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Haftara of the week: Parshat Beshalach 5777: Can Infantry Defeat the Armory?

In the book of Judges chapters four and five, ever since Joshua’s period the valleys from Beit Shean in the East until the Haifa valley in the west are under control of the Canaanites. The tribes of Israel are indeed cut off from the north to south. Through the prophesy of our great woman leader D’vorah, she instructs general Barak to mobilize ten thousand infantry soldiers from the northern Galilee area, to Mount Tavor which is smack in the middle of the valley areas mentioned above. This decoy proved to be successful as it agitated the Canaanite forces led by general Sisera to mobilize his army of his nine hundred iron chariots, and the rest of his soldiers to the Kishon riverbed. D’vorah announces the divine victory of Israel which is unclear exactly how it all happened. All we know from the text in this chapter from verse 15 is that at the time of the charging down of Barak’s forces, G-d caused disturbances and tumult to Sisera and all his chariots in his war camp which led eventually to their flee, and thereafter Barak opened a pursuit of them and finished them off.

 

Many similarities to Parshat B’Shalach:

 

  1. A nation unable to fight their own wart is saved by the hand of G-d through water and mud.
  2. Their enemies flee upon seeing the miraculous act of G-d, and thereafter they die or are finished off.
  3. The leaders of Israel spontaneously open up with the p[raiser of G-d in the Song of the Sea and the Song of D’vorah.
  4. Inside both songs, more details of what happened including the desire of the enemies to take the spoil of Israel.

 

To conclude, based upon references in the Song of D’vorah there are those that suggest that it was a bust of a cloud that caused a flash flood over the Kishon valley that swept away the chariots and riders of Sisera and his army.

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