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The Haftorah for Shabbat Zachor. The Torah reading is from the Parasha of Vayikra
The Sephardim read the Haftarah from Shmuel 1 Chapter 15:1-34
The summary of this week's Haftorah: Shmuel, the last of the Shoftim-Judges of Israel, appoints Shaul the 1st king of Israel. The nation of Israel was given 3 commandments to fulfill upon entering the land of Israel. #1- Appoint your selves a king. #2 - Kill ALL the Amelekites. #3 Build a Holy Temple for Hashem. The Prophet Samuel commands King Saul to wipe out the Nation of Amalek, and to destroy all of its possessions. Shaul saves the Kainim, a tribe of semi-nomadic metalworkers from the destruction. (Moses' father-law Yitro was a Kenite. Yael, (who killed Sisera by driving a spike through his head) husband was a Kenite.). While killing off most of the Amelekites, Shaul has his doubts, and decides not to do the job completely. The Haftorah reminds us of the mitzvah to decimate Amalek. Shaul neglects to fully execute many of the animals and King Agag of the Amelekites. This turns out to be Shaul's big blunder. Hashem comes to Shmuel in a vision at night and decrees that Shaul is no longer to be the king. After not sleeping the rest of the night, the next morning Shmuel asks Shaul why didn't he finish the job completely? Shaul try's to "blame shift" it on his soldiers, but Shmuel sets him straight and says that as king he was responsible to make sure the job was completed. As Shmuel turns to walk away Shaul's tears the corner of the robe of Shmuel so that to not let him go. It was symbolic of the Kingship being ripped away from Shaul. The Haftorah ends when Shmuel kills Agag the king of Amalek himself.
The Connection between the Parashat and the Haftara is: This week is Shabbat Zachor. On the Shabbat before Purim we read from the Torah about the commandment to destroy the memory of the Nation of Amalek because Haman was from the Nation of Amalek.
The Hataraman's lesson of the week. The "Frank Sinatra" mitzvah is the one that you say, "I'll do it my way". It is of the utmost importance for every person to follow Torah's directions exactly. Shaul was a great man, however he did not complete Hashem's request to kill off Amalek completely. Look at what happened to him. He was dethroned and led a miserable life. Was it worth it? Most Jews will do many mitzvahs correctly, however there is usually one mitzvah that each person says "Hey! Wait a minute, everything else I'll go along with, but this one "I'll do it my way ". What is your Frank Sinatra of Mitzvahs? Lashon Hara? Kosher food? Driving in a car on Shabbat? Whatever it is, tell the truth to yourself, and then begin to modify your behavior a little bit at a time. Hashem will take notice of your outstanding behavior and respond positively to your actions.
The Biographies of Shmuel and Saul: His name means, "The Lord heard her". Samuel was the 16th and final of the Shoftim (Judges). Eli the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) raised him. His book covers 120 years. He was a prophet. His term of prophecy lasted about 100 years, from 1070 - 970 b.c.e. Samuel was strong and unwavering. Hannah was his mother. Samuel was 50 years old at the time of this Haftarah. He was known as the reluctant kingmaker. Samuel was born in Ramat-Tsofim in the hill country of the tribe of Ephraim. Wrote his own book. Hashem spoke directly to him.
Shaul was the first King of Israel. He failed at this job. Shaul was a great Tzaddik (righteous person). He was a military hero. Shaul heard that Goliath had captured the Tablets, so he marched 60 miles from Shiloh, and took them back in one day with the help of an Angel. He was very handsome, modest, and innocent. He was a Prophet
Famous phrases: We sing .... Ne'Zach Yisrael Lo Yi'Sha'ker. The Glory of Israel does not change!
Timeline: This Haftarah took place approximately 2870 years ago.
Map: The Haftorah takes place in Gilgal.
People, Places and Things in the Haftorah: Telaim - is a sight in the Negev.
Kenites - May have been desert guides to the Israelites.
Chavila - a region inhabited by the Amalekites.
Shur - A wiolderness region in the NW Sinai.
Terafim - A Idol, that came in many sizes. People were able to make magic with them. The word contains TeRaif - commonly used to say something is not kosher. Archaeologists have found Terafim and you may see them today if you like.
As told by: Reuven Gavriel ben Nissim Ebrahimoff
Written by: The Haftorahman - Reuven Gavriel ben Nissim Ebrahimoff 5762-2002
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