Sunday, December 20, 2009

Shades of King Saul

As we come out of the high of Chanukah, the great victory of the weak over the mighty, we're back to hearing familiar, though unpleasant news.  Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak is pulling a King Saul, wasting his military against his own people, rather than fighting the nation's enemies.

In Biblical times the Jewish People asked the Prophet Samuel for a King, like the other nations, to lead them, help fight their battles.  Saul was anointed king, but he didn't do the job needed and he didn't obey G-d's orders.  That was the reason Samuel told him that G-d wouldn't allow him to continue as king.  David was then anointed king, but Saul didn't leave the scene.  Samuel did.  David didn't need the guidance that Saul had needed.  Saul wasn't a natural leader.

Saul then devoted his energies and forces to destroy David.  Saul must have noticed that David was his superior from their first meeting, Samuel I, Chapter 17.  Saul and his armies were standing paralyzed by fear as Goliath goaded them.  Young David was horrified, embarrassed I'm sure, by the lack of response.  He volunteered to kill Goliath.  Saul couldn't believe it, but David was confident:
לב  וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל-שָׁאוּל, אַל-יִפֹּל לֵב-אָדָם עָלָיו; עַבְדְּךָ יֵלֵךְ, וְנִלְחַם עִם-הַפְּלִשְׁתִּי הַזֶּה. 32 And David said to Saul: 'Let no man's heart fail within him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.'
לג  וַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל אֶל-דָּוִד, לֹא תוּכַל לָלֶכֶת אֶל-הַפְּלִשְׁתִּי הַזֶּה, לְהִלָּחֵם, עִמּוֹ:  כִּי-נַעַר אַתָּה, וְהוּא אִישׁ מִלְחָמָה מִנְּעֻרָיו.  {ס} 33 And Saul said to David: 'Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.' {S}
לד  וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל-שָׁאוּל, רֹעֶה הָיָה עַבְדְּךָ לְאָבִיו בַּצֹּאן; וּבָא הָאֲרִי וְאֶת-הַדּוֹב, וְנָשָׂא שֶׂה מֵהָעֵדֶר. 34 And David said unto Saul: 'Thy servant kept his father's sheep; and when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock,
לה  וְיָצָאתִי אַחֲרָיו וְהִכִּתִיו, וְהִצַּלְתִּי מִפִּיו; וַיָּקָם עָלַי--וְהֶחֱזַקְתִּי בִּזְקָנוֹ, וְהִכִּתִיו וַהֲמִיתִּיו. 35 I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth; and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
לו  גַּם אֶת-הָאֲרִי גַּם-הַדֹּב, הִכָּה עַבְדֶּךָ; וְהָיָה הַפְּלִשְׁתִּי הֶעָרֵל הַזֶּה, כְּאַחַד מֵהֶם, כִּי חֵרֵף, מַעַרְכֹת אֱלֹהִים חַיִּים.  {ס} 36 Thy servant smote both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath taunted the armies of the living God.' {S}
לז  וַיֹּאמֶר, דָּוִד, יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר הִצִּלַנִי מִיַּד הָאֲרִי וּמִיַּד הַדֹּב, הוּא יַצִּילֵנִי מִיַּד הַפְּלִשְׁתִּי הַזֶּה;  {ס}  וַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל אֶל-דָּוִד לֵךְ, וַיהוָה יִהְיֶה עִמָּךְ. 37 And David said: 'The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.' {S} And Saul said unto David: 'Go, and the LORD shall be with thee.'

With time, Saul became more and more jealous of David and plotted to kill him.  He was furious with his son Jonathan, who had pledged his loyalty to David.  He couldn't understand how his own son would prefer to give up his chance at kingship. Saul's war was against David and not the Jewish People's enemies.

Today, the most motivated soldiers come from national religious families, Judea, Samaria, the hesder yeshivot and similar backgrounds.  Instead of supporting us, the government is fighting us, trying to weaken us.

History does repeat itself, and this one will play out like in Biblical days too.

א  וּפְלִשְׁתִּים, נִלְחָמִים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל; וַיָּנֻסוּ אַנְשֵׁי יִשְׂרָאֵל, מִפְּנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים, וַיִּפְּלוּ חֲלָלִים, בְּהַר הַגִּלְבֹּעַ. 1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.
ב  וַיַּדְבְּקוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים, אֶת-שָׁאוּל וְאֶת-בָּנָיו; וַיַּכּוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים, אֶת-יְהוֹנָתָן וְאֶת-אֲבִינָדָב וְאֶת-מַלְכִּישׁוּעַ--בְּנֵי שָׁאוּל. 2 And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, the sons of Saul.
ג  וַתִּכְבַּד הַמִּלְחָמָה אֶל-שָׁאוּל, וַיִּמְצָאֻהוּ הַמּוֹרִים אֲנָשִׁים בַּקָּשֶׁת; וַיָּחֶל מְאֹד, מֵהַמּוֹרִים. 3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers overtook him; and he was in great anguish by reason of the archers.
ד  וַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל לְנֹשֵׂא כֵלָיו שְׁלֹף חַרְבְּךָ וְדָקְרֵנִי בָהּ, פֶּן-יָבוֹאוּ הָעֲרֵלִים הָאֵלֶּה וּדְקָרֻנִי וְהִתְעַלְּלוּ-בִי, וְלֹא אָבָה נֹשֵׂא כֵלָיו, כִּי יָרֵא מְאֹד; וַיִּקַּח שָׁאוּל אֶת-הַחֶרֶב, וַיִּפֹּל עָלֶיהָ. 4 Then said Saul to his armour-bearer: 'Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and make a mock of me.' But his armour-bearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took his sword, and fell upon it.


Anonymous said...

When I think of Ehud Barak, King Saul doesn't come to my mind.

King Achav and Queen Izhevel do.

Batya said...

Ahh, but most people don't know what they did. Saul's more well-known. But the point that this has happened repeatedly is important to remember.

Shtuey said...

We know Barak and most of the Knesset are G-dless fools who worship power and sacrifice Jewish life on its altar. Now it seems the Hesder Yeshiva rabbis are sending a mixed message to their students. Rather than withdrawing from the program they tell their students not to protest, but don't follow orders if they go against Hashem.

Now we see Barak's hand, which we knew all along: he would rather declare war on Yesha than Fatah and Hamas.

Rabbi Melamed could have been Matityahu here. It seems to me that the Hesder rabbis chose to protect their government shekels rather than really stand with G-d.

Batya, a few months ago you asked where is Nachshon? Now I ask, where is Matityahu?

Batya said...

Drukman and the NRP mentality rule.