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_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2016-04-15 17:48:55 GMT 2016-04-19 19:00:00 (GMT -05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) Yes (click here to learn more about ) Closed 3 3 4 direct invitation(s) have been sent by the voice seeker resulting in 3 audition(s) and/or proposal(s) so far. Voice123 SmartCast is seeking 10 auditions and/or proposals for this project (approx.) Invitations sent by SmartCast have resulted in 0 audition(s) and/or proposal(s) so far.
Like petals emerging from a sturdy stem, the multiple tribes of Israel united as a nation under the strong leadership of Moses. In the year 2488 after Creation, Moses handed the reins to Joshua, who led the Jews in the conquest of Canaan. Joshua preserved national unity and uniform commitment to Torah laws.
After Joshua’s passing, the Elders struggled to maintain the status quo, but soon there were no more Elders. The year 1228 BCE marked the start of a troubling era of instability that would stretch for another 350 years. This period became known as “the era of the Judges.”
Lacking central leadership, the nation’s unity fell prey to tribal interests. [Image of petals falling off a rose?] Spiritual integrity disintegrated on an individual and national level. Moral decay led many to adopt the paganism of their neighbors.
Soon enough, a pattern emerged: As the Jews sunk into a spiritual abyss, they found themselves subjected to pagan oppression. Eventually, their suffering induced an awakening. They cried out to G-d in repentance and He sent relief in the form of a shofet, a Judge – an exceptional man or woman who broke the enemy’s shackles, united the nation, and administered moral healing – but all to a limited degree.
Until a monarchy was established in 879 BCE, this cycle was unfailing. Each Judge’s death was met with decline, splintering, oppression, repentance, and then a new hero. Famous Judges of that era include Deborah the Prophetess who oversaw the defeat of the Canaanite enemy, and Samson the Mighty who broke the back of the Philistine foes. An exceptionally dark incident during that era was the Outrage of Gibeah, a mass rape that prompted civil war in which the tribe of Benjamin was almost annihilated.
In particular, the death of the Judge Jair of Gilead in 996 BCE was met with drastic anarchy and idolatry, followed by eighteen years of oppression at the hands of the ancient nation of Ammon. It was in this instability that the protagonist of today’s lesson – Jephthah of Gilead – was born.
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