va-yil-k’-DAH ot-nee-AYL ben k’-NAZ a-KHEE kha-LAYV ha-ka-TON mi-ME-nu va-yi-ten LO et akh-SAH vi-TO l’-i-SHAH
יג וַיִּלְכְּדָהּ עָתְנִיאֵל בֶּן־קְנַז אֲחִי כָלֵב הַקָּטֹן מִמֶּנּוּ וַיִּתֶּן־לוֹ אֶת־עַכְסָה בִתּוֹ לְאִשָּׁה׃
1:13 His younger kinsman, Otniel son of K’naz, captured it
This verse, describing the conquest of Kiryat Sefer, demonstrates Otniel the Kenizzite’s power as a military leader. However, Otniel is more than just a strategic tactician. The classic commentator Rashi (Joshua 15:15) notes that Kiryat Sefer, which means ‘the city of the book,’ gets its name from an incident that occurred after Moshe’s death. Due to the people’s profound sadness, many biblical laws were forgotten. However, Otniel, with his great intellectual prowess, relearns and restores these commandments. Hence, we see that Otniel is not only a great warrior; he is also a great Torah scholar. Similarly, today’s Israeli army has many soldier-scholars who combine “the book and the sword” in their service of God and the Jewish people.