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Yehoshua Reflections

Chapter 3, Verses 5-7

(3, 5)

"And Yehoshua said to the people, 'Prepare, because tomorrow Hashem will perform wonders in your midst.'" The choice of words, "in your midst" conveys a significant perspective about this miracle. It was imperative for the Jewish people to view their upcoming experience as a symbol of future life in the land of Israel. From a natural standpoint it was impossible to fathom how the Jewish people would conquer the land of the giants. The only answer could be Hashem, in Whom they were expected to place their complete trust. However, Hashem could be perceived as somewhat removed from this world, and, in theory, it could be difficult to place full trust in Him. For this reason, Yehoshua identified this miracle as one being done "in their midst." Hashem's Divine presence which actually rested in their midst was the true source of the miracle. Once the Jewish people could accept this, they could conceptually prepare for such experiences on an ongoing basis. Hashem's presence undoubtedly rested amongst them atop the Holy Ark and would always be there for them. If they would truly place their trust in Him, they could count on Hashem's miraculous response at all times.

(3, 7)

"And Hashem said to Yehoshua, 'Today I begin elevating you in the eyes of all of Israel who will know that I will be with you as I was with Moshe.'" The key point here is the similarity to Moshe and not the miracle itself. Moshe set the trend by conquering the first two mighty powers Sichon and Og, and it was now Yehoshua's responsibility to complete the process. The track record was there, and if the same formula could be applied, the results would be similar. Hashem therefore introduced the Jewish nation's entry with the same flashing lights as were seen in Moshe's days.

Although the splitting of the Jordan may have been necessary for the Jewish entry, the format it assumed was the convincing point. Miracles during the days of Moshe were clear revelations of Hashem with His presence in full participation. Hashem's cloud of glory led the Jewish people throughout their experience and protected them at every point. In this same manner the Holy Ark crowned by Hashem's presence led the Jewish people through the Jordan River. And to reinforce this point, the ark - the "source" of the miracle - miraculously flew the Kohanim across the Jordan after the river had returned to its normal course.

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