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We Report You Decide This week’s Parasha of Shelach, again covers many subjects but mainly starts with the first mention of explorers sent to report on the land of Canaan. Hashem here tells Moshe that it was not his intention and that if it is the wish of the people then for you Moshe send explorers to “spy” on the land of Canaan and to report on what’s going on in this promise land, the land of Israel. Hashem asks Moshe to select the leading man from each of the twelve tribes as explorers so that they travel and report to the people if indeed it is possible to conquer this land or not. Also, to confirm as well if this land promised by Hashem to the children of Israel is fertile and if what grows there is eatable or not. So all explorers traveled around this land in forty days and they did a complete survey of the land. On their way back they gather and took with them one bunch of grapes, a fig and a pomegranate to show everyone how good it is. Although reports and samples brought back by the explorers showed that food was indeed abundant and good but sadly the explorers said as well that it would be impossible to conquer the land. Asked for reasons, the explorers replied saying that the cities are like fortresses and they are surrounded by high protective walls and adding that: “inhabitants of those cities are giants and we are like grasshoppers compared to them.” As expected when the children of Israel heard the story they started to cry out and complained to Moshe and Aaron by saying that they would rather go back and be properly buried in Egypt than facing this obvious defeat against those Canaanites and be buried in the middle of the desert. Only two of the explorers, Kalev Ben Yefuneh and Yehoshua Bin Nun actually were honest and said that it is not so and that they are not giants and we would have no problem conquering the land from the Canaanites. Both of them begged the children of Israel to be trusted and saying that the land is actually a land were milk and honey flows abundantly. Saying as well that it is Hashem that rescued us from Egypt for this exact purpose, so how can we not trust him? So Hashem sees that the children of Israel are not convinced by those two explorers and start believing that they would not be able to conquer the land, therefore Hashem becomes angry, so Moshe prays to Hashem, what other nations will say if they see that you have helped your chosen people to be rescued from Egyptian hands and to end up in the middle of the desert? Moshe adding that what you Hashem had said would be lies? Hashem heard Moshes words so he decided that indeed the children of Israel will succeed in entering the land but only the next generation and not the present generation that had questioned and doubted him. Therefore it took forty years to reach the land of Israel in relation to forty days it took to explore the land. Only both explorers that did not doubt the words of Hashem will have the merit to enter the land of Israel. When the people of Israel heard that it will take forty years in the desert to reach the Promised Land they turned to Moshe and started to regret their words and hoped to reach with no delays the Promised Land. So Moshe replied that it will not be necessary to enter into war with the Canaanites now and that it would be a defeat because Hashem will not protect them. Seeing that there were no other options and they had no choice to go along the chosen path that Hashem had set for them as punishment for doubting his words. In the end of this week’s Parasha, Hashem is giving to Moshe other laws regarding sacrifices brought to the Temple. Hashem is saying that every time a sacrifice is brought to the temple, it should be accompanied with flour. As well while making bread a portion of the dough must always be removed and must not be eaten. (In our days this portion called ‘chalah’ must be burned and not consumed) Finally this weeks Parasha tells us about when wearing a garment which has four corners it must be ended with “Ptilim” at its four corners. It is made with hundred percent wool thin cords called ‘Tzitzit’. One of the four cords folded in two must be of sky blue color to remind us of Hashem’s presence. As well this reminds us of his presence on daily basis and helps us to stay away from wrong temptations. Shabat Shalom Translated and adapted from various Talmudic sources by Elisha Ben Mordechai Visit Mezuzah Scrolls Gallery Mezuzah photos Leave us a comment on our Contact page. Purchase your Mezuzah scrolls on our Order page.
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