Judges – Chapter 15

January 12, 2014, by

Samson had left his wife with her father. He later went to reclaim her, only to find that the father had given her away to another man. Since she was not divorced from Samson, this was blatant adultery, tacitly sanctioned by the local Philistine community in violation of the Seven Universal Laws. Samson tied foxes […]

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Judges – Chapter 14

January 11, 2014, by

Samson saw a Philistine woman in Timnah and asked his parents to get her for his wife. The obvious question is how this was permissible. Granted, people do impermissible things all the time, but Samson was the Judge of Israel and would logically be expected to follow halacha (Jewish law). Samson’s parents were equally bothered […]

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Judges – Chapter 13

January 10, 2014, by

The Jews slacked off again, so G-d allowed the Philistines to take over for forty years. A man named Manoach, from the Tribe of Dan, had no children. An angel appeared to Manoach’s wife and told her that she would have a child who would begin to save the nation from Philistine oppression; he would […]

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Judges – Chapter 12

January 9, 2014, by

The warriors of Ephraim were once again upset about not being called to battle. They threatened to burn down Yiftach’s house, with him in it. While almost a century earlier, Gidon was able to appease them with words, Yiftach got into a chest-thumping contest with them. The people of Gilad, Yiftach’s home, warred with Ephraim. […]

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Judges – Chapter 11

January 8, 2014, by

Yiftach (Jephthah in English) was a great warrior, but he had a different mother than his siblings. (She was possibly a prostitute, a concubine, or simply a woman from another Tribe – the commentators offer a variety of opinions.) His brothers expelled him so that he would not inherit with them. But when Israel went […]

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Judges – Chapter 10

January 7, 2014, by

After Avimelech, Israel was ruled by Tola for 23 years, then Yair for 22 years. (This actually totals 44 years, as there was one year in which both ruled.) The Jews then backslid into their bad habits and started worshipping idols again. G-d therefore allowed the nation to fall into the hands of Ammon and […]

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Judges – Chapter 9

January 6, 2014, by

Avimelech stirred up trouble in the city of Shechem. He suggested that all 70 of Gidon’s sons would become rulers over the nation and wouldn’t it be better if there was just one (i.e., him)? The people of Shechem were from Avimelech’s mother’s side of the family. They gave Avimelech 70 pieces of silver with […]

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Judges – Chapter 8

January 5, 2014, by

The men of Ephraim complained to Gideon: Why didn’t he call them for the battle with Midian, instead of leaving them the clean-up? Gideon replied that their role, which they perceived to be small, was actually greater than his accomplishment. (At the risk of waxing political, capturing Orev and Zeev could be compared to the […]

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Judges – Chapter 7

January 4, 2014, by

Gideon’s army was too large for G-d’s tastes. Yes, the army was too LARGE. G-d wanted it to be clear that the victory was in no way a natural occurrence and, while it is unlikely that 32,000 Jews would defeat 135,000 Midianites, it is not outside the realm of possibility. G-d told Gideon to send […]

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