Shelach | | “Send” – Ten spies carried the seeming wisdom of studying and knowing the giants, while Caleb (House of Judah ) and Joshua(House of Ephraim) carried the wisdom of studying and knowing his Most Holy one of Israel.
– Judah is My LawGiver and Ephraim will be like a warrior and he will be great in Torah
– Manasseh was great in the ways of the world and caring for the Israel community
– Oh! Strangers, Cling/Cleave to the House of Jacob, Oh! Goyim Graft into Stick of Yosef/Efrayim/ Israel Under the divine mandate of Mashiach ben Yosef.
The thirty-seventh reading from the Torah is called Shelach (???), an imperative verb that means “Send out.” Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan” -Numbers 13:2. The Torah reading tells the tragic story of how the spies returned with a bad report about the Land of Promise and influenced the congregation of Israel to rebel against the HaShem. Thus G-d consigned the generation of Moses to wander in the wilderness for forty years.
- Moses sends twelve spies to the Land of Israel to report on the inhabitants and the country. Despite the positive report of Joshua and Caleb, the people are frightened. –Numbers 13:1–14:10
- G-d threatens to wipe out the Children of Israel but when Moses intercedes on their behalf. To punish the people, G-d announces that all those who left Egypt would not enter the Land of Israel except for Joshua and Caleb. –Numbers 14:11–45
- Moses instructs the Israelites regarding setting aside Challah, the observance of the Sabbath, how to treat strangers, and the laws of tzitzit. -Numbers 15:1–41
Send on your behalf:
Adonai said to Moshe, “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.” Moshe dispatched them from the Pa’ran Desert as Adonai had ordered; all of them were leading men among the people of Isra’el. Here are their names:
from the tribe of Re’uven, Shamua the son of Zakur;
5 from the tribe of Shim‘on, Shafat the son of Hori;
6 from the tribe of Y’hudah, Kalev the son of Y’funeh;
7 from the tribe of Yissakhar, Yig’al the son of Yosef;
8 from the tribe of Efrayim, Hoshea the son of Nun;
9 from the tribe of Binyamin, Palti the son of Rafu;
10 from the tribe of Z’vulun, Gadi’el the son of Sodi;
11 from the tribe of Yosef, that is, from the tribe of M’nasheh, Gaddi the son of Susi; from the tribe of Dan, ‘Ammi’el the son of G’malli;
13 from the tribe of Asher, S’tur the son of Mikha’el;
14 from the tribe of Naftali, Nachbi the son of Vofsi; and
15 from the tribe of Gad, Ge’u’el the son of Makhi.
– Numbers 13:1–15:41
From the above text about the tribe of Efraim is identified the same as the other tribes, but the tribe of Menashe is identified as a subset of the tribe of Joseph.
“L’matei Yosef, l’matei M’nashe — Gaddi ben Sussi.” -Numbers 13:11
Chizkuni there writes: Even though in the other places one reads Yoseph attached to the name Efraim (see Ezekekiel. 37:16), here it follows the general pattern of relating to the tribe of Menashe, because the two of them spread slander: Yoseph about his brothers ( Genesis 27:2) and the nasi of Menashe about the land (but the nasi of Efraim was Yehoshua bin Nun who did not spread slander). And for this reason in parshat Masa’ei and in sefer Yehoshua one reads again Yoseph attached to the tribe of Menashe, because there it discusses the division of the Land, and there was (still) slander about the land, and since the nasi of Efraim had not spread slander they received a division this like that . i.e., their allotment was like that of the other full tribes.
Rashi explains that only the descendant of Yosef who spoke slander – like Yosef himself – is identified with Yosef. Yehoshua was silent; he did not slander the Land of Israel with the other spies, and is therefore not identified as a descendant of Yosef: “From the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Nun,” rather than “From the Tribe of Yosef, from the Tribe of Ephraim,” as is the case with the representative of the Tribe of Menashe: “From the Tribe of Yosef, from the Tribe of Manashe, Gaddi the son of Susi.”
The expression “of the tribe of Joseph,” in Num 13:11, stands for “of the Children of Joseph,” in Num 1:10; Num 34:23 and as it is stated in Num 13:3, “heads of the children of Israel”.
And the twelve tribes are listed differently dependent upon their duties in the scriptures. What is most interested part is in Revelation 7:4-8. The tribe of Dan is missing, but so is Ephraim. Instead, of Ephraim, Joseph is listed. Revelation 7:4-8 lists the tribes:
Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin.
