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Pilegesh Bagivah


Rabbi Moshe Leib Halberstadt

Elul 27, 5769
At the end of Sefer Shoftim there is the story of Pilegesh Bagivah. I know that it is somewhat parallels what happened in S'dom and commentaries seem to say that we should see from here how much B'nei Yisrael were taking on the "Traits" and ways of Cana'an. However, it goes further when the body is cared into12 pieces and sent to the Shevatim. Are there any other explanations for the whole event including why it was specifically put at the end of Shoftim
The Malbim and the Netziv [Shoftim 19-22] point out that although this incident in the tribe of Binyamin seems very similar to Sdom, there are fundamental differences. In Sdom it was the national ideal and the law of the country, not to let in guests, and it was the whole nation from young to old that surrounded the house of Lot and demanded to receive the guests in order to fulfill their nefarious intentions. By Binyamin the reason for not letting in the guests was not an ideal or a law, it was simply bad character, and the people surrounding the house were evil people, who were supported by the people of Binyamin instead of being rejected. [See Yalkut Me’Am Loez for this topic at length]. Regarding the fact that the event of Pilegesh BaGivah appears at the end of Sefer Shoftim, there are various opinions. Some state [among them the Abarbanel] that the events actually appear in the precise chronological order. And the reason it says “Ein Melech Be’Yisrael” that seems that there was no King or proper leadership among the nation, is because the Shofet that ruled in those days was Shimshon. And Shimshon was not among Israel those days, he was a prisoner in the hands of the enemies. Others state [Rashi [Shoftim 17-1] among them also appears in Seder Olam] that Pesel Michah and Pilegesh BaGivah took place after the passing of Yehoshua & the Zekeinim, at the beginning of the era of the Shoftim in the time of Kushan Rishatayim and Otniel Ben Kenaz. The Radak [Shoftim 17-1] explains that the event of Pesel Michah was adjacent to the issue of Shimshon because of the “One thousand a hundred Kesef” for evil at the issue of Shimshon, and likewise the “One thousand a hundred Kesef” of the mother of Michah was also for evil. And Pilegesh Be’Givah was adjacent to Pesel Michah, because the sin of Pesel Michah was the reason of the death of thousand of Israel at the war with Binyamin, and if not for this sin there would be no dead among Israel, because the war against Binyamin was justified in order to eradicate evil from Israel.
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