Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Week 31 (Book 2): Yoel and the Rock of Israel



HAAZINU: For their rock is not like our [Mighty] Rock. Nevertheless, our enemies sit in judgment. (Deuteronomy 32:31)

HAFTORAH: [He is] the G-d Whose way is perfect; The word of the Lord is tried; He is a shield unto all them that trust (take refuge) in him. (II Samuel 22:31)

QUALITY FOR ACQUIRING THE TORAH: Beloved (Ahuv)

PROPHET: Yoel

LEVITICAL CITY: Kishion

The thirty-first week of the year is the week of Rosh Chodesh Iyar, as well as Yom Ha’Atzma’ut, Israel’s Independence Day. Iyar represents the Tribe of Issachar, who was known for its complete dedication to the study of Torah. In the verse of Haazinu, Moshe exclaims that there is no “rock” as our “Rock”, Tzur, another term for G-d. The best description of this term is probably the way King David describes G-d in the Haftorah verse for this week: a shield in which to take refuge. The verses are also a perfect description of G-d’s protection during Israel’s difficult struggle for independence, one in which Israel faced overwhelming odds, and in which the rest of the world simply sat in judgment. This hypocritical “judgment” continues until this day.
The quality of this week is “beloved” (Ahuv). This term is also used by Rabbi Meir in the description of those that study Tora h for its own sake (Lishmah), as the Tribe of Issachar did. The victory celebrated on Yom Ha’Atzma’ut is also a sign of how beloved we are by G-d. This feeling of being beloved came shortly after the Holocaust, when so many of the Jewish people felt so abandoned.
This week’s prophet is Yoel. His prophecy parallels the destruction followed by the modern miracles and victories that took place during this time.[1] It describes the plague of the locusts that completely devastated the Land of Israel. After the Jews repent, they are promised much grain, wine, and oil. (2:18‑19)
The levitical city for this week is Kishion, which comes from the word kasheh, which means difficult, tough. These are characteristics of Issachar (a strong-boned donkey), as well as characteristics shown by the Jews in fighting and winning Israel’s War of Independence.

DOWNLOAD A FREE COPY OF PEREK SHIRAH HERE!

Blog Archive