The only other place “the Tribe of Joseph” is mentioned outside of Revelation 7:8 is compared in in Numbers 13:11, where the twelve spies are chosen. Instead of Ephraim being called the tribe of Joseph, here it is Manasseh: “from the tribe of Joseph (that is) from the tribe of Manasseh… ” Gaddi the Son of Susi..…Numbers 13:11
Natziv on Numbers 2:20 ## In spiritual matters Ephraim takes precedence therefore he was recorded first in the Wilderness Encampment (Numbers 2:18) and in the consecration of the altar. In the ways of this world however Menasseh was primary. This is why Menasseh was counted first in the census just before they were entered the Land (Numbers 26:29). Manasseh had precedence over Ephraim in affairs of this world (Natziv on Numbers 2:20)
A different explanation is given by Rabbi Naphtali Tzvi Berlin (Netziv). In his commentary on the Torah, Ha`amek Davar, he writes: “Ephraim and Manasseh were each great in different ways; Ephraim was great in Torah and adhering to the Lord, while Manasseh was great in the ways of the world and caring for the community.” In his notes, Harhev Davar, he remarks:
It is fitting to bless a person only with such blessing as the Lord has bestowed upon him thus far, a rich person with wealth and a wise person with wisdom… That being the case, it is not fitting to bless a person who does not occupy himself with Torah that he be like Ephraim, or a person who does not occupy himself with worldly affairs that he be like Manasseh. But when a child is circumcised and it is as yet unknown which path the child will follow, then a Jew blesses him, “G-d make you like Ephraim” – if he should grow up to occupy himself with Torah, may he succeed like Ephraim, “and Manasseh” – if he grow up to occupy himself with worldly affairs, may he be like Manasseh.
The Ephraim’s redemption is based on repentance and follow the footsteps of Messiah – And by obeying Voice of Most High, it is under the divine mandate of Mashiach ben Yosef – (Voice of Most High) as we love to call as Rabbi Yeshua our Mashiach.
Thus says HaShem G-d: ‘Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.” – Ezekiel 37:16-24
Baruch HaShem. What a blessing to the House of Jospeh !!!
From: GADDI, a servant of Most High and Disciple of Yeshua Melech Messiah – To The Twelve Tribes in the Diaspora: Shalom!
Gaddi- A Servant of Most High Witness: Who keep the Commandments(Torah) of Most High and have the Testimony of Yeshua haMashiach (i.e He is our Tzaddik, Righteous one, Whom Most High raised him from the dead.
At the coming of Messiah, both the Shekinah and children of Rachel (exiled ones of Israel/remnant of yosef ) comes to the holy land of Israel and will be properly established in Israel.
The remnant ones/exiled ones along with shechinah should cling to the House of Jacob and to go the Holy Land of Israel to welcome the son of David.
As it is written: For HaShem will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land. The Strangers will be joined with them, and they will Cling to the house of Jacob– Isaiah 14:1
Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites; from each of their ancestral tribes you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.
In the Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, “send” [sh’lach] is the Greek word aposteilon. The word “apostles” are sent ones, or sh’lachim. In Matthew 10, we see that the Twelve disciples were called “apostles” when Yeshua sent them out to the “lost sheep of Israel.”
And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles[apostolon] are these… these twelve Yeshua Sent ( apesteilen ) out and commanded them… -Matthew 10:1-2; 5
You shall send one man from each tribe to represent his father’s tribe: The Land of Israel is divided into twelve portions, corresponding to the twelve tribes. And through the efforts of the twelve tribes in elevating the twelve parts of the Land of Israel, the entire world is elevated, since the Land of Israel is a microcosm of the whole world. By traversing the entire land, the delegates prepared the land for the mission their tribe would fulfill: transforming the land to holiness.
The main episode which takes place in Parshat Shelach : When the men sent by Moshe to Scout the land. Although these men are referred to in rabbinic literature as “spies,” the Torah never describes their mission in these terms. Moshe appoints them to tour the land, and they are called, quite simply, men. Only later, in Moshe’s retrospective speech describing these events, is the word ‘spy’ introduced. The Hebrew word that the Torah uses is ??????, which can also mean “traitors” or “deserters”. In Numbers 13:, the Hebrew word describing the group is also the word usually translated as “men” or the word usually translated as “princes”. In addition, the twelve were clearly not trained as spies, nor did they conduct any covert activity, nor did they enlist any indigenous people for later help. Thus, the phrase “Twelve Scouts” or “Twelve Observers” might be an alternative way of describing the group.
You approached me, every one of you, and said, ‘Let’s send men ahead of us to explore the country for us and bring back word concerning what route we should use in going up and what the cities we will encounter are like.’ The idea seemed good to me, so I took twelve of your men, one from each tribe; and they set out, went up into the hills, came to the Eshkol Valley and explored it. -Deuteronomy 1:22-24
Yehudah is My Lawgiver and Efrayim is my chief defense
The ten spies carried the seeming wisdom of studying and knowing the giants, while Caleb (House of Judah ) and Joshua(House of Ephraim) carried the wisdom of studying and knowing His Most High.
