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.
It's bad (maybe evil is a better word) enough that he's using his budget (our tax money) to capture Jewish tractors to prevent Jews from building homes for Jews, but his "evil genius" is planning our destruction.
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:
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.