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    Eyeless in Gaza – Naso

    Samson & Delilah, by Gustav Dore

    Samson & Delilah, by Gustav Dore

    The haftarah tells the story of a strong man who proved more vulnerable than anyone else. Samson is colloquially called Shimshon HaGibbor, “Samson the Mighty Warrior”.

    Why does Tanach make such a feature of the loss of his sight?

    According to the Mechilta, it was his eyes that proved his undoing. He wanted to marry a certain woman “because she is pleasing to my eyes” (Judges 14:3).

    The sages say that he upheld the wrong criteria. He brushed aside the wise observations of the famous Chapter 31 of Proverbs which says that character matters more than outward appearance. He thought that a successful marriage depended on the woman’s physical beauty.

    It’s not that beauty in itself is a drawback, but it has to go with character. It also has to involve religious spirit.

    The girl Samson wanted was not only attractive to his eyes, but a Philistine.

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