In the First Temple period, the system of Jewish government had a tenuous arrangement of checks and balances. On the one hand there were the Kings of Judah and Israel, who ruled the countries and the counterpoint of them were the great prophets. Amos, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah and others provided the moral anchor to Israel, when great and not-so-great kings ruled over the ancient Jewish kingdoms in the Land of Israel. In this series of lectures, Rabbi Wein brings that period of Jewish history to life and dramatically details the struggle between the temporal and moral leaders for the heart and soul of the Jewish people.
Achav and Eliyahu - The interplay between Achav and Eliyahu is a prime example of Rabbi Wein's view that prophets were God's system of checks and balances on kings. The zealous prophet Eliyahu was the ideal messenger to take down the idolatrous king Achav. Their contest of wills, culminating in the showdown at Carmel, makes for the most dramatic of stories in Tanach.
Yeshayahu and Chizkiyahu - Unlike Achav and Eliyahu, King Chizkiyahu and the prophet Yeshayahu acted as partners in the leadership of the Jewish people. Rabbi Wein captures the events of three major crises in Chizkiyahu's reign and shows how his reliance on the prophet made his rule the mirror for the Messianic Age.
Elisha and Yehu - The prophet Elisha was the student and successor to Eliyahu but was given a far more difficult mission. Sent to the Jewish people in chaotic times, he was unable to bring the corrupt king or the rebellious people back to the ways of Hashem. Nevertheless, because of his personal righteousness and the miracles he performed, his life story can inspire us all.
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|Author||Rabbi Berel Wein|