In this week’s haftorah, the Ark of the Covenant, which had been stored at the house of Avinadar since the destruction of the tabernacle in Shiloh, is transported to Jerusalem at the behest of King David, amidst a convoy of dancing and singing. Uzzah is struck dead when he touches the Ark; his fatal mistake was to reach out and steady the Ark as the oxen carrying it mistepped.
If you’re like me, you’re picturing the scene in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark where the Nazis are all vapourized by the power of the Ark of the Covenant. “Nazis… I hate those guys.”
But Uzza isn’t a Nazi, and his transgression—steadying a holy object to prevent it from unceremoniously tumbling to the ground—doesn’t seem worthy of being vapourized.
A footnote to the haftorah, suggests that the “deisrespect” of touching the Ark came from a mere mortal intrinically feeling [Read more…]