Food for Thought by Ezra Frazer


   נ:כג states that Yosef lived to see בני שלשים from Ephraim, and from Menashe he lived to see the sons of Machir.  Are בני שלשים more, the same, or fewer generations than the sons of Machir (who were Yosef's great-grandsons)?  Is Machir singled out because he is Menashe's only son, or because he was somehow unique (see העמק דבר here and on מו:ז)?

   Yaakov blesses Zevulun with the blessing of זבולון לחוף ימים ישכון, that they will live on the coast.  However, in the Song of Devorah, it says אשר ישב לחוף ימים, that Asher dwelled by the coast.  Is this not against the blessing of Yaakov?  Where does the חלק of Zevulun in Israel actually fall out?

   In this week's haftarah, David gives Shlomo some final instructions before dying.  Among them are orders to kill Yoav ben Tzeruyah and Shimi ben Gera. 

   Yoav had previously killed three people whom David did not want to be killed: Avner (Shaul's general), Avshalom (David's rebellious son), and Amasa (David's nephew and Avshalom's general).  Here, David only mentions the deaths of Avner and Amasa as the reasons that he wants Shlomo to execute Yoav.  Why does he not mention the death of Avshalom, which seemed to be the death that upset him most when it happened?  Why did David wait until his death to take action against Yoav?

   Shimi's crime was that he cursed David as David fled from Avshalom.  At that time, Avishai ben Tzeruyah wanted to kill Shimi, and David would not let him, saying that Shimi was cursing him based on a command from God.  After Avshalom's revolt ended, Shimi brought a thousand men with him to welcome David back to power.  Again Avishai requested to kill Shimi; again David refused, and he took a שבועה to never kill Shimi.  If David believed that Shimi only cursed him based on a divine command, and if David had already sworn not to kill Shimi, why does he have a sudden change of heart on his death bed and order Shlomo to kill Shimi?

A Nation, A Holy Nation by Zev Slurzberg

Our Efforts and God's Help by Rabbi Yosef Adler