The Torah is a complex document, containing both the history of early mankind and Jewry and the laws that govern them. Probably the most fitting title would be Sefer HaBris, the Book of the Covenant, as it is described in Kings II Chapter 23. All of the myriad laws that affect virtually every aspect of life and infuse them with spirituality are the terms of the covenant. The purpose of preserving all of the events recorded in the Torah is to give the reader an appreciation of the history and background of the covenants, all the while giving us an understanding of how the Torah, in its fulfillment and, chas v’sholom, in the breach, affected the course of history and how that history is a fulfillment of the terms of the Bris, the covenant. It is not history in the secular sense, but rather it is history as part of the Torah. The rest of the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Prophets and the Holy Writings, are a continuation of that history. This lecture, devoted to the early period of the Judges, including the lives of Othniel ben Kenaz, Ehud ben Gera, Devorah and Barak, and the beginnings of the Judgeship of Gideon, sheds light on this period through the prism of history as being a fulfillment of the previous covenants.
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