Despite Her Lurid Past, the Prophet Yehoshua Married Rachav – Who Saved Two Jewish Spies

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Despite Her Lurid Past, the Prophet Yehoshua Married Rachav – Who Saved Two Jewish Spies

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Kollel Iyun Hadaf,

Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld


Charles Shulman asked:
1) 13a & 14b – It’s interesting that Yehoshua married Rachav Hazona (14b), and Calev married Basya bas Paroh (13a), even though these women did not have much Yichus! Any comment?
The Kollel replies:
1) It is obvious that Rachav was a Tzadekes when she converted and married Yehoshua (and, as, the Gemara at the end of Ta’anis says, Yichus is not the only desirable attribute in a wife). Moreover, Rebbi Yerucham, in Sefer CHACHMAH U’MUSAR (1:7), explains that Rachav acted with tremendous Chesed towards the emissaries of the Jewish people, and for that she meritted to marry the leader of the Jewish people. In addition, since she acted with great Chesed on behalf of the entire Jewish people, she meritted that Nevi’im descended from her, who would serve the entire Jewish people.

He continues and explains that not only did she act with great Chesed, but she endangered her own life to do so, because she recognized the importance in saving the emissaries of Hash-m’s holy nation. From here we learn the great merit that one has for working on behalf of the Jewish people, feeling pained when they are in trouble and feeling Simchah in their Simchah.

Also, the Sefarim ha’Kedoshim point out that great people of Yisrael come from forces which have their source in the Umos ha’Olam, in order to enable them to bring those nations to Avodas Hash-m (as we find that Shlomo ha’Melech married Bas Pharaoh, and Moshe Rabeinu married the daughter of the priest of Midyan).

Comment by Shlomo Moshe Scheinman: Malbim clearly states the marriage between Shlomo ha’Melech and Bat (Bas) Pharaoh was a sin and should not be lumped together with the other relationships mentioned earlier.
Comment #2 Rachav also gave the nation of Israel the confidence to fight for the land of Israel and helped to rectify the damage done by the 10 evil spies about 40 years earlier, who did the opposite.

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