Parashat Shelach; Numbers; Chapter 13 Verse 1 - Chapter 15 Verse 31

06/06/2018 01:21:22 PM


General Overview: Moshe sends scouts/spies to Canaan and all of them - except Joshua and Calev - bring back frightening reports. The people react fearfully and rebelliously. G‑d decrees a forty year delay until the Israelites will enter Canaan, during which time all males between the ages of twenty and sixty will perish. Many Jews then attempt to unilaterally proceed to Canaan, but are cut down by the Canaanites. Various laws are discussed: libations, giving part of the dough ("challah") to a Kohen (Priest), certain sin sacrifices, and the mitzvah of tzitzit. A Jew is found desecrating the Shabbat and is executed.

1st Section: Moshe sends the Spies on their mission.

2nd Section: The Spies return carrying the massive fruits of the land. They deliver their negative report and the nation loses its faith in G-d and Moshe.

3rd Section: Moshe successfully argues for the life of the nation, and Hashem issues the 40 year decree of wandering and dying.

4th Section: The Spies die, and the nation is informed of their own punishment.

5th Section: The laws of the Mincha – meal offering are stated.

6th Section: The laws of separating Challah – the dough offering, and the communal sin offering are stated.

7th Section: The individual sin offering; the incident with the man who transgressed Shabbos by gathering sticks; his punishment; and the Mitzvah of Tzitzit, conclude the Parasha.

Haftara: Yehoshua; Chapter 2 verse 1 – 24

Haftara Summary: This week's haftarah tells the story of the spies that Joshua sent to scout the city of Jericho, prior to the Israelites' invasion of the Holy Land, a point in common with this week's Torah reading, which discusses the twelve spies that were sent by Moshe years earlier to explore the Holy Land.

Joshua sent two spies to Jericho, where they lodged at an inn located in the city's walls, operated by a woman named Rahav. Their presence was quickly discovered by the king who sent for Rahav and asked her to turn in her guests. Rahav responded that her guests had already left the city -- when actually she had hidden them on her rooftop.

"And she said to the men, I know that G‑d has given you the land, and that your terror has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away because of you. For we have heard how G‑d dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt; and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites that were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you completely destroyed."

At Rahav's request, the two spies assured her that she and her family would not be harmed during the conquer of Jericho -provided that she would tie a scarlet thread and hang it from her window. This would be a symbol that this home is a safe haven. Rahav helped the men escape via a rope she lowered from her window and told them how to hide from possible pursuers. The spies escaped safely and returned to report to Joshua.

Thu, June 21 2018 8 Tammuz 5778