Tzadikim

Yehoshua (Joshua) Bin-Nun

Leader of Israeli nation after Moses.

Born: Egypt, 1354 b.c.e
Died: Eretz Yisrael, 1244 BCE.
 

Yehoshua married Rachav, who gave shelter to the two spies (Yehoshua 1). In Shaar HaGilgulim (hakdama 36) the Ari, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria says that Rachav was a very holy soul and it wasn't in vain that Yehoshua married her.                                                              

The face of Moshe (Moses) was like the sun, the face of Yehoshua like the moon (Bava Batra 75a).

Yehoshua did not call himself a servant of God, but the Holy One, Blessed is He, called him that (Sifri Va'etchanan 27).

Three were crowned with the titles of "age" and "days," and all three were heads of distinguished houses, Avraham, Yehoshua, and David. Avraham was the head of the Patriarchs, Yehoshua the head of the Kingship of the Tribe of Ephraim, and David the head of the Kingship of the Tribe of Yehudah (Bereishit Rabbah 59:6).

His coin had an ox on one side and a re'em, an animal with majestic horns, on the other (Yalkut Shimoni, Yehoshua 17).

When Hashem told Moshe whom to choose as the next leader, he said to him, "Take yourself Yehoshua son of Nun (Numbers 28:18) who is a hero like yourself" (Sifri Vayeilech 305).

The poor man uses entreaties (Proverbs 18:23) refers to Moshe who did not enter the Holy Land. But the rich man answers impudently (ibid.) refers to Yehoshua who entered and said, "Would that we had been content and dwelt beyond the Jordan (Joshua 7:7), and not entered the Land of Israel!" He said this when thirty-six Jews fell in the battle of Ai (Sanhedrin 44a).

Calev son of Yephuneh the Kenizite and Yehoshua son of Nun were equal to one another (Tosefta, end of Kritut).

When Yehoshua left the camp of Israel to wait at the bottom of Mount Sinai for the return of Moshe, manna fell for Yehoshua just as it fell for the whole community of Israel (Yoma 76a).

Manna fell on his limbs, and he would take it and eat it (Mechilta Beshalach 4:3).

Yehoshua led Israel for twenty-eight years (Seder Olam Rabbah 12).

Yehoshua was five cubits tall. On his head sat a royal crown inscribed with God's Name (Otzar HaMidrashim 210).

Yehoshua circumcised the people of Israel in Egypt, as it is written, Hashem said to Yehoshua, "Return and circumcise the Children of Israel a second time" (Joshua 5:2) (Shemot Rabbah 19:5).

"אָז יְדַבֵּר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ לה'.... שֶׁמֶשׁ בְּגִבְעוֹן דּוֹם וְיָרֵחַ בְּעֵמֶק אַיָּלוֹן. וַיִּדֹּם הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְיָרֵחַ עָמָד עַד-יִקֹּם גּוֹי אֹיְבָיו.... וְלֹא הָיָה כַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, לְפָנָיו וְאַחֲרָיו, לִשְׁמֹעַ ה' בְּקוֹל אִישׁ, כִּי ה' נִלְחָם לְיִשְׂרָאֵל."


Moshe received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Yehoshua, and Yehoshua to the Elders (Avot 1:1).

He engaged in Torah study from childhood to old age (Tanna d'Bei Eliyahu Zuta 13).

Yehoshua was elevated only because he occupied himself with Torah study continuously (Mishnat Rabbi Eliezer13).

Yehoshua sat and expounded, and everyone knew that he was expounding the teachings of Moshe (Yerushalmi Shekalim 2:5).

Even in matters that he had not heard from Moshe, his own reasoning corresponded with what had been told to Moshe at Sinai (Yerushalmi Pe'ah 1:1).

Seeing how precious the words of Torah were to Yehoshua, the Holy One, Blessed is He, said to him, 'This Book of the Torah will not leave your mouth" (Joshua 1:8) (Menachot 99b).

