Print This Post Print This Post

Yehoshua 1-6 and the ‘geder’ of Yehoshua

Written by Anonymous

Chapter 1 – HaShem assures Joshua that He will give him E Israel and warning to keep Torah and Mitzvos. Joshua prepares the people for journey into Israel, and is assured by the 2.5 tribes (Reuven, Gad and half Menashe who were to live on other side of Jordan River) that they will keep their promise to help in the battles.

Chapter 2 – Joshua send spies (Pinchas and Calev) to Jericho. They are told by Rachav that everyone is scared of Bnei Yisrael and she helps them escape capture to return to the Jewish camp.

Chapter 3 – Bnei Yisrael journey across the Jordan River and it splits for them.

Chapter 4 – 12 stones taken from River Jordan as a reminder of the splitting / drying up of the river.

Chapter 5 – Canaanite Kings’ fear of Bnei Yisrael. Mass bris milah amongst Bnei Yisrael. Observance of Pesach.

Chapter 6 – Bnei Yisrael (upon HaShem’s Command) blow shofars and walk round Jericho (once each day and 7 times on the 7th day), and the wall falls down. Bnei Yisrael capture Jericho and (as promised) save Rachav and her family. (and acc to gemarra megilla she actually marries Joshua).

Short point to ponder…Every Jewish leader has their characteristic which defined them e.g. Avraham = chesed. Moshe = humility. What is Joshua’s?
The gemarra says that Moshe is compared to the Sun, and Joshua to the moon. Now the job of a moon is to reflect the light of the Sun at a time when the sun is not able to shine (night!). So too, Joshua’s definition is that he continued what Moshe did. Thus, the first time Yehoshua is introduced in the Torah he is called ‘the helper of Moshe’ (Bamidbar 11;28) and echoes Moshe’s humility in wanting to punish those who were prophesising that he would take over from Moshe (see Rashi quoting the Sifri there). How many things can you notice that Joshua does which Moshe did before? I’ll start you off – splitting of a river, pesach, bris milah, HaShem promises to Joshua that He will be with Joshua like HaShem was with Moshe, both married converts (tzipporah and rachav respectively), etc. (Even the presents that they gave us show this point; Moshe gave us the Torah, and Joshua gave Eretz Yisrael; the job of the Land of Israel is simply to reflect the light of Torah). Now with this we can see a new way to understand a great Medrash… The medrash says that the reason why Joshua was chosen to lead the Jews after Moshe, was because he used to set up the chairs in the Study Hall Beis Hemedrash in the desert for Moshe to come in and teach Torah. Why should this mean he becomes the next leader; many people did beautiful mitzvos during the desert period? But now we can suggest that Joshua setting up the chairs showed that he was the one to facilitate Moshe’s actions – to continue doing things when Moshe was not there (after the Torah study had ended). He was the moon and Moshe was the sun.

Leave a Comment