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Joshuah: The First Student, The Second Leader

Yehoshua (Joshuah) is Moshe's (Moses's) chief disciple. He is appointed by G-d to be Moshe's successor and he leads the Jewish people into the Promised Land. Yehoshuah directs the conquest of the Canaanite nations and he is in charge of distributing the land.

"Moshe received the Torah (from G-d) and he transmitted it to Yehoshua" (Ethics of the Founders 1:1). Yehoshuah is the beginning of a chain of transmission that is today more than thirty-three centuries old.

Yehoshua helps the Jewish people transition from a miracle life in the desert to a rural life in the Holy Land.

He allocates property to the people and stipulates conditions that provide a balance between the rights of individual ownership and the needs of the public. For example, he specifies conditions under which people may and may not take shortcuts through private fields.

[Shofar]Yehoshua is popularly known for the great Battle of Yericho (Jerico). The Jewish people march around the city walls, blow their horns, and the 'walls come tumbling down.'

This is their first battle and it is their only miracle battle. It is said that the miracle was provided by G-d to demonstrate how the remaining battles would have been were Moshe alive.

The Jewish people conquer the seven Canaanite nations and they take over the land. G-d commanded them to do this, as is recorded several times in the Bible.

In fact, the Torah even begins with the story of Creation so that the Jewish people can justify their conquests to the rest of the world. Genesis teaches that G-d created the world. He therefore owns the world. G-d gave land to the seven nations. When these nations acted in a depraved manner, G-d had the right to take it away from them and give it to the Jewish people. (From Rashi Genesis 1:1)

Twentieth-century civilization discourages conquest. We hope and pray that the recently established United Nations will succeed in stopping countries from grabbing land on their own. This has been the custom for close to six-thousand years.

Yeshoshua is a reflection of his great teacher to the degree that even his face radiates in a manner that is comparable to Moshe, though much dimmer. Yehoshuah has no sons and like Moshe, he leaves no family dynasty when he passes away.

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