Background: Shoftim Perek 3. Perhaps the coolest story in Nach.

Ehud Ben Gera gets past security at the palace of Eglon, and, with an intro line straight out of an action movie, stabs Eglon in the gut. He escapes as Eglon evacuates his bowels, leaving those outside to believe Eglon is relieving himself instead of being dead. Ehud then goes, rallies the troops, and defeats Moav. Objectives: 1. Tell the story 2. The story says that Ehud was “‫י ְמִ ינו‬-‫”אִ יׁש אִ טֵּ ר י ַד‬. This has typically been taken to mean that he was lefthanded, and thus able to get past security by keeping his sword on his right side instead of his left. However, looking at other times the term appears, we see that it is actually much more than being a mere southpaw. It appears likely that Ehud was a member of an elite squadron of Binyaminite warriors who were trained to fight with their left hands, and were most likely ambidextrous, presenting them with huge advantages in battle. 3. This is pretty frickin’ cool. 4. We see that Ehud, after his vigilante lone wolf action, goes and rallies B’nei Yisrael together. This will end up contrasting with Shimshon, who like Ehud, operates alone, but unlike Ehud, fails to get everyone involved. Trigger: Get some string/rope and get kids to write their names with their dominant hands tied behind

their back. Or, just start telling the Ehud story. Sources: Shoftim 3:15 ‫בנֵּי־‬ ְ ‫ֵּרא בֶן־הַ י ְמִ ינִי אִ יׁש אִ טֵּ ר י ַד־י ְמִ ינֹו וַיִׁשְ לְחּו‬ ָ ‫ראֵּ ל אֶ ל־י ְקֹו ָק וַיָקֶ ם י ְקֹו ָק לָהֶ ם מֹוׁשִ יעַ אֶ ת־אֵּ הּוד בֶן־ג‬ ָ ְ‫בנֵּי־י ִש‬ ְ ‫טו) וַיִזְעֲ קּו‬ ‫בי ָדֹו מִ נְחָ ה לְעֶ גְלֹון מֶ לְֶך מֹוָאב‬ ְ ‫ראֵּ ל‬ ָ ְ‫י ִש‬ 15 But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a saviour, Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a man left-handed; and the children of Israel sent a present by him unto Eglon the king of Moab. What Shevet is Ehud from? What does ‫ אִ יׁש אִ טֵּ ר י ַד־י ְמִ ינו‬mean? What is strange about the expression? Shoftim 20:15-16 ִ ַ‫לבַד מִ י ֹׁשְ בֵּי ה‬ ִ ְ‫רים עֶ ש‬ ִ ָ‫בנְי ָמִ ן בַיֹום הַ הּוא מֵּ הֶ ע‬ ִ ‫בנֵּי‬ ‫פקְ דּו ׁשְ בַע‬ ָ ְ‫גבְעָ ה הִ ת‬ ְ ‫רב‬ ֶ ָ‫רים ו ְׁשִ שָ ה אֶ לֶף אִ יׁש ׁשֹלֵּף ח‬ ְ ‫וַיִתְ פָ קְ דּו‬ ‫רה ו ְֹלא י ַחֲ טִ א‬ ָ ֲ‫ מִ כ ֹל הָ עָ ם הַ זֶה ׁשְ בַע מֵּ אֹות אִ יׁש בָחּור אִ טֵּ ר י ַד־י ְמִ ינֹו כָל־זֶה קֹלֵּעַ בָאֶ בֶן אֶ ל־הַ שַ ע‬.‫מֵּ אֹות אִ יׁש בָחּור‬

And the children of Benjamin numbered on that day out of the cities twenty and six thousand men that drew sword, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah, who numbered seven hundred chosen men. All this people, even seven hundred chosen men, were left-handed; every one could sling stones at a hair-breadth, and not miss. What expression appears again? What is the function of these lefthanders? What shevet are they from?

