Thursday, January 24, 2013

HafTorah Beshalach: The Victory Song of Devorah

Written by Reuven Gavriel ben Nissim Ebrahimoff

Read from the Book of Shoftim or Judges

Chapters 4 [The story] and 5 [the Song] for Ashkenazim, Just Chapter 5 for Sephardim.

Deborah commissions Barak to rid Israel of Cannanite oppression. The Prophetess brings about a spiritual regeneration.

The Story Line: 4:1-3 Bnai Yisrael sins by worshipping idols and are subdued by the Cana'anim [Cananites]. 4:4,5 The Prophetess Deborah, wife of Lapidot, becomes the leader of the Jews. 4:6-9 She sends Barak a prophetic message to wage war against the enemy. Hashem confuses Sisera's camp. 4:10-16 The enemy is defeated, just one person remains - Sisera. 4:17-22 Yael kills general Sisera by driving a spike through his head. 4:23-24 Bnai Yisrael kills King Yavin.

Devorah's Song - 5:1-3 Introduction: Praises to Hashem. Torah study and observance brings victory to Bnai Yisrael. 5:4-5 Without Torah they loose and with it they win. 5:6-13 Deborah's Song begins with the description of Matan Torah [The Giving of the Torah]. Start doing circumcisions again and Hashem will bless you. When you want evil decrees to be reversed, Praise Hashem. Thanks to Hashem for the most recent victory and protection from the enemy. 5:14-18 Praise for the Jews who joined the battle and condemnation of those who did not. 5:19-22 The miracles of the war. 5:23-27 Meroz is cursed and Yael is blessed. 5:28-30 False hopes in Sisra's camp. The Conclusion. This event broke the power King Yabin had over the Israelites.

The Haftorah's Connection between the Parsha and Haftorah: The Parsha of Beshalach contains the song that Moshe sang at the Yam Suf [Sea of Reeds], after Hashem rescued the nation of Israel from the Egyptian army. The Haftarah contains the song that was sung after Deborah defeated the Cananites.

The Biography of Deborah: Deborah was one of the seven Prophetesses, and knew the secret of Divine wisdom. She was a Shofettet [female judge] and war leader that led Israel from foreign oppression.

She lived in the latter half of the 12th century BCE.
Her husband was called a Lapidot [Wick Maker] She prophesied for 40 years.
Deborah was independently wealthy, she owned palm trees in Jericho, Orchards in Ramah. Oil producing olive trees in Beit-el.
She sat under a palm tree in order to avoid seclusion with men.
The Mishkan was in Shilo at the time.
Six miracles occurred on this day.
She came from the tribe of Naftali
She lived in Atarot.

Timeline: This story occurred about 3135 years ago.

The location of this Haftara is Mt. Tabor.

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