And the envy of Ephrayim shall turn aside, and the adversaries of Yehu?ah be cut off. Ephrayim shall not envy Yehu?ah, and Yehu?ah not trouble Ephrayim. -Isaiah 11:13
Sin of the Spies:
And Yosef recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. And Yosef remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said to them, ‘You are spies; to see the nakedness of the land you have come.’ And they said to him, ‘No, my lord, your servants came to buy food. We are all one man’s sons; we are honest men, your servants are no spies.’ And he said to them, ‘No, to see the nakedness of the land you have come.’ And they said, ‘Your servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not.’ And Yosef said to them, ‘That is what I spoke to you, saying, You are spies. This is how you shall be tested: By Paroh’s life, you shall not leave here, unless your youngest brother comes here. Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother, and you shall be kept in prison, that your words may be proven, whether there is any truth in you; or else by the life of Pharaoh surely you are spies.’ And he put them all together under guard for three days. -Genesis 42:8-17
In these two sections we find no connection but it seems to be opposite’s. The “sin of the spies” deals with spies who are called men, and Yosef’s accusation of the brothers deals with men who are called spies. Let us carefully analyse the elements of each story: The first striking similarity or common theme is the number of people involved. While it is true that Moshe sent twelve men, only ten of them were spies. The remaining two, Calev and Yehoshua, had no part in the slanderous report or its tragic results. Of Yaakov’s twelve sons, only ten were accused of being spies: Binyamin was at home and Yosef was the unknown accuser.
We know that the men who were sent to spy out the land of Canaan were not just the heads of the tribes. They were righteous souls or Moses would have not sent them. So why did they tell lies about the land in their reports to Moses? Both the Zohar and the Midrash explain that the spies were afraid of what would come and everyone would know the secrets of Creation, causing them to lose their power as the heads of their tribes since they would then be redundant.
The Zohar explains: Come see how insidious evil speech is, because of it our ancestors were forbidden to enter the land, and because of it there was crying for many generations. (Zohar 3, 161a) The sin of the spies was speaking badly about the land of Israel.
Speech is the ability to take the Divine and put it in this world. This is why misusing speech is so evil. The sin of evil speech tarnishes the image of G-d within us. Furthermore, to speak about another person in a negative manner is tantamount to rejecting the image of God in that person. Therefore we may say that evil speech is the misuse of our divinity in order to reject the divinity of G-d.
THE ORIGINS OF SPEECH: The Lord G-d then formed the man [from] the dust of the ground, and He blew into his nostrils the breath of life. And so man became nefesh chayah. -Genesis 2:7. The Targum translates nefesh chayah as “the spirit of speech.” According to this approach, the ability to speak is the result of the merger of the physical and the spiritual within man. Man alone among creation is endowed with this ability, a result of having a soul.
The Zohar explains that this sin of misusing words — lashon hara, “evil speech” — is the sin of the serpent, and G-d will forgive all except the sin of lashon hara (Zohar ibid).
No wonder the Temple was destroyed because of lashon hara. This awareness of the sanctity of speech will also give us an appreciation of another passage in the Torah. When the people complain about not having water, God tells Moses: ‘Speak to the rock in front of them (The congregation) and it will yield its water’ … Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock with his staff … And G-d said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you didn’t believe in Me to sanctify Me in front of the children of Israel, you will not bring this nation to Israel.” (Numbers 20:8-12) What was the great offense which Moses and Aaron committed? They were told to speak to the rock, to sanctify G-d by speech. Had they done so, this would have cured the lashon hara uttered by the spies. But they did not and they lost the opportunity to enter the land. Perhaps now we understand why the mitzorah, “the leper” would have to come to the Kohen for healing. The role of Aaron, as the High Priest, was to “love peace and pursue it.” The person guilty of misusing speech needed to spend time in the presence of a Kohen in order to learn how to love. The Sages also explain that the various rites prescribed are meant to bring about humility. Additionally, we can understand why the Sages say that when we speak in an evil manner our homes are affected.
THE ANTIDOTE for Lashon Hara:
The Talmud discusses the possibility of a cure for lashon hara: If he is a scholar then let him be occupied with Torah … a common person, let him humble himself.” -Arachin 15b
As the Mishnah states in Ethics of Our Fathers, “You are not responsible to finish the job, yet you are not free to desist from it.” Our job is to start the task, to put our best effort into it. G-d will then decide whether or not we accomplish our goal.
“It is not for you to complete the work, neither are you free to idle away from it.” Rather, all we need is to act, as it is written, “Whatever your hand finds to do by your strength, that do” -Ecclesiastes 9:10. And the minute we come to a point of complete shattering, then “The Lord will fight for you” – Exodus 14:14.
In life, when we have a task or mission to accomplish, our responsibility is to get started, not to think about whether we can complete the task or not.– Rabbi Moshe Feinstein
“These are the shmot of the men which Moshe sent to spy out the land. And Moshe called Hoshea ben Nun Yehoshua. -Numbers 13:16
Moshe added the letter ? to Hoshea’s name, so that his name would begin with the letters of G-d’s name “??”. The Hebrew name Yehoshua means, G-d save or G-d will save, which signifies that Moshe prayed, “May G-d save you (Yehoshua) from the conspiracy of the spies.” Here we find a great mystery revealed in Sod Torah. The Zohar likens Yehoshua as the “Youth” which is known as Metatron, the Spirit of Mashiach (Zohar 65b), who embodies the Shekinah(Zohar 94b). We also see that here Yehoshua is from the Tribe of Ephrayim which would produce Mashiach ben Yosef, the suffering Messiah, which the Zohar teaches would arrive in the land of the Galil, Northern Israel from which the wound of exile began from Ephrayim, -Zohar 8b-9a
Joshua Ben Nun : Nun is fifty. It is the fiftieth degree, fifty gates of Bina. Joshua, like Moses, pulls. Joshua saves the children of Israel, bringing them to the fiftieth degree, the gates of Bina. Moses completed the degree of forty because he passed away at the entrance to the land of Israel, and Joshua succeeded him.
