Weekly Haftorah

by Reuben Ebrahimoff -
The Haftorahman



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The Haftarah for Parashat Nasso 5762

The Haftorah is read from Sefer Shoftim or the Book of Judges 13:2-25.

The Miraculous Birth of Shimshon - Samson.The Haftorah is read from Sefer Shoftim or the Book of Judges 13:2-25. It is the seventh book of the Hebrew bible and the second book of the Prophets or Neve'em. The book of judges is a collection of stories about the Judges' events in the pre-monarchy period in ancient Israel. Arranged to present an educational history of the period extending from the death of Joshua to the establishment of a monarchy as told in Samuel I. Judges had four main responsibilities. They were 1) spiritual leaders 2) military warriors 3) civil leaders 4) judicial leaders that interpreted and taught law. They earned their position by merit not heredity (kingship was hereditary unless your Manoah was evil). The Judges were all pious men and women who never let the nation go astray. They led by divine understanding.

The Storyline of this week's Haftarah: The background to the Haftarah is, that the Children of Israel continued to do what was evil in the eyes of Hashem, so Hashem delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years. We begin the story of this weeks Haftarah. Samson's mother Zelponith comes in from the fields explains to her husband Manoah that a man of G-d appeared to her. She said "He looked like an angel and I didn't ask him where he came from and he didn't tell me his name. What he did say is that we were going to have a baby boy". Manoah prays to Hashem and requests that this "man" returns so he can teach both of them what to do with the boy when he is born. Hashem answers his prayers. The angel reappears while Samson's mother Zelponith is sitting in the field. The angel appears to her because she was more spiritually elevated than her husband was. She once again runs into the house and gets her husband in order to go to the field. Manoah wants to hear for himself what the angel told his wife. The angel says, "just do what I told your wife". They ask the angel's name and he replies that I can't reveal that to you. They offer him something to eat but he declines. Then the angel rises up to the heavens in a flash of fire. They both feel afraid that they are going to die because they have just experienced an angel directly, an experience that no human has lived through. Shimshon's mother Zelponith reassures Manoah that Hashem didn't bring them this far just to kill them. The angels' blessing comes true and, Zelponith gives birth to Shimshon.

The connection between this week's Parasha and the Haftara: Samson was a Nazarite and this weeks Parasha contains the laws of the Nazir.

Haftorahman's Lesson of the week: We see that not only did Hashem send an angel twice to Zelponith because she was the one who was more spiritually developed that her husband, but upon meeting the angel the husband was told to listen to his wife. What can we learn from this couple? For the women weather you are a daughter, sister mother or wife you can inspire the men in your life to become closer to Hashem. Remember to be warm and loving and not critical and judgmental. For the men: Allow the women in your life to encourage you to grow as a Jew. Whatever it may be. Learning Torah, praying, keeping Kosher, being honest with our business dealings, mixing with the right group of friends or the elimination of talking Lashon Hara (Slander). Let's be positive about the future and allow the women in our lives to impact us like Zelponith did Manoah.

Shimshon's Biography: Samson or Shimshon means, "man of the sun". He was the 13th of 14 Judges and ruled for 20 years. Samson was a Nazir or one that is dedicated to hashem by promising to abstain from intoxicants, cutting one's nails and hair. He was from the tribe of Dan and the city of Zorah. He was famed for his strength despite his legs being lame. He fought against the Philistines but loved their women. His mother's name was Zelponith and his father's name was Manoach. Samson lived in the city of Zorah, which was a part of the tribe of Dan. He was the savior of the Jews from the Philistines.

The Philistines:
(or Pelishtim in Hebrew) Their country of origin is not known. They came to Israel in Abraham's time and settled on the western coastal towns of Ashkelon, Ashdod and Gaza. Abimelech was their king in Samson's time.

Timeline: in the 12th century b.c.e. about 2850 years ago in the Hebrew year 2910.

Map: The location of Samson's birth was the city of Zorah, within the tribal territory of Dan.

Written by: The Haftorahman - Reuven Gavriel ben Nissim Ebrahimoff 5762-2002

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