14 Jun 2006

The third in the traditional listing by CHAZAL of the group of Prophets known as the “Trei-Asar,” the “Twelve.”

A herdsman from Tekoah in Yehudah (Amos 1:1) and declaring that he was neither a Prophet nor the son of a Prophet (Amos 7:14), Amos nevertheless scaled the greatest heights of Prophecy.

For each of “Damesek” (Damascus), Capital of Aram, that destroyed the Kingdom of Israel and exiled the Ten Tribes, “Azah” (Gaza), Capital of the Land of the Philistines, that fought against the People of G-d almost throughout the Biblical Period and stole their Holy Ark, until it was retrieved by David, “Tzor” (Tyre), Capital of Phoenecia, that delivered a captivity to Edom, and “Edom” itself, Amos declares in the Name of HaShem, “For three of your transgressions I would have forgiven you, but not for the fourth.”

And then, to show that G-d plays no favorites, Amos cries out to Yehudah and Israel, “For three transgressions I would have forgiven, but not for your fourth!”