“The Danites set up the sculptured image for themselves; and Yonatan son of Gershom son of Menashe, and his descendants, served as Kohanim to the Danite tribe until the land went into exile.” JUDGES 18:30 (The Israel Bible™)
The idolatrous priest Yonatan is identified as being the son of Gershom, the son of Menashe (מנשה). However, Rashi writes that Yonatan’s actual grandfather was Moshe (משה). Out of respect for the greatest prophet in history, the prophet Shmuel (who authored this book) disguised Moshe’s name, inserting the letter nun (נ) between the first two letters, mem (מ) and shin (ש). The sad fact is that the grandson of Moshe left the ways of the Torah. This tragic betrayal was the result of living in a society that was spiritually adrift. Clearly, if this can happen to a grandchild of the greatest prophet in history, it can happen to any person, in any family. Moshe’s grandson Yonatan is a sobering reminder of the importance of making sure that our children are surrounded by positive role models, have a strong religious education and grow up in a just society that seeks to do Hashem’s will.