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This week's Torah Portion: 

37 SHLACH L’KHA - SEND ON YOUR BEHALF - NUMBERS 13:1-15:41

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שְׁלַח־לְךָ אֲנָשִׁים וְיָתֻרוּ אֶת־אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן אֲשֶׁר־אֲנִי נֹתֵן לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אִישׁ אֶחָד אִישׁ אֶחָד לְמַטֵּה אֲבֹתָיו תִּשְׁלָחוּ כֹּל נָשִׂיא בָהֶֽם

Shlach-lecha anashim veyaturu et-erets Kena'an asher-ani noteyn livney yisra'el ish echad ish echad l'matey avotayv tish'lachu kol nasi vahem

"Send men on your behalf to reconnoiter the land of Kena'an, which I am giving to the people of Isra'el. From each ancestral tribe send someone who is a leader in his tribe."


The story of the ten spies who had no faith and the two who did is a familiar sermon. So much so, that I needn’t elaborate on it too much here in our commentary to Parashat Shlach L’kha. I will touch briefly on some highlights:

The section on the spies avidly demonstrates the awesome mercy and judgment of our Heavenly Abba. Opponents of the grace of the “Old Testament” are hard-pressed to explain away the merciful actions of ADONAI in chapter 14:5-20! Surely the disobedient, unfaithful bunch of them deserved HaShem’s punishment. Yet, at Moshe’s pleading, HaShem stayed his severe ruling and instead mercifully gave them an object lesson that they should NEVER forget. The rest of the Torah would draw from this event for the successive generations to witness—indeed that was HaShem’s purpose for treating them thusly (read 14:20-34)! Even the B’rit Chadashah mentions this divine incident:

”Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tested me, proved me, and saw my works forty years therefore I was angry with that generation and said: ‘They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways.’ So I swore in my wrath, they shall not enter my rest.’” (Heb. 3:7-11)
— Parashat Shlach L'kha