Moshe picked the best possible people for the mission; “they were all leaders, the heads of the Israelites” ( Numbers 13:3). He gave them very specific instructions as to what to look for, trying to steer them in the right direction. Yet he had a gnawing suspicion that even with these precautions, the mission was doomed. He prayed for his star student, Joshua, to be saved from the murmurings of the spies, even changing his name to reflect his prayer that “G-d should save you from the report of the spies” (Rashi, v. 16).
A Young Man, Son of Nun:
And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.
And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun,
a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle. -Exodus 33:11
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 164a – Then he began to expound to them this verse: A song of degrees for Solomon (li-shelomoh). Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it; except the Lord guard the city, the watchman waketh but in vain (Ps. CXXVII, 1-2). Said he: ‘Was it Solomon who composed this Psalm when he built the Temple? (for li-shelomoh could be understood to mean “of Solomon”). Not so. It was King David who composed it, about his son Solomon, when Nathan came to him (David) and told him that Solomon would build the Temple. Then King David showed unto his son Solomon, as a model, the celestial prototype of the Temple, and David himself, when he saw it and all the activities connected with it, as set forth in the celestial idea of it, sang this psalm concerning his son Solomon. There is also yet another interpretation, namely, that “for Solomon” (li-shelomoh) refers to Him “whose is the peace” (shalom), and this psalm is a hymn above all hymns, which ascends higher than all. “Except the Lord build the house”: King David saw all the seven pillars upon which that house, the Universe, stands-for they stand row upon row-and above them all is the Master of the House, who advances with them, giving them power and strength, to each in turn. It is concerning this that King David said: “Except the King, whose is the peace, and who is the Master of the House, build the house, they labour in vain that build it”-that is to say, the pillars. Except the Lord-the King, whose is the peace-guard the city, “the watchman waketh but in vain”. This is the pillar upon which the Universe stands, namely the “Righteous” who keeps waking guard over the City. The Tabernacle which Moses constructed had Joshua for its wakeful and constant guard; for he alone guarded it who is called the “young man”, namely Joshua, of whom it says: “Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the Tent” (Ex. XXXIII, 11). Later in its history it was another “young man” who guarded it, namely Samuel (I Sam. 1l, I8), for the Tabernacle could be guarded only by a youth. The Temple, however, was guarded by the Holy One Himself, as it is written, “Except the Lord guard the City, the watchman waketh but in vain”.And who is the watchman? The “young man”, Metatron. And you, holy saints, ye are not guarded as the Tabernacle was guarded, but as the Temple was guarded, namely, by the Holy One Himself; for, whenever the righteous are on a journey the Holy One guards them continually, as it is written: “The I,ord shall keep thy going out and thy coming in from now and forever” (Ps. CXXI, 9).’ Then they accompanied him on his journey for a distance of three miles, and, parting from him, returned to their own way, and they were moved to quote these words concerning him. “For he shall give his angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands” (Ps. XCI, 11, I2); and “Thy father shall be glad and thy mother rejoice” (Prov. XXIII, 25).
Joshua, A Young Man who “slew Amalek” as it is “the sword” itself that does the slaying, “executing the vengeance of the covenant” ( i.e., Messiah ben Yoseph).
Soncino Zohar, Shemot, 66a – Now when Moses perceived that Samael [Esau’s angel] was going to fight for Amalek, he thought: “this young man, Joshua, will surely stand against him and prevail”, and therefore he said unto him: “go and fight against Amalek! It is thy battle, the battle here below, and I will prepare myself for the battle above. Choose worthy men, righteous and the sons of the righteous, to accompany thee”.’ Said R. Simeon: ‘At the moment when Joshua, the “young man”, started out to fight Amalek, the “Young Man” above was stirred, and was equipped with weapons prepared by his “Mother” (the Shekinah) for the battle in order to “avenge the covenant” (cf. Leviticus 26:25) with the “sword” (Exodus 17:13). Moses equipped himself for the war above. “His hands were heavy” (Ibid. v, 12), that is to say, “weighty, honourable, holy hands”, that had never been defiled, hands worthy to wage the war above. AND THEY TOOK A STONE AND PUT IT UNDER HIM AND HE SAT THEREON: to participate in the distress of Israel. AND AARON AND HUR STAYED UP HIS HANDS, THE ONE ON THE ONE SIDE, AND THE OTHER ON THE OTHER SIDE: AND HIS HANDS WERE STEADY (emunah, lit. faith). This cannot be taken in the literal sense; what it means is that Aaron represented his “side” (the attribute of Grace), Hur his “side” (the attribute of Strength), and Moses’ hands between the two represented Faith. AND IT CAME TO PASS THAT WHEN MOSES HELD UP HIS HAND, ISRAEL PREVAILED, AND WHEN HE LET DOWN HIS HAND, AMALEK PREVAILED.