Divrei Hayamim Alef 12:2 ִ ִ‫בנִים ּובַחִ צִים בַקָ ׁשֶ ת מֵּ אֲ חֵּ י ׁשָ אּול מ‬ ‫בנְי ָמִ ן‬ ָ ֲ‫(ב) נ ֹׁשְ קֵּ י קֶ ׁשֶ ת מַ י ְמִ ינ ִים ּומַ שְ מִ אלִים בָא‬ They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in slinging stones and in shooting arrows from the bow; they were of Saul's brethren of Benjamin. What shevet are these people from? What is their function? How similar are these to the people we’ve seen before? Are they the same? Are they lefthanders? How does this affect our understanding of the term ‫?אִ טֵּ ר י ַד־י ְמִ ינו‬ Gesher Online Encyclopedia ‫ קשּור‬- ‫איטר‬ Weapons Universe (talking about the Roman Army) “Any left-handed recruit would have this hand strapped behind his back during training, and it would be kept tied until he learned to fight with the right hand as well as he would have done with the left.” - How would this explain the term ‫?אִ טֵּ ר י ַד־י ְמִ ינו‬ Boris Tuman, Person of Knowledge “A sword is a used both to block strikes as well as deal them, so a swordsman has to
anticipate his opponent’s blows. This gives a left handed swordsman a huge advantage. Every thing is reversed, every blow comes from the other side. The right handed swordsman will be unable to move without thinking, while his left-handed opponent would have no such disability.”

The Princess Bride (1987) Inigo Montoya: You are wonderful. Man in Black: Thank you; I've worked hard to become so. Inigo Montoya: I admit it, you are better than I am. Man in Black: Then why are you smiling?

Inigo Montoya: Because I know something you don't know. Man in Black: And what is that? Inigo Montoya: I... am not left-handed. [Moves his sword to his right hand and gains an advantage] Man in Black: You are amazing. Inigo Montoya: I ought to be, after 20 years. Man in Black: Oh, there's something I ought to tell you. Inigo Montoya: Tell me. Man in Black: I'm not left-handed either. [Moves his sword to his right hand and regains his advantage] What does ‫ אִ טֵּ ר י ַד־י ְמִ ינו‬mean? Shoftim 3:27-30 ִ ‫להֶ ם‬ ֵּ ֲ‫ (כח) ו ַי ֹאמֶ ר א‬:‫ראֵּ ל מִ ן־הָ הָ ר ו ְהּוא לִפְ נֵּיהֶ ם‬ ‫רדְ פּו‬ ָ ְ‫בנֵּי־י ִש‬ ְ ‫ֵּרדּו עִ ּמֹו‬ ְ ‫ְרי ִם וַי‬ ָ ‫כז) וַי ְהִ י בְבֹואֹו וַיִתְ קַ ע בַשֹופָר בְהַ ר אֶ פ‬ ַ ֲ‫ַאח‬ :‫ַרדֵּ ן לְמֹוָאב ו ְֹלא־נָתְ נּו אִ יׁש לַעֲ ב ֹר‬ ְ ‫לכְדּו אֶ ת־מַ עְ בְרֹות הַ י‬ ְ ִ‫ריו וַי‬ ָ ֲ‫ֵּרדּו ַאח‬ ְ ‫בי ֶדְ כֶם וַי‬ ְ ‫רי כִי־נָתַ ן י ְקֹו ָק אֶ ת־אֹיְבֵּיכֶם אֶ ת־מֹוָאב‬ ִ ‫ל‬ ‫כנַע מֹוָאב בַיֹום‬ ָ ִ‫ (ל) ו ַת‬:‫פים אִ יׁש כָל־ׁשָ מֵּ ן ו ְכָל־אִ יׁש חָ י ִל ו ְֹלא נִמְ לַט אִ יׁש‬ ָ ֲ‫רת א‬ ֶ ֶ‫(כט) וַיַכּו אֶ ת־מֹוָאב בָעֵּ ת הַ הִ יא כַעֲ ש‬ :‫ָארץ ׁשְ מֹונִים ׁשָ נָה‬ ֶ ָ‫ראֵּ ל ו ַתִ ׁשְ ק ֹט ה‬ ָ ְ‫הַ הּוא תַ חַ ת י ַד י ִש‬ And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a horn in the hill-country of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the hill-country, and he before them. 28And he said unto them: 'Follow after me; for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand.' And they went down after him, and took the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites, and suffered not a man to pass over. 29 And they smote of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, every lusty man, and every man of valour; and there escaped not a man. 30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. How does Ehud follow up his successful assassination? What is his main concern? What does this say about his leadership?

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