The Importance of Shirah by Ilan Griboff


The final section of the Haftarah for Parashat Yitro seems very strange.  The first of the last two Pesukim says, “Ki Yeled Yulad Lanu…VaYikra Shemo Peleh Yoeitz Eil Gibor Avi Ad Sar Shalom” (Yeshayahu 9:5).  First of all, who is the Yeled that the Pasuk is referring to?  Secondly, why was this person praised with eight names?  No other Melech is given so many names, not even David or Shlomo!  According to the Midrash, this person is Chizkiyahu, and Yeshayahu was being told that even though the current king, Achaz, was very wicked, he will have a son, Chizkiyahu, who will bring Bnei Yisrael back to the path of Torah. 

There are two reasons suggested as to why he was given eight names.  One is because he was going to fight Sancheirev, who also had eight names, so he would need eight names in order to defeat someone who also had eight names.  A second reason can be revealed if one looks at the next Pasuk.

The last Pasuk of the Haftarah states that Chizkiyahu will have “Shalom Ein Keitz,” “eternal peace” (9:6).  Now, although this did not happen, Meforshim explain that this was a hint that Chizkiyahu was going to be Mashiach and Sancheirev would be Gog UMagog.  However, when Hashem was going to make this proclamation, the Malachim complained: how could this king be the Mashiach?  Despite the fact that he returned Bnei Yisrael to Torah and was a great Tzadik, he never sang Shirah, praise, to Hashem when Hashem did miracles for him by saving him from Sancheirev and by healing him when he was deathly ill!  In the end, Hashem agreed with this argument and chose not to make Chizkiyahu the Mashiach.  This is hinted to at the beginning of the last Pasuk in the words, “LeMarbei HaMisrah,” (9:6) as the word “LeMarbei” has a Mem Sofit in the middle of the word.  This closed Mem is a hint to the fact that Chizkiyahu kept his mouth closed instead of singing Shirah which prevented him from becoming the Mashiach.

Much like Chizkiyahu, each one of us has tremendous potential to become a great person and exceed even his own wildest expectations.  However, during his rise to the top, he must give credit where credit is due, namely to Hashem, the Ultimate Source of every success in our lives, for if he does not, he will likely fall quite short of his utmost potential.

Disrespectful Disposal by Yonah Rossman

High Standing by Nachi Farkas