Secret of Shekinah:
“R. Abba said: ‘As he “Yehoshua” was being sent for the purpose of entering the land, it was requisite that he should be perfect, which through the Shekinah, for up to that time he has been called “a youth”, and therefore Moshe joined the Shekinah with him. -Zohar 158b
Rabbi Aba said: As soon as MOSES sent JOSHUA to go there, TO THE LAND OF YISRAEL, he needed to be perfect. And in what way? With the Shechinah, SINCE THE LAND OF YISRAEL IS THE SECRET OF THE SHECHINAH. Until that time, he was considered a young man, as we have explained, MEANING THAT HE WAS ATTACHED TO METATRON REFERRED TO AS YOUNG MAN. At that time, Moses tied him to THE SHECHINAH. He was referred to in the scriptures prior to that as Joshua because the scriptures referred to him according to what he was destined to be called. Moses said: Most certainly, it is not proper for him to arrive there except by the Shechinah and that is appropriate. THEREFORE, HE CALLED HIM JOSHUA ADDING THE YUD TO HIS NAME, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF THE SHECHINAH.
The Shekinah was joined to Mashiach, this is what the Zohar means that Metatron embodies the Shekinah: Zohar 94b “Which is the body of the King’s daughter? Metatron; and this same body is identical with the handmaid of the Shekinah……..For at that time they were in the grade of ‘servants’, represented by Metatron, who is but the bearer of the Shekinah. Thus the Torah is hinting at a mystery, showing then Yehoshua ben Nun was a shadow of the one to come. And like Yehoshua ben Nun who was from Efrayim which represented Mashiach ben Yosef,
In other words the restoration of Israel is by Melech Mashiach whom Yehoshua ben Nun was liken unto. But if Rebbe Y’shua Ha’Netzer is Mashiach why was Israel not restored yet? His talmidim asked the same question:
And at yechidus, having come together, they were asking him saying, “Adoneinu, is it at this time that You are restoring the Malchut Hashem to Am Yisroel? But he said to them, “It is not for you to have da’as of the itim (times) or moadim (seasons) which [Elohim] HaAv has set by His own samchut (authority). But you will receive ko’ach when the Ruach Hakodesh has come upon you, and you all will be the Eidus (the Witness) of me, in Yerushalayim, and in all Yehudah, and Shomron and as far as ad ketzeh ha’aretz.-Acts 1:6-8
As the Zohar states that Moshe joined the Shekinah with Yehoshua ben Nun, Rebbe Y’shua tells his talmidim that when they are joined with the Shekinah as He was then the restoration of Israel would begin according to the Eternal Father’s time line. The Netzarim saw the in-gathering of a greater Israel from which their brother’s from the North were exiled and just as Mashiach would arrive in the North of the Galil to begin this in-gathering, the Netzarim saw the goyim which Israel assimilated into was apart of the bigger picture to restoring Israel according to the heavenly father’s time-line.
Rebbe Y’shua ben Yosef appeared in the Galil to begin the restoration of Israel.
As Yeshua walked alongside the Galilee Sea, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew, throwing fishing nets into the sea, because they were fishermen. – Matthew 4:18
Yeshua returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news about him spread throughout the whole countryside. – Luke 4:14
When speaking of this level of G-d’s presence, the concepts of “Shekinah” and “Ruach haKodesh” are used – both ‘feminine’ terms.
The Book of “New Testament” makes use of the term “Holy Spirit” which at that in Jewish history was another way of referring to the Shekinah:
The Shekinah (“Dwelling”) is the personified Presence of God. In the Talmudic period, the Shekinah was identified with the “Holy Spirit.” (Ruach ha Kodesh) … Both Hebrew terms are of the feminine gender. Still in Talmudic times, the Shekinah became identified with the “Community of Israel” (also a feminine term), and as such represented Israel in its relationship with G-d.
When Israel goes into exile (at the hand of the nations and their spiritual powers), the Shekinah goes with them and functions in a different capacity.
