Dora Bas Rivka Silver O'H
"Over the Rainbow" (or "Bear with Me")
G-d told Elijah that He was going to take him into so Elijah headed out for Beth-El with Elisha in tow. The other prophets they passed called out to Elisha, "Don't you know that G-d is taking your master away today?" Elisha replied, "I know, so be quiet!"
Elijah asked Elisha to remain in Gilgal, and again he asked him to stay in Jericho, but Elisha refused to let his teacher go without him. They came to the Jordan and had picked up fifty prophets by this time. Elijah took his cloak and struck the Jordan with it; the Jordan parted so that he and Elisha could cross. (The fifty prophets remained behind.)
Elijah asked his disciple what he could grant him before his departure and Elisha asked for a "double portion" of Elijah's spirit. (Rashi says this refers to Elijah's blessing for a particularly high level of prophecy.) Elijah said, "That's a tough one. If you see me taken away, you'll know that it's been granted."
While they were talking, a fiery chariot drawn by fiery horses came down and separated them. Elijah was carried up to Heaven in a whirlwind, his cloak falling to the ground. Elisha cried out and tore his clothes in mourning. He picked up Elijah's cloak and started back.
When Elisha got to the Jordan, he struck it and said, "Where is Hashem, the G-d of Elijah?" and the waters parted for him as they had for his master. The fifty prophets saw this and knew that G-d had appointed Elisha as Elijah's successor. The prophets asked to go look for Elijah, but Elisha said, "Don't bother." They pressed the issue until Elisha relented. They looked for three days, but didn't find him. Elisha said, "I told you so!"
The people of Jericho asked Elisha for help - their water had gone bad and people were dying. Elisha requested a new jar filled with salt. He threw the jar into the water, which became purified. (This is a "double miracle," since salt normal spoils water for drinking!)
Elisha left Jericho to return to Beth-El. Some youths came and starting taunting him. "Get out of here, baldy!" they cried. He cursed them and two bears came out of the woods and tore them apart. (The commentators explain this story allegorically in a variety of ways, but it still seems to be an over-reaction on Elisha's part. The Talmud in Sotah, 47a, says that Elisha was punished for this act with a serious illness.)
Elisha proceeded to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah had defeated the prophets of Baal, and from there Elisha proceeded to Samaria, the capital of the kingdom of Israel.
A short Insight into II Kings, Chapter 2Shortly before Eliyahu ascended to the heavens in a whirlwind, the prophet's disciples came to Elisha and said to him, “Did you know that today Hashem is taking your master from upon your head?”
The Abarbenel wonders from where did the prophet's disciples glean this information?
He explains that during the prophecy portion of Eliyahu HaNavi's life, the flow of prophetic vision flowed not only to Eliyahu, but also to all of his disciples. As the Tosefta (Sotah 12) teaches, “Before Eliyahu disappeared, there was a Divine Spirit among Israel. As it says, “The prophet's disciples, who had been in Beth E-l, came out to Elisha and said to him, 'Did you know that today Hashem is taking your master from upon your head?'”
Once the prophet's disciples sensed that the flow Divine influence was waning, they understood that Eliyahu's departure was imminent. Therefore, they approached Elisha to voice their concern.
Later, when they saw that Elisha had split the waters, they understood that the Spirit of Hashem had now graced Elisha. Immediately after seeing this miracle, they came and bowed out of respect to Elisha. They concluded that the Spirit of G-d that graced them because of the Divine connection with Eliyahu HaNavi would now grace them because of the Divine connection with Elisha.