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NaCH - Prophets and Writings/ נביאים וכתובים - רבי צבי אריה רוזנפלד ז"ל

NACH 13 – Shmuel 1 – Lesson 5 – Shaul HaMelech Consults the Witch of Endor – His Defeat and Why His Death was Not Suicide

Speaker: Rabbi Zvi Aryeh Rosenfeld z”l.
05:00 – Shaul HaMelech (King Saul), desperate to know the outcome of an approaching battle against the Plishtim (Philistines), asks a sorceress to summon his teacher, Shmuel HaNavi (Samuel the Prophet), back from the dead.
12:21 – Shmuel HaNavi tells the king that he will die in the battle, but will be with Shmuel in Gan Eden (paradise), indicating the complete righteousness of Shaul.
15:59 – Two Questions: what gave this sorceress the power to accomplish what tzaddikim couldn’t? And why was Shaul forced to receive the answer to his query through such strange circumstances? Rav Noson of Nemirov explains that this was to show the powerful concern of a teacher for his student.
18:16 – Even though in our time apparent sorcery is false and accomplished through fraud and trickery, in those days, true magic existed. Hashem allowed witchcraft to be effective to maintain the freedom of choice between good and evil.
20:56 – Dovid HaMelech returns to Ziklag to find it in ruins and the wives and children of his 600 soldiers taken captive. After consulting the Urim veTumim (prophetic device of the Kohen Gadol) Dovid decides to track down the marauders and learns, along the way, that the enemy is from Amalek. 200 men stay behind while Dovid and 400 of his men rescue the captives and take plunder. Dovid HaMelech insists that the spoils of the battle are shared equally with all 600 men, to show that the outcome was from Hashem, and not a result of the number of people fighting the battle.
25:05 – The three sons of Shaul, including Yonasan, were killed in the battle against the Plishtim (Philistines). Shaul was mortally wounded and asked his servant to kill him. The servant refused so Shaul HaMelech fell upon his own sword and died.
27:12 – The inhabitants of Yovesh-Gilad heroically rescued Shaul Hamelech‘s body from the enemy and gave their king a fitting burial.
28:23 – When Dovid HaMelech heard of Shaul‘s death he commanded the execution of the Amalekite messenger who brought the news. Dovid mourns the King and even mores so the loss of his devoted friend Yonason.
32:38 – Dovid returns to Eretz Yisrael to take over the kingdom, but encounters opposition from Shaul‘s general, Avner, who installs Shaul‘s remaining son as king.
34:12 – The death of Shaul HaMelech is not considered suicide. In contrast: the execution of Rabbi Chanina ben Teradion (2nd century CE): “Since the scroll of the Torah is burning with me, the Power that will avenge this offense against the Torah will also avenge the offense against me.” (Avodah Zarah 17b).

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