The Zohar Writings: Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 174a – Whilst they were walking, R. Jose said to R. Eleazar: ‘It has been said that with Rachel’s death the house was transferred to Her who required to be adorned with twelve tribes. Nevertheless, why should Rachel have died immediately after the birth of Benjamin?’ R. Eleazar in reply said: ‘It was in order that the Shekinah should be duly crowned and take her place in the house as “a joyful mother of children”. With Benjamin, the Shekinah was equipped with the full twelve tribes, and with him the kingdom of heaven began to be made manifest on earth. Now the beginning of any manifestation is brought about with strain, and involves a doom of death before it can become established. Here, when the Shekinah was about to assume her rightful place and to take over the house, the doom fell upon Rachel. Similarly, when the kingdom was about to be made manifest on earth, it commenced with a judgement, and the kingdom was not established in its place until a doom had fallen upon Saul, in accordance with his deserts; and only then was it established. It is a general rule that beginnings are rough, whereas the subsequent course is smooth. Thus, on New Year’s day (Rosh-hashana) the year opens with severity, as the whole world passes under judgement, each individual according to his deeds, but soon after comes relief and forgiveness and atonement. The reason is that the beginning is from the left side, and so it brings harsh judgements, until the right side is aroused and ease follows. In time to come God will first treat the idolatrous nations gently and indulgently, but afterwards with severity and stern judgement. So Scripture says: “The Lord will go forth as a mighty one, he will stir up jealousy as a warrior; he will cry, yea, he will shout aloud, he will prove himself mighty against his enemies” (Is. XLII, 13); which interpreted means that first He will manifest Himself as YHVH (the Lord), in His attribute of mercy, then as a mighty one, but not in His full might, then as a warrior, but not in His full war panoply, and finally, His whole might will become manifest against them in order to exterminate them, so that “he will cry, yea, he will shout aloud, he will prove himself mighty against his enemies.” Again, it is written: “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fighteth in the day of battle” (Zech. XIV, 3). Also: “Who is this that cometh from Edom with crimson garments from Bozrah? etc.” (Is. LXIII, 1).’ AND IT CAME TO PASS, AS HER SOUL WAS IN DEPARTING FOR SHE DIED-THAT SHE CALLED HIS NAME BEN-ONI; BUT HIS FATHER CALLED HIM BENJAMIN. R. Judah discoursed on the verse: The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that take refuge in him (Nahum I, 7). ‘Happy’, he said, ‘is the man who finds his strength in the Holy One, blessed be He, since His strength is invincible. The Lord is indeed “good to all” (Ps. CXLV, 9), “a stronghold”, wherein is salvation, as we read: “He is a stronghold of salvation” (Ibid. XXVIII, 8); “in the day of trouble”, to wit, in the day of Israel’s oppression at the hand of other nations.
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page I89a – R. Simeon said: ‘The clause “Who commandeth the sun, and it riseth not” applies to Joseph, whilst the sequel, “and sealeth up the stars”, applies to his brethren, regarding whom he said, “And eleven stars bowed down to me.” Alternatively, “Who commandeth the sun” is an allusion to Jacob at the time his sons said to him: “Know now whether it is thy son’s coat or not”; “that it shineth not” is a reference to the time when the Shekinah departed from him; whilst “sealeth up the stars” implies that through his sons Jacob’s light was sealed and closed up, the sun for him was darkened and the stars did not shine-all because Joseph was separated from his father. And note that from the day on which Joseph disappeared Jacob abstained from marital intercourse and observed all the other rites of mourning until the day the good tidings of Joseph reached him.’ AND THE LORD WAS WITH JOSEPH, AND HE WAS A PROSPEROUS MAN; AND HE WAS IN THE HOUSE OF HIS MASTER THE EGYPTIAN . R. Jose quoted here the verse: “For the Lord loveth justice, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever” (Ps. XXXVII, 28). ‘Observe’, he said ‘that wherever the righteous walk, God protects them and never abandons them, as David said: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and staff they comfort me” (Ibid. XXIII, 4); wherever the righteous walk the Shekinah accompanies them and does not abandon them. Joseph walked through the valley of the shadow of death, having been brought down to Egypt, but the Shekinah was with him, as we read: “And the Lord was with Joseph”, and by reason of the presence of the Shekinah all that he did prospered in his hand; so much so that if he had something in his hand and his master wanted something of a different kind, it changed in his hand to the kind his master wanted.
Though the Shekinah is considered to be G-d’s presence in the world. The Zohar speaks of the Shekinah as follows:
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 159b – In a similar sense it is written: “And G-d remembered Rachel”, which has a meaning similar to that of the passage”and I remembered my covenant”. Now, if we say that the term “visiting” is used only of the female principle (the Shekinah), we are met with a difficulty in the text: “I have surely visited you”. For how could the Shekinah speak thus, seeing that she was herself in exile, and, in fact, how could she appear to Moses at all? But in truth there is a deep significance in this passage. For as the sun, although his centre is in heaven, yet spreads his power and might throughout the earth, so that the whole earth is full of his glory, so, as long as the Temple was in existence, the whole earth, to wit, the Holy Land, was full of G-d’s glory; but now that Israel is in exile, the Shekinah is on high, but still her might surrounds Israel so as to shield them, even when they are in a strange land. For the Shekinah is both here below and on high. The Shekinah on high abides in the twelve holy chariots and the twelve supernal Hayyoth; the lower Shekinah is among the twelve holy tribes, and thus the upper Shekinah and the lower Shekinah are intertwined, and both operate together and simultaneously. Now, when Israel is in exile, the upper Shekinah is not complete because the lower Shekinah is not complete, and that is what is meant by the Shekinah being in exile when Israel is in exile. It is like a king who has lost a son, and who as a sign of his mourning turns over his couch and spreads thistles and thorns on its underside and then lays himself down on it. Similarly when Israel went into exile and the Temple was destroyed, G-d took thorns and thistles and put them underneath Him, as it were, as it is written: “And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a thorn-bush” (Ex. III, 2), the reason being that Israel was in exile.
