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For Younger Audiences Background: Story of Pesel Micha, Shoftim 17-18 Micha admits to having stolen silver from

his mother, who then in turn donates the silver to be used for making an idol for God. Micha opens up a temple, with this idol and some sacraments. Soon, a guy from Yehuda who is a Levi (maybe) shows up and Micha, looking to give his Temple some legitimacy, hires him to be a Levi in that Temple. Soon afterwards, some Dan people, wandering around looking for some land they can take, happen upon the Levi at this temple, recognize him, and ask him if theyre gonna be successful and the Levi says, yeah, absolutely. They go to Laish, and they see this nice land, with some peaceful civilians inconveniently living in it. They head back to Danite territory, and theyre all like, Yo, dudes, theres some great land up in Laish, and their brethren are all That sounds cool, bro, and they set off in that direction. As theyre heading up to Laish, theyre passing Michas temple, and they start thinking that the stuff that Micha has might look mighty fine in New Dan. So they go in and take all of Michas stuff. The Levi comes out and goes What are you doing?, and the Danites go, hey, how about you come with us and be our priest? and the Levi is pretty cool with this arrangement. But Michas kind of ticked, and goes over to the Danites and is all like Yo, what is your problem? but the Danites basically tell him to be quiet if he knows whats good for him, and Micha does indeed know whats good for him. And then the Danites go and massacre the inhabitants of Laish, and take over, and put their temple there. Weird story. Objectives: 1. Convey the story. 2. The text stresses that this is a time of anarchy, and that means that there will be greed, disloyalty, and violence. This stems not only from a lack of political leadership, which is more stressed in pilegesh bgivaah, but also from a lack of religious authority. With no centralized religious authority, Micha starts his own temple, problematically including an idol within, because no one can tell him that he is wrong. He is able to buy religious legitimacy by paying a Levi, who is all too happy to accept his money. But with religious authority up for grabs, it is only a matter of time before the Danites give the Levite a better offer and steal Michas idols by force, lending their own immoral mission religious legitimacy. In such a time period, without a strong, moral religious authority, what is right and wrong is determined by who has the most money or who has the bigger army, and not by actual morality. Trigger Incite Rebellion. Sources Shoftim 17:6 )( : In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes What causes this? Bad Leadership: Shoftim 17:9-10 () : : ()

And Micah said to him: 'Where are you from?' And he said to him: 'I am a Levite of Beth-lehem in Judah, and I go to wander where I may find a place.' 10 And Micah said to him: 'Dwell with me, and be to me a father and a priest, and I will give you ten pieces of silver per year, and clothes, and food.' So the Levite agreed. 1. What two shevatim are mentioned? How are they significant? 2. How does Micha get the Levi to work for him? 3. What did we say about Leviim and money? Shoftim 18:19-20 () : () : And they said to him: 'Be quiet, put hand upon your mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest; is it better for you to be priest for the house of one man, or to be priest for a tribe and a family in Israel?' 20 And the priest's heart was glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven image, and went in the midst of the people. 1. What kind of argument convinces the Levi to leave? 2. What is his attitude towards this change of events? 3. What does this show about his character? Shoftim 18:5-6 () : () 5 And they said to him: 'Ask God, please, so that we may know whether our way which we are going shall be prosperous.' 6 And the priest said to them: 'Go in peace; the way you are going is along with the Lord' 1. What, specifically, are the Danites asking? How specific is the Levis answer? 2. Is the Levi, in fact, asking God anything? 3. If so, why does he answer the way he does? What kind of society does this yield? Greed/Disloyalty to family Shoftim 17:2 () : And he said to his mother: 'The eleven hundred pieces of silver that were taken from you, about which you uttered a curse, and even said it within earshot of me, behold, the silver is with me; I took it.' And his mother said: 'Blessed be my son of the LORD.' 1. This is a very weird passuk, because it starts in the middle of the story, but point is Micha admits to stealing 1,100 pieces of silver from his mother. What does this show about the society they live in? 2. What is strange about the mothers reaction? 3. How frum are Micha and his mother? Disloyalty to God Shoftim 17:5

: 5 And the man Micah had a house of God, and he made an ephod, and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest. 1. What does God think about idols and statues? Or priests not from Levi? Shoftim 18:31 :() So they set up for themselves Micah's idol which he made, the whole time that the house of God was in Shiloh. 2. Or random temples? 3. Is Micha aware that he is doing the wrong thing? Violence Shoftim 18:25-27 () : () () : : 25 And the children of Dan said unto him: 'Dont raise your voice to us, or some angry men may attack you, and you will lose your life, with the lives of your household.'26 And the children of Dan went their way; and when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his house. 27 And they took that which Micah had made, and the priest whom he had, and came unto Laish, to a people quiet and secure, and smote them with the edge of the sword; and they burnt the city with fire. 1. What motivates Micah to stop complaining? Is it fair? 2. How does the passuk describe the inhabitants of Laish? Does it view Dan attacking them positively or negatively? 3. Why did they do this? Discuss: Loyalty and