3/13 Kitah Vav: Samuel and Saul
Posted on March 19, 2016
Last Sunday, Kitah Vav continued our exploration of the story of Samuel. We picked up after the return of the Ark to the Israelites (the war with the Philistines is still active, but does not feature in this reading). The Israelites desire a king to rule them, rather than the judges who have led them for so many years. Samuel, the last of the judges, feels that kingship will be a negative for the Israelite people, and gives them several reasons why. However, they are firm, and Samuel, after speaking with G-d, relents and appoints Saul as the first king of Israel.
This reading offers opportunity for discussion on several topics: last week, we focused on discussing systems of government (ancient and modern), and the positives and negatives of monarchy vs. judgeship. Moving forward, we will discuss other topics, including the depiction of G-d in the Book of Samuel, the motivations behind granting Israel a king, and the implications for the ancient land of Israel as they attempt to become more like their neighbors (“Give us a king to rule us, like the other nations.”). I look forward to the next few weeks’ discussions on these topics.