Zohar 9a “He will tarry for twelve months longer: ‘I will raise up on that day the tabernacle of Da’vid that is fallen’ ( Amos 9:11 ). On that day the Messiah will begin to gather the captives from one end of the world to the other:..
“The Betulat Yisroel is fallen; she shall no more rise; she is forsaken in her own land; there is none to raise her up. The Zohar says: (Zohar 6b “but in this exile Hakodosh Baruch Hu, will Himself take her [Israel] by the hand and raise her and comfort her and restore her to his palace. So it is written: ‘In that say I will raise up the tabernalce of Da’vid that is fallen’ ( Amos 9:11 ), the tabernacle of Da’vid being identical with the ‘Virgin of Israel’.
just as it has been written, After these things I will return and AKIM ES SUKKAT DOVID HANOFELET VHARISOTAV AKIM U’VENITIHA (“I will restore the tent of Dovid which has fallen and the things having been torn down of it I will rebuild and I will restore it”), So that the she’erit (remnant) of anashim might seek Hashem and all the GOYIM who are called by my Name, Says the L-rd, who makes these things known from long ago. -Amos 9:11f Targum HaShivim, 12; Jeremiah 12:15; Isaiah 45:21″
Calev and Yehoshua:
“Caleb silenced the people toward Moses and said, ‘We shall surely ascend and
conquer it, for we can surely do it!’ ” -Bamidbar 13:30
Calev receives his inspiration in Hevron, from the Avot who are buried in Hevron. Calev prays for himself.
Gemara in Sota : ‘They went up via the Negev and HE came to Hevron.’ ( Numbers 13:22) It should read: ‘And THEY came up to Hevron!’ Rava taught: This tells us that Calev separated himself from the council of the Spies and went to pray upon the graves of our forefathers. He prayed: My fathers! Seek mercy on my behalf that I be saved from the conspiring plans of the Spies. As for Yehoshua, Moshe had already beseeched G-d on his behalf, as it states: ‘Moshe named Hoshea bin Nun Yehoshua’ (13:6) – May G-d save you from the evil council of the Spies. This explains the phrase ‘And my servant Calev had a different spirit about him.’ (Sota 34b)
The Gemara here makes a deeply insightful contrast between Calev and Yehoshua that will be critical for our analysis. Calev “has a different spirit” – he has his own will, independence of opinion. He enters Hevron alone in order to pray at the graves of the forefathers and ask G-d to grant him strength to retain his own perspective, his independent mind.
In Devarim 1:35 we read: “Not one of these men, this evil generation shall see the good land… none except Calev ben Yeffunneh; he shall see it, and to him and his descendents I will give the land on which he set foot…”
Later in Sefer Yehoshua we read the following episode: ’The tribe of Judah approached Yehoshua in Gilgal; and Caleb the son of Yeffunneh the Kenizzite said to him: You know what the LORD told Moshe … concerning me … I was forty years old when Moshe the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh-Barnea to spy out the land; and I brought him back word as it was in my heart. Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt; but I wholly followed the LORD my G-d. And Moshe swore on that day, saying: Surely the land upon which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance to you and to your children for ever … And now, behold, the LORD has kept me alive, as He spoke, these forty and five years … I am this day eighty five years old. I am as strong today as I was in the day that Moshe sent me; as my strength was then … Now therefore give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke that day; for you heard how the giants were there … and I shall drive them out … And Yehoshua blessed him; and he gave Hebron to Calev the son of Yeffunneh as an inheritance.‘ -Joshua 14:6-13
Yehoshua is different. It is Moshe who prays for Yehoshua. Moshe is the source of Yehoshua’s strength. Gemara puts it, he bestows G-d’s protective blessing upon him.
Tzitzit – Mitzvah:
The Torah commands us to wear the tzitzit, which are fringes or tassels, at the four borders (Heb: tzitzit – corners, wings) of our garments. The Israelites are to make fringes (Heb. tzitziyot) on the four borders or corners (Heb. kanaph, meaning “wings, mantle or skirt”) of their garments. The word tzitzit (tzadik-yud-tzadik-tav) means “tassel or lock [of hair]”)
These tassels were to hang down from the four corners of one’s garment. Interestingly The Stone Edition Chumash notes that the Hebrew word tzitzit is related to the word hetzeytz (hey-tzadikyud-tzadik soffit) meaning “to peer at something intently with sparkling eyes” (p. 817). The only place this word is used in the Scriptures is in the Song of Songs 2:9. Here the beloved (a metaphorical and prophetic picture of Messiah) is peering, gazing or peeping with sparkling eyes of love through the window at his bride (the redeemed holy ones). Rather, one should gaze intently and admiringly at their tzitziyot, while considering the deeper, spiritual significance of them, even as one might think of the deeper implications of their wedding ring.
Scripture says about the wearing of fringes:
And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes (Hebrew: tzitzit) in the borders(Heb: Kanaph – corners, wings) of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe (tzitzit), that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of Yahweh, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your Elohim. I am Yahweh your Elohim, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your Elohim: I am Yahweh your Elohim. -Numbers 15:37 – 41
As we see it, the commandment of tzitzit has two stages: shunning evil (“so that you do not follow your heart”), followed by doing good (“to be holy to your G-d”).