He made himself like a fool before our teacher Moshe, whom he troubled to teach him Torah every minute until he had learned the entire Torah (Midrash HaGadol, end of Devarim).

Yehoshua wrote these words in the book of the Law of God (Joshua 24:26). Yehoshua wrote in his Book words concerning the cities of refuge, see Joshua 20, that are written in the Torah (Makkot 11a).

Moshe the servant of Hashem died there (Deuteronomy 34:5). Moses wrote the whole Torah up to that verse. The rest was written by Yehoshua son of Nun (Menachot 30a).

Yehoshua wrote his book (i.e., the Book of Yehoshua) and the last eight verses of the Torah, Pinchas the Kohen Gadol completed the Book of Yehoshua (Bava Batra 14b).

Yehoshua was fluent in the book of Deuteronomy (Devarim), which he studied constantly. When the Holy One, Blessed is He, appeared to him, He found him sitting with the book of Deuteronomy in his hand and said to him, "Strengthen yourself, Yehoshua, persevere, Yehoshua. This book of the Torah will not leave your mouth" (Joshua 1:8). 

Yehoshua took the Book of Deuteronomy, displayed it to the sun, and said, "Because I have never ceased studying this book, you should cease your movement at my request" (Bereishit Rabbah 6:9).

If someone asks, "Why did Yehoshua build an altar on Mount Eval? Was there no Tabernacle?" answer him that the Holy One, Blessed is He, said, "It is I who told him to do so" (Bamidbar Rabbah 14:1).

When our teacher Moshe was about to depart for Paradise, he said to Yehoshua, "Ask me all the questions that you have." "My teacher," replied Yehoshua, "did I ever leave you for a short time and go elsewhere? Did you not write of me, He does not leave the tent (Exodus 33:11)?"      Immediately Yehoshua's intellectual powers were weakened so that he forgot 300 laws and had 700 uncertainties. All the Israelites rose to kill him. The Holy One, Blessed is He, said to him, "To tell you what you do not know is impossible. Go and distract them with war to capture the Land of Canaan" (Temurah 16a).

Three thousand laws were forgotten in the period of mourning for Moshe. The people said to Yehoshua, "Ask God." He replied, "It is not in the heavens" (ibid.).

That night Yehoshua went into the valley (Joshua 8:13). He went into the depth of Halachah (Eiruvin 63b).


The Death of Yehoshua

Yehoshua did not rebuke Israel until he was near death (Sifri Devarim 2).

It is written, "As I God was with Moshe, so will I be with you" (Joshua 1:5). Yehoshua should therefore have lived for 120 years like our teacher Moses. Why were ten years deducted from his life? At the time the Holy One, Blessed is He, said to Moshe, "Avenge the Children of Israel of the Midianites, afterward you will be gathered to your people" (Numbers 31:2). Although he was told he would die, he did not delay, but acted quickly: And Moshe send them (ibid. v. 6). But when Yehoshua came to fight the thirty-one Kings of Canaan, he said, "If I slay them immediately, I will die immediately, just as Moses did." What did Joshua do? He began to delay the wars against them. The Holy One, Blessed is He, said to him, "Since you have done that, I will shorten your life by ten years" (Bamidbar Rabbah 22:6).

He died only because of the counsel of the serpent (i.e., the sin of Adam and Eve) (Zohar 2:194b).

Before the sun of Yehoshua set, the sun of Othniel son of Kenaz had arisen (Bereishit Rabbah 58:2).

When Yehoshua was born, no one took note, when he died, all of Israel took note. However, the Israelites were lax in doing kindness with Yehoshua son of Nun by mourning him properly. One was busy with his vineyard, the other with his field, yet another with his coal. The Holy One, Blessed is He, therefore sought to make the whole world quake, as it is written, They buried him, north of the Mount of Eruption (Joshua 24:30) (Midrash Shmuel, ed. Buber, 23:7).

בכותרת תמונת יהושע, בתחריט עץ של אפרים משה ליליין
May the merit of the tzaddik  Yehoshua Bin-Nun  protect us all, Amen.

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