Eretz Yisrael Time

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Saturday, May 20, 2006
There was an interesting article in BaSheva – the Arutz-7 newspaper, this Shabbat.

The author created an interesting analogy between our situation today and that of David and Saul (which I will describe, and then expand upon his theme).

As we all know, Saul made a serious mistake with regard to fulfilling his kingly requirements and G/d’s will and was told as a result he would lose the kingship. And we all know that David was anointed in his place.

As Saul’s reign began to end, he became mentally ill and made some very wrong decisions and started to do some not so good things, which in his attempts to hurt/kill David severely hurt his own subjects.

David, the anointed (Mashiach) also made a decision.

He knew he was to be king, but b’ito ub’zmano (in its proper time and place). He wasn’t going to step forward and replace Saul until it was his proper time to take over.

And most importantly he did not raise a hand against Saul no matter what Saul did.

And David openly broke Saul’s laws, and David fought the Philistine enemy, and David built up the beginnings of his empire to replace Saul’s. But David refused to raise a hand against Saul even when he had the chance.

The commentators even say that David suffered at the end of his life with the inability to warm up (diabetes?) because he had cut off the corner of Saul’s clothing while Saul was asleep. This minor infringement on Saul’s person resulted in a punishment for David.

We, the religious (settlers) should see ourselves as the new anointed. The rightful, new rulers to be, because in the future it is us who will run the State of Israel. Of that there is no question.

But b’ito ub’zmano (in its proper time and place).

Until that proper time we need to follow the example of David.

No matter how evil this government gets, no matter how terrible their actions – we need to act a certain way.

We can be civilly disobedient. We can fight the real enemy. We can establish the foundations for our future Torah-based government and institutions.

But we cannot raise a violent hand to end this government before its time.

Like Saul, this government will know defeat at the hands of its real enemies, and then commit suicide – it’s obvious that it is on that path already.

But like David, we must be ready to take over, to clean house, and to create the Jewish empire as it was meant to be.

David was forbidden to build the first Temple (beyond the foundations) because his hands were bloodied in war with the enemies of Israel. Imagine if his hands were bloodied with the blood of Saul, perhaps he too would have lost the Malchut.

Our hands too must be clean from the blood of our brothers (no matter how violent, disgraceful and evil they act), if we are to be worthy and ready to properly build the Third Jewish Commonwealth.


Jameel @ The Muqata said...


shavua tov.

Aliza said...

What a beautiful analogy. I feel such pain seeing the violence and hatred growing amongst the settler community. It hurts to hear my 14 year old sister speaking with such hatred and disdain in her voice, and I fear for her and her friends. Protest and fight - absolutely. Hurt and be violent - we can find a better way.

Jerusalemcop said...

great analogy,

may we be zoche to see that happen soon.

Shavua tov


Anonymous said...

while no one should advocate hurting shaul, this reference to dovid's 'bloody hand' is punkt ferqert. because dovid went to war against the pelishtim (invaders, from outside, foreigners), he could not build the temple because this temple would be destroyed (pesiqta d'rabbasi). dovid's temple is the third, everlasting, davka because of his qiddush hashem. please study this, and counter this widespread perversion of that reference. didn't avrohom kill the kings?

as a matter of fact, as you alluded to, only a small part of the temple's stones could not be hewn this way. think about shaul was higher than dovid? of course not.

be careful not to accept pop-frumkeit, even if 'big rebbeim' promulgate it. b'h we stick to mesora, not 'segulas' and how many followers someone might have.

Anonymous said...

The difference is Shaul was chosen by Hashem, this government has nothing to do with Hashem. I look at Olmert and co. more like Achav or Herod then Shaul. Who for all his failings was a great Tzadik. Whereas the current state has never had a Tzadik as prime minister who was even by the most generous measurments righteous. There was a time when the government settled the land and expanded the borders but at the same time they did everything they could to destroy Torah, mirroring Achav exactly.

rockofgalilee said...

anonymous, one of the greatest tragedies of the Jewish people is when the kingdom of Israel split from the kingdom of Yehudah.
While one group may not agree with the other, we have the opportunity now to fix that wrong and say if this is what the majority of the Jewish people want to do we will go along with it even if we feel that it is heading in the wrng direction and then work behind the scenes to change public opinion.
That was the idea of the value of a referendum, which never happened.

JoeSettler said...

Divrei HaYamim I: 28:3 “And G/d said to me [David], ‘You shall not build a Temple for my name, because you are a man of wars and have shed blood’.”

I think I explained the pashut pshat quite accurately, don't you?

I somehow doubt that my explanation falls under 'pop-frumkeit', and I am quite sure that plenty of 'big rabbonim' would agree with my interpretation is anything but a perversion of the reference.

Now, what exactly is wrong with you?

Anonymous said...

Another great post. Keep up the good work Joe. You and Feiglin might give us that ray of hope that Olmert and gang is hoping to stamp out.


Anonymous said...

