofot on Sukkot in the time of the Beis Hamikdash. Please enlighten me about the Minhag in Yerushalyim nowadays. In shuls on Sukkot, we circle around the Bima each day and on Hoshana Rabba 7 times. I understand there are very significant kabbalistic meanings of this practice that complement the significance of Am Yisroel encircling Yericho)

In the procession of Yehoshua, the Shofars proclaimed Hashem King. The Shofar proclaims Hashem as King on Rosh Hashana as well. The conquest of Yericho was primarily to demonstrate the Kingship of Hashem. The city was conquered via a blatent miracle from Hashem. When the Tekia sounded and the people shouted, the walls sunk. As Yericho was the first conquest in Eretz Canaan, it was especially important that there be a proclamation that G-d is King and He created the world and decides who to give the Land of Israel. He showed via miracles that He is giving it to Am Yisroel. The entire city was cherem LaHashem. (Appropriate that on Shabbos one should not enjoy any benefit from Chillul Shabbat, even though Shabbat was precisely when Hashem wanted Yehoshua to conquer Yericho) The metals, gold, silver, copper brass were cherem for the treasurehouse of the Mishkan and the rest of the city was totally destroyed. Men, women, children, young, old were slain by the sword except for Rahav and her house. The idolatry was so terrible that what was done to them compares to what is to be done with Amalek so that the evil ways of the people would not adversely affect Am Yisroel. Rahav's possessions were saved with her even though the rest of the items in the city destroyed completely, so that she shouldn't be left homeless. She and members of her family turned over a new leaf and accepted to be part of Am Yisroel and married the elite of Am Yisroel The city was burnt and Yehoshua swore that it should never to be rebuilt so that the world is witness to the power of Hashem and His decision to give the Land to Am Yisroel. Yehoshua wrote Aleinu, proclaiming G-d as King and recited it backwards and frontwards during the conquest. This was then put into the Rosh Hashana davening.

At the group meeting, I noted the email from Rachel Saperstein (Operation Bandaid) and the email from Dr. Temkin about the airlift. I also brought up the teenager still in prison.

Lester and Jeannette Goldsmith from my shul (in laws of Chaim Richman) came back from Israel this week. He was at the funerals of the disenterred from Gush Katif at Har Hazeitim. He said that 12 of the bodies did not decompose. A sign that these were truly tzadikim.

He described a scene where he was on the bus in Bet El and one of the people on the bus was a refugee of Gush Katif a former farmer of 30 years and he was crying that he had a house, a farm and now he didn't even know where to get off...

There are those that believe, myself included that the time has come to be like the warriors in the time of Yehoshua who were willing to defend the right of the Land of Israel. We are Bnei Brisecho, the Children of the Covenant. The State of Israel may not see the need to defend our claim to the Land. Let those warriors (age 20 and up) that wish to defend our claim to the Land come forth and unite and may Hashem be with us.

As I was performing Kaporot Erev Yom Kippur designating the money for Operation Bandaid, I received a phone call telling me about a young women age 42 who passed away suddenly a week ago Friday night I thought to myself, now I know why I'm doing Kapparot. On Yom Kippur when we were all walking to shul in our rubber sandels and slippers in the drenching rain, my thoughts were on the people of Gush Katif and their open sandels...

It's tragic...
Shavua Tov!

Im taamin sheefshar lekalkel taamin sheefshar letaken. (Rabbi Nachman of Breslev) If you believe, that one can destroy believe one can repair.
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