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The Haftarah for Parashat Shelach
of Joshua Chapter 2:1-24
The Story Line of This Week's Haftorah: Joshua, Moses' successor sends two spies to Jericho in order to scout out the city. The spies arrived at the house of the harlot named Rehab, where they stayed. The king of Jericho hears of the presence of the two spies, and requests that Rehab turn them over immediately. Rehabís reply to the king is that these men had already departed. The truth was that she hid them on her rooftop under some flax. The king's men ran down the Jordan roads looking for the spies. Rehab then spoke to the two spies. She said, " I took care of you, now you take care of me. I saved your life, now you save my life and the life of my family. We all know that you are Israelites and that Hashem is leading his nation to conquer and divide Canaan into the land of Israel. Please spare us". They agreed, on the condition that she does not report them to the king. Rehab then lowered the spies out of her window by rope in order to aid their escape. Jericho was a walled city and Rehab's house was built into the outer wall of the city. The men said to Rehab, "make sure that you tie a red thread in the window that you lowered us from, and bring your family into your house so that they too will be spared. When we return to destroy Jericho, we will be looking for the red thread in your window, and everyone in the house shall be spared". The spies left Jericho and hid in the mountains near Jericho until it was safe to return to the Israelite camp. The spies then crossed the Jordan River back into Jordan where the Israelites were camped. Upon their return, the spies told Joshua everything that had occurred. They said that Hashem will deliver the entire area into their hands; all of the Land's inhabitants are in terror of us.Joshua's Biography:Yehoshua ben Nun or Joshua the son of Nun lived until the age of 110. The name Yehoshua means "Hashem will save". He was the successor to Moses, and brought the nation of Israel into their homeland. It is believed that Joshua authored his own book with help from the High Priests, with exception to the final chapter, which was authored by Eleazar and Pinchas. It is the sixth book of the Tanach, and the first book of the prophets.
The Haftorah's Connection between the Parasha and Haftorah: Parashat Shelach begins with Hashem speaking to Moses, and commanding him to send spies to the land of Canaan. In this weeks Haftorah there is a continuation of this commandment, where the Nation of Israel sends spies to look at the Land of Canaan.
Haftorahman's Lesson of the week: In this week's Haftorah we learn the formula for success. First, Moses poses the question; "Should we do it?" By sending spies into the future homeland of Israel, he answered his own question with a definitive "Yes." Once that is decided, you must then move onto the next question: "How are we going to do it?" Joshua sent the spies to Jericho to answer this very question. After answering this final question, Joshua did not wait. He immediately acted in order to accomplish his goal. It is very important to remember this formula. First, should it be done at all? Second, how it can be done? And then finally, do it! Chazak Ve'ematz - Be Strong and be Brave!Famous phrases: "Chazak Ve'ematz". "Be strong and be brave". Joshua 1:6 Timeline:This story took place in the Jewish year 2488 or 1273 B.C.E.
Map: This Haftorah takes place in the City of Jericho, Israel.
Written by: The Haftorahman - Reuven Gavriel ben Nissim Ebrahimoff 5762-2001
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