OU TORAHDedicated by the Jacobs and Chill Families in Memory of Harold and Pearl Jacobs
Dora Bas Rivka Silver O'H
"...and the Bees."
When the Jews backslid into their bad ways, G-d allowed Canaan to occupy Israel, led by a general named Sisera. They cried put and G-d sent Devorah (Deborah, whose name is Hebrew for a bee) as a Judge to save them.
Devorah summoned Barak to lead her army. (Barak may be another name for Lapidos, and may have been Devorah's husband.) Barak considered himself unworthy and said he would only do so if Devorah agreed to go, as well. She did, but she cautioned Barak that now a woman would be credited with the victory - and she didn't mean herself!
Israel routed Sisera's army, but the general himself escaped. He ran to the tent of Yael, wife of Chever the Kenite. (The Kenites were descendants of Moshe's father-in-law, Yisro.) He asked to be hidden and for some water. She covered him with a blanket and gave him some milk to make him tired. (She may have done a few other things, but we won't go into them here.) When Sisera fell asleep, Yael took the tent peg and drove it into his temple. She then showed Barak where Sisera could be found.
The Navi tells us that Devorah judged people under a date tree. The reason she did so because of yichud, the prohibition against being secluded with a member of the opposite sex. If a woman of Devorah's caliber, who was above such temptations and certainly above suspicion, was concerned with such things, certainly we average folk should be careful with these laws!
A short Insight into Judges, Chapter 4As Devorah accompanies Barak on his trek to confront Sisra and his army, verse eleven innocently mentions that “Chever Hakeini had separated from Kayin, a descendant of the children of Chovav, Moshe’s father-in-law.”
What is the pertinence of this fact to the upcoming battle of B'nei Yisroel against Sisra?
The Malbim tells us, “It was from Hashem that Chever Hakeini separated from his brothers who lived in the Judean desert and pitched his tent near Kedesh – to be prepared for the day of the salvation.”
Hashem had arranged this move so that Chever’s family, including Ya’el, lived in this area so that when the day arrived for Sisra to flee from Barak, Ya’el would be available to hide and eventually kill Sisra, the enemy of the Jewish people.
Similarly, the Vilna Gaon tells us regarding the verse in Megilas Esther (1,2), “When King Achashveirosh was sitting on his throne which was in Shushan the capital.” “The commentaries explain that this throne was patterned after the throne of Shlomo Hamelech …It took three years to make. It could only fashioned in Shushan. Since it was very large, they could not bring it to Bavel from where all of the kings reigned. So he (Achashveirosh) went and set up his kingdom in Shushan.”
“This verse was written to show the greatness of Hashem. Hashem caused this to occur since Mordechai was already in Shushan. Therefore, Hashem caused Achashveirosh to move his government to Shushan so that Mordechai would be in a position to help in saving B’nei Yisroel from Haman.”