October 22, 2011

Dvar Torah on Shalit

In marking the release of Gilad Shalit, Prime Minister Netanyahu referred to this week’s Haftorah reading which is from Isaiah’s ‘Light Unto the Nations’ passage in chapter 42. He quoted verse 7 where G-d is seen to “open blinded eyes, to remove a prisoner from confinement and dwellers in darkness from a dungeon”.

I don’t think I have ever blogged a Dvar Torah so far, but will make an exception for this one.
Many have remarked that Shalit’s release corresponded with the traditional Ushpizin (sukka visitation) day of our patriarch Joseph who was himself falsely imprisoned in Egypt 3,500 years ago. This followed Joseph’s abduction and sale by his brothers into slavery to a passing caravan of Ishmailites. It might not have mattered where that caravan originated from had the verse (Genesis 37:25) not gone out of its way to record it was from: Gilad.

As we all know, Joseph was released and promoted to viceroy after interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams of impending famine and implementing a master plan to save Egypt. After revealing himself to his brothers they return home to tell their grieving father Jacob: “Joseph is alive and is a ruler in Egypt” (Genesis 45:26).

The Targum on that verse translates the word ‘ruler’ as: Shalit.



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