Friday, October 09, 2009

the lesson learned from the history of Dan

Moshe Rabeinu was shown all of Eretz Yisrael before his death, right up until the border of Dan (34:1). Rashi explains that Moshe was shown the people of Dan engaged in idol worship, but was also shown the rise of Shimshon who would redeem them. Why did G-d spoil Moshe’s final moments by showing him the Jewish people’s fall to idolatry? Why could He not allow Moshe to revel in the success and hopeful future of the Jewish people without burdening him with an image of their failure?

The Shem m’Shmuel answers that these two images – the idolatry of Dan and the rise of Shimshon from Dan – are not two separate visions, but go hand in hand. Hashem revealed to Moshe that even when the Jewish people fall to greatest depths, they can give rise to a Shimshon, a shofet so great that Ya’akov Avinu saw in him the potential to be Moshiach. Moshe now knew that his death and the inevitable retreat from the glorious heights attained by the “dor de’ah” would not lead to permanent downfall.


  1. Anonymous11:47 AM

    Like the Gerrer family redeeming the Chasidic movement.

  2. hate to quibble, but didn't Shimshon precede the idolatry in Dan? Dan was one of the places where Yeravam placed a calf to shift the place of worship outside of Yerushalayim -- the home base of the kind of Yehudah.

  3. Rashi is referring to pesel micha, shoftim chapter 30.

    I don't understand the quibble -- a navi can have simultaneously prophetic vision of two events that occur at different historical periods, can't he? Like watching a split screen image on TV.

  4. Garnel Ironheart1:57 PM

    There are other references to Dan and idolatry. I think somewhere in Sanhedrin it's mentioned that the reason Dan marched in the back was because of their attachment to avodah zarah. Seems like an ongoing problem for them.

  5. pardon me for mixing in, but wasn't Ms. Ariella's point that your mussar haskeil was ki sheva yipol tzadik vakam, but in this case the order was reversed?

  6. Anonymous10:12 PM

    you said,
    "but didn't Shimshon precede the idolatry in Dan?"

    What are you basing this on ?

    jaded topaz