Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Samson, Oh Samson, Where Are You?

Ashkelon is Samson and Delilah town! Everywhere you go, they are referenced. Ashkelonim (residents) believe that their city is the place where Delilah betrayed her husband, had his long locks cut, and rendered him weak and defeated.
At a lecture we attended by Ashkelon Academic College Professor Avi Sasson, we heard that this wasn't the case. Samson was never in Ashkelon, unless he walked through on the way to Gaza. The audience was shocked. Of course Samson was here. His image was throughout the city, in addition to the Samson Grocery, the Samson Car Dealership, the Samson Cleaners, the Samson Gym, etc.
In fact, on the beautiful Ben Gurion Boulevard, an entire sculpture garden is devoted to Delilah's betrayal.
Here are some excerpts from the tragic story. Judges 16:15, "She said to him, 'How can you say, I love you,' when you...[have not] told me what makes your strength so great?"
Judges 16:19, "She...had him shave off the seven locks on his head, thus beginning to afflict him, and his strength departed from him."
Judges 16:21, "The Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes."

Judges 16:29-30, "Samson grapsed the two central pillars upon which the building rested...Samson said, 'Let my soul die with the Philistines!"
As I was walking past the sculptures, I saw a group of soldiers looking at them as well. I told him, "Take heed, boys! These sculptures are a lesson to you in how to choose a wife. You don't choose her for her curves or her face. You choose her for her heart."
At first, they laughed, but then they said, "You're right. We'll remember that."
I hope they will.

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