Miketz - 5761
My Son is the Living Son"
that is read on Shabbat
Parshat Miketz is taken, according to the traditions of both the Ashkenazic
Communities, from the Book of "Melachim"/Kings I, "Perek"/Chapter
3, "Passuk"/Verse 15, through and including "Perek" 4,
Background of the Haftarah
background of the Haftarah is the elevation of Shelomoh
to the Kingship over Israel, and his triumph over the other sons of David
HaMelech. The most recent
Prince of Israel who tried to seize power was Adoniahu ben Chagit.
His plan was thwarted by the timely action of Nathan HaNavi and
Batsheva, the mother of Shelomoh, who had been promised by David himself
that Shelomoh would succeed him.
Another aspect of the background of the Haftarah is the dream in which HaShem asked Shelomoh what gift he would want most, and it would be provided. Shelomoh, King Solomon, had disdained to choose riches or honor, but instead had chosen the wisdom to judge his People correctly, in accordance with the Torah. Since he had chosen so wisely, HaShem had decided to give Solomon wisdom beyond that of every person who had preceded or would follow him, and great riches and honor.
"Melachim"/Kings 1, 3:15
"And Shelomoh awoke, and behold it had been a
explains that when Shelomoh awoke, he realized two things: first, that his
conversation with HaShem had been in a dream and second, that the promise
that HaShem had made to him in the dream had been fulfilled.
He realized that the dream was fulfilled, and that the dream had been
a prophetic dream, because he heard the chirping of the birds, and he
understood their "language," and he heard the barking of the dogs
and understood what the dogs were "saying."
and he made a feast for all his
that it was the joy of his heart that that the promise had been fulfilled
that led him to make this feast of thanksgiving to HaShem.
"Melachim"/Kings 1, 3:16
"Then came two female 'zonot' before the King
Levi ben Gershom) prefers to explain the term "zonot" as
"innkeepers," as he preferred to understand the meaning of
that term in connection with Rachav "ha-zonah," Rachav the
innkeeper, who played an important role in the initial
entry of the Jewish People into the Holy Land.
But he admits the possibility, and that
possibility may be supported by the context of the narrative, that
the two may indeed have been
"women of ill repute," harlots, who came before the King for
judgment. And perhaps HaShem
brought them before Shelomoh as his first case to rein in the ego of
King Solomon, not to think that he would only be pronouncing judgment
on high officials, but rather
that the "salt of the earth" would also need the services of the
King as judge, in addition to
demonstrating his great insight into human nature that enabled him to judge
the case correctly.
In any case,
RALBAG continues, Shelomoh
shocked them by his verdict (see below - verse 3:25), in order to discern
from their reactions who would have the greatest pity on the child, and
award the child to that woman as the true mother.
"Melachim"/Kings 1, 3:17-18
One of the
women begins her testimony that the two of them had had children at around
the same time, and were sleeping with their babies one night, with no one
"Melachim"/Kings 1, 3:19
"And the son of this woman died that night,
because she rolled over, and suffocated him."
Metzudat David explains why it was that she explained the death as having occurred specifically in that manner, because if the boy had been sick, there would have been visitors and hence witnesses, as to the identity of the child and hence, the mother. (Perhaps now we might say that the boy had died as the result of the SIDS Syndrome (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), that is still not completely understood).
"Melachim"/Kings 1, 3:20
"And she arose at night, and took my son from
beside me, while your handmaiden slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid
her dead child in my bosom."
"Melachim"/Kings 1, 3:21-22
but when I examined it carefully in the
morning, it was not the son that I had bore.
And the other woman said, 'Not so! For my son is the living son, and
yours is the dead one
;' and the first said 'Not so!
Your son is the dead one, and my son is the live one'
"Melachim"/Kings 1, 3:23
And the King said, 'This one says this is my
live son, and yours is the dead one, and this one says 'Not so! For your son
is the dead one, and my son is the live one.' "
that the Rabbis of the Talmud infer from here that a judge should repeat the
claims of the litigants, to indicate to them that their claims have been
heard and understood by the judge, and it is on the basis of those claims
that he will judge them.
"Melachim"/Kings 1, 3:24-25
"And the King said, 'Bring me a sword;' and
they brought a sword to the King. And
the King said, 'Cut this living child into two pieces, and give half to this
one and half to the other one.' "
"Melachim"/Kings 1, 3:26
"And the woman who was the mother of the live son said to the King, for her mercies were aroused for her son, 'I beg you my master, give her the living child, but do not kill it!' And the other woman said, 'Neither will I nor will you have him, proceed to cut! "
"Melachim"/Kings 1, 3:27
Then the King answered and said, 'Give her the
living child and do not kill it! She
is the mother!' "
that Shelomoh awarded the child to the woman who had shown pity towards it,
and had been willing to give it to the other woman, rather than having it
killed, based on his own wisdom and
insight, as he had been promised by HaShem.
But RADAK as well as RASHI
also mention the statement by "CHAZAL"
that a "bat -kol," a heavenly voice, was heard, saying, "she
is the mother." This is
hard to understand, because at first glance, that would have nothing then to
do with Shelomoh's G-d given wisdom! Unless
one can say that this "bat-kol" was heard only by Shelomoh, and
was an indication of how his "wisdom" worked; that is, that he
would concentrate intently on a problem, and HaShem would send the answer to
his mind (?).
"Melachim"/Kings 1, 3:28
"And all Israel heard of the judgment that the
King had judged; and they feared the King; for they saw that the wisdom of
G-d was in him, to do justice."
explains that they feared to do evil even in secret, because they realized
that G-dly wisdom was within the King, and he would be able to discern their
"Melachim"/Kings 1, 4:1
"And the King Shelomoh was King over all of
explains that, having seen this display of his wisdom, the People all
rejoiced in his reign.
points out that although King David, Shelomoh's father did not rule at first
over all of Israel, Shelomoh, by the display of his great wisdom, so
impressed the entire Nation that he began his rule over a united People.
Many of the connections between Parshat Miketz and
its Haftarah are dream-related.
- - - Till here, the "Dream" Connections - - -
As the time
of Elections approach in the State of Israel, we hope for the emergence of a
leader with the "Wisdom of Shelomoh," who could see a path for
Israel to follow that would bring her closer to HaShem, and thereby
guarantee her victory over her enemies.
Rabbi Pinchas Frankel
Rabbi Frankel is an Educational Coordinator at the OU