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Jezebel's Best Trait



Needless to say, Jezebel (Izevel in Hebrew) was a terrible, wicked, and destructive person. A Sidonian princess, she married Ahab, the Jewish king of Judah. Shortly after marrying him, she convinced him to erect alters to the pagan god Baal. She then set out to execute many of the Jewish prophets, and only 100 escaped. She financed many priests for the idol, and made idol worship widespread in Judah. She also initiated the planting of an Ashera (a tree used primarily for idol worship) tree.

She had her priests accept the Eliyahu's challenge on Mount Carmel, and after losing, swore to hunt and kill him. After a failed attempt from her husband to buy a vineyard from Naboth, she framed Naboth for a capital crime, fed him to dogs, and took the vineyard.

G-d tells Elisha, successor to Eliyahu, to command Jehu to wipe out the lineage of Ahab. When Jehu approaches Jezebel, she puts on fancy makeup and elegant clothing in an effort to be spared by seducing or impressing him. Jehu then orders the eunuchs to throw her out the window, then she is then trampled by horses, and finally eaten by dogs.

Since she was a princess, it was appropriate to give her some sort of burial. Unfortunately, they only found her Skull, the palms of her hands, and the souls of her feet.

The commentaries explain that these body parts were spared from the horrific punishment because of a special merit. When attending a wedding, Jezebel would dance in front of the bride (feet) and make some sort of clap on her head (head, hands).

So while her crimes included, idolatry, convincing others to commit idolatry, murder, theft, defaming the name of G-d, and many others, this special Mitzvah was her one saving grace, and spared her from complete destruction.

This week Rabbi Cutler and I were able to attend a special wedding. With masks and social distancing, this was very different than any wedding I have ever been to. The Kallah (bride) was an alumnus from our program, so we felt strongly connected to Simcha (celebration). When we were dancing, and bringing the new couple joy, I remembered the amazing merit and impact it has on the couple's, and each participant's life. Being involved in the creation of a Jewish couple is an incredible experience. They will ,G-d willing, keep those good moments and memories in their hearts and use it as a springboard in their relationship.

Mazel Tov!


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