Parashat Tetzaveh (You shall command) Exodus 27:20-30:10
Maftir: Deuteronomy 25:17-19
Haftarah: I Samuel 15:1-34
This is the Shabbat before the special day called Purim. As you will recall in the book of Esther, wicked Haman, a descendant of Esau, wanted to destroy the Jewish race. This man would have never been born if king Shaul had completed the word of G-d which was spoken through the prophet Samuel, to kill all the Amalekites. The key word here is “all”; this would include their king, who was called Agag. Shaul did not destroy all the possessions of the Amalekites nor did he kill Agag. Some scholars believe that Shaul did not kill Agag, because he was their king and he hoped that if Israel was defeated in a battle that the victors would spare Israel’s king, namely Shaul himself.
Shaul’s failure to carry out the word of G-d allowed Agag to father an additional child and his line was not stamped out and thus Haman was eventually born. Please notice how many generations passed from king Shaul unto the time of Mordechai and Esther, approximately 500 plus years. Sometimes what seems relatively unimportant to us can turn out to be very important to others. The truth of the matter is that one can never know what will turn out to be critical and what is not. The only way that one can guard himself from committing an act (sin) that may have a disastrous effect on others, perhaps those you care most about, is to carry out the word of G-d without allowing your fleshly desires to cloud one’s judgment.
In this reading from the Prophets one comes across the verse which says,
“Why did you not listen to the voice of the L-rd rather you pounced on the spoils of war and did evil in the eyes of the L-rd” I Sam. 15:19
The word that I translated “pounced” comes from the same root where the word “eagle” is derived. An eagle is known for swooping down quickly upon its prey. This word shows the speed and the strong desire to benefit from the war in a personal manner, rather than to act with the objective to fulfill the word of HaShem.
If only you and I would have this same desire for spiritual success and achieving our will as fulfilling the will of G-d. Much pain, sorrow, and wasted years could be turned into joy, blessings and time sanctified to the purposes of the living G-d.
This week’s haftarah ends with the truth that rebellion against the word of G-d is viewed by HaShem as witchcraft and idolatry. This is a strong word of warning for you and me.
Shabbat Shalom and Purim Semeach.
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