Re one of the anonymouses ("anonymi"?) above, I gather he/she/it is referring to Pesikta Rabbati's discussion about the opening of Tehillim Lamed: "Mizmor shir chanukat ha-Bayit, le-David"--if Shlomo built the Temple, why is it credited to David? Don't have the source in front of me right now, so I'll have to wing it, but basically the discussion goes something like this: David was worthy to build the Temple, but Natan the prophet told him G^d didn't want him to, because "you have shed much blood upon the earth before Me." David was afraid that he had been disqualified from building the Temple, but G^d reassured him that He considered the blood that David had spilled to be like sacrificial offerings. David asked, "Then why am I not allowed to build the Temple?", and G^d replied, "Because if you build it, it could never be destroyed." David asked, "And that's a bad thing?" G^d answered, "Yes, because when Israel will sin in the future, if I couldn't vent My anger on the Temple and destroy it, I would have to vent My anger on the People themselves."

That said, it bears reiterating that the blood David shed which was likened to offerings was the blood of enemies of the Jews, not personal adversaries -- not fellow Jews.

And I second the comments of others: great post, Joe; keep up the good work!

JoeSettler said...

Maoz –-

Thank you for clearing that up. I’ve heard that particular explanation before also, and it certainly is one valid interpretation.

Amazing how a little sentence structure gets a message across that is otherwise lost in the fog.

To clarify some of your points, Natan actually told David to go ahead, but Hashem told David not to later that night (Shmuel II chapter 7). In Divrei Hayomim (I chapter 28) David identifies himself as the architect of the plan (or rather as Hashem gave it over to him), as well as the project’s primary sponsor (Yazam) who brought in the building materials and finances. I guess that would make Shlomo the 'Kablan Mishne' :) and the Temple belonging to David in name.

JoeSettler said...

Here's the source text for that Medrash:

דבר אחר מזמור שיר חנוכת בוא וראה שלמה בונה את הבית והוא נקרא לשמו של דוד אלא דוד היה ראוי לבנותו ובשביל דבר אחד לא בנה אותו ואע"פ שחשב לבנותו בא נתן הנביא ואמר לו לא תבנה לי הבית למה כי דמים רבים שפכת ארצה [לפני] (דהי"א כ"ב ח') כיון ששמע דוד נתיירא אמר הרי נפסלתי מלבנות בית המקדש אמר רבי יהודה בר אלעאי אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא דוד אל תירא חייך כך הם לפני כצבי ואיל לכך נאמר שפכת ארצה ואין ארצה אלא צבי ואיל שנאמר [הטמא והטהור יאכלנו כצבי וכאיל רק הדם לא תאכלו] על הארץ תשפכנו כמים (דברים י"ב ט"ו וט"ז): [דבר אחר] אמר לו הקב"ה חייך כל דמים ששפכת היו לפני קרבנות שכן כתיב כי דמים רבים שפכת [ארצה] לפני אמר ר"ש בן יוחאי אין לפני אלא קרבנות שנאמר ושחט את בן הבקר לפני ה' (ויקרא א' ה') אמר לו דוד א"כ ולמה איני בונה אותו אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא שאם אתה בונה אותו הוי קיים ואינו חרב אמר לו והרי יפה אמר לו הקב"ה גלוי וצפוי לפני שעתידים לחטא ואני מפיג חמתי בו ומחריבו וישראל ניצולין שכן כתב באהל בת ציון שפך כאש חמתו (איכה ב' ד') אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא חייך הואיל וחשבת לבנותו אף על פי ששלמה בנך בונה אותו לשמך אני כותבו מזמור שיר חנוכת הבית לדוד:

Anonymous said...

now you're starting to get it...we don't posul dovid simply because he was 'a man of war,' ela adaraba. yes, that would be a common siluf, joe, and no, having rabbonim agree with you is no raya, nor is poshut pshat on divrey yomim. derech agav, dovid had halachic support to kill shaul. and aren't we forgetting the chashmonaim?

but who ever said that jews should kill jews today? so the point of this article in b'sheva was....?

no one disagrees an investigation is in order, to wit even boogy has asked for one. col sh'ken against the goons who beat teenaged girls with batons (and their commanders, right up the line, to wit ronen tzafrir, et al.). yes, let's give them long prison sentences, especially olmert and company.

but the point of the article was?

JoeSettler said...

I hardly think that that is the only explanation, though it neatly solves the dilemma as to how Mashiach ben-David will also be a man of war and build the Third Temple.

But if I wasn’t afraid to say something radical, I could say that it was an inferred reference to the other soldiers who were killed in Shmuel II Chapter 11 who perhaps didn’t necessarily die for a Milchamet Hashem.

Anonymous said...

I say we can learn from David’s behavior that for regime change only sovereign assassination is absolutely forbidden. When it would protect the lives of all the subjects against enemy catapults, trebuchets, and especially armed Philistine infiltrators, this it does not discuss.

Anonymous said...

Hmm I love the idea behind this website, very unique.

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