3 And Shmuel said to all the House of Yisrael, “If you mean to return to Hashem with all your heart, you must remove the alien gods and the Ashtaroth from your midst and direct your heart to Hashem and serve Him alone. Then He will deliver you from the hands of the Philistines.”
4 And the Israelites removed the Baalim and Ashtaroth and they served Hashem alone.
ד וַיָּסִירוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־הַבְּעָלִים וְאֶת־הָעַשְׁתָּרֹת וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֶת־יְהֹוָה לְבַדּוֹ׃
6 They assembled at Mitzpa, and they drew water and poured it out before Hashem; they fasted that day, and there they confessed that they had sinned against Hashem. And Shmuel acted as chieftain of the Israelites at Mitzpa.
10 For as Shmuel was presenting the burnt offering and the Philistines advanced to attack Yisrael, Hashem thundered mightily against the Philistines that day. He threw them into confusion, and they were routed by Yisrael.
12 Shmuel took a stone and set it up between Mitzpa and Shen, and named it Even Ha-Ezer: “For up to now,” he said, “Hashem has helped us.”
יב וַיִּקַּח שְׁמוּאֵל אֶבֶן אַחַת וַיָּשֶׂם בֵּין־הַמִּצְפָּה וּבֵין הַשֵּׁן וַיִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמָהּ אֶבֶן הָעָזֶר וַיֹּאמַר עַד־הֵנָּה עֲזָרָנוּ יְהֹוָה׃
14 The towns which the Philistines had taken from Yisrael, from Ekron to Gath, were restored to Yisrael; Yisrael recovered all her territory from the Philistines. There was also peace between Yisrael and the Amorites.
7:16 Each year he made the rounds
As the prophet and judge of the People of Israel, Shmuel could follow Eli’s example and require that the people come to him. However, he does not wish to live in an ivory tower. Shmuel becomes a different type of leader, who goes to the people in order to meet with them, inspire and serve them. Thus, he travels to the major cities of Israel on an annual basis. He serves as a role model for future leaders who would travel throughout the land to the homes and communities of their followers to offer inspiration. This has long been the practice of Israel’s chief rabbis, whose mission includes traveling throughout Israel to reach and teach the people they serve. One of the most famous examples was when Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook and nine other prominent rabbis visited early Jewish agricultural settlements in the Galilee region in 1913-14. Many of the residents of these settlements were not religiously observant, but Rabbi Kook and his colleagues felt obligated to teach them, and show their love to them all.1 comment