It is as a correction, a tikkun, for this behaviour that the Israelites are given the commandment of tzitzit, a constant reminder, for all generations, not to be follow one’s eyes and one’s heart to do what is wrong but to remember G-d’s commandments.
Light of the Eyes on the Tzizit : Now it is known thd the commandment of tzizit is sometimes considered as precious as all the other commandments put together, since it constantly reminds one of God. When you look at the fringes at the four corners you are reminded of the One whose glory fills all the earth. Scripture also says: “You shall see it and remember all the commandments of the Lord” (Num. 15:39). This is an assurance: it is within the power of the tzizit to remind a person that there is an infinite Creator and that “the whole earth is filled with His glory,” that in all the four directions there is no place devoid of Him. All this is because zizit are explicitly called “a reminder” in the Torah. He who merits will understand how this is true in an inward way. through this commandment a person may be reminded of God and come to return to Him, being a throne for His glory. tzizit is related to the word for “peering” (meziz) as in “He peers through the lattice” (Song of Songs 2:9): it is a matter of looking. It is this act of looking that brings one to repent, to restore the infinite light upon one.
Another way to fulfill the command of tzitzit is to wear a talit gadol [prayer shawl] during prayers.
Blue Thread – Throne of Glory
The tzitzit are also to have a blue thread in them, made of wool. If you remember, there was to be no mixing of wool and linen in the clothing of G-d’s people because only the priests could wear the mixture of wool and linen – that is, except for this blue thread woven into the tzitzit of the common man.
Three commands—blue ribbon: Tell Israel to make fringes upon the borders of their garments. Put a ribbon of blue on the fringes. It is a sign for you to remember and do all the commandments of the L-rd – Numbers 15:39-40.
In the Talmud, this time in Menachot 43b, Rabbi Meir gives us an answer.
“It was taught: Rabbi Meir used to say, Why is blue specified from all the other colours? Because blue resembles the colour of the sea, and the sea resembles the colour of the sky, and the sky resembles the colour of a sapphire, and a sapphire resembles the colour of the Throne of Glory, as it is said, And there was under his feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone (Exodus 24:10), and it is also written, The likeness of a throne as the appearance of a sapphire stone (Ezekiel 1:26).”
In other words, blue reminds us of the Glory of the Lord, and thus makes us conscious of His commandments. Another interpretation, based on facts known to us today, is that blue in antiquity symbolized wealth, magnificence and nobility. Perhaps the blue fringe in the tzitzit, as well as the blue fringes tied to the breastplate and frontlet of the High Priest (Exodus 28:28, 37; 39:21, 31), were signs of greatness and importance, marking the priest who was elevated over his brothers, and marking the people who were chosen by G-d to be “His treasured people who shall observe all His commandments” (Deut. 26:18).
It was G-d’s intention that all His people were to be as priests before Him, as Peter says: But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of G-d, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. -1 Peter 2:9-10
Sun of Righteousness:
The Sun of Righteousness would be the Messiah, who would have the power to heal who ever touched the tzitzit (fringes) on his garment.
Thou shalt make thee fringes (tzit-tzit) upon the four borders (Heb: “Kanaph” – corners, wings) of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself. -Deuteronomy 22:12
its mention of Kanaph is found in Exodus 19:4 : “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings (kanaph), and brought you unto myself.”
Here we can concur that through the “kanaph” there is deliverance. The children of Israel were delivered or set free from the Egyptians because G-d bare them on eagles’ kanaph, and brought them unto Himself.
The themes of sh’lachim [sent ones] and tzitzit are further joined in the words of the Most High spoke through Zechariah the prophet.
Yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek HaShem of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before HaShem. Thus says HaShem of hosts: “In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp [chezyku = strongly cling to] the garment corner [ bi-kh’naf = in the corner, the wing] of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that G-d is with you.’”
prophecy in Malachi chapter 4: 1- 6
For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith Yahweh of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings (tzit-tzit); and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith Yahweh of hosts. Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgements. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
The woman was reaching for the fringes of His Garment.
And suddenly a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment – Matthew 9:20
Hem: a tassel of twisted wool . The Hebrew word is: “tsiytsith”. It was required to be on the four corners of the clothing of every Jewish male in accordance with G-d’s instructions.
…came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped -Luke 8:44
…and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well – Matthew 14:36
Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged Him that they might just touch the border of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well – Mark 6:56
SHELACH LECHA – By Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum
With the arrival of the summer solstice and the longest day of the year, we are now standing on the threshold of TEKUFAT TAMMUZ, “the season of the month of Tammuz”, the hottest time of the year. For long hours every day, Eretz Yisrael is bathed in dazzlingly bright light. It is appropriate that kabbalistically, this season is associated with the human faculty of vision. (The tribe associated with the month of Tammuz, which begins in little more than a week’s time, is Reuven — REU-BEN: “SEE! A son!”)
The theme of purifying and refining our principle faculties was introduced at the beginning of the previous parshah, BEHA’ALOSCHA. As discussed in our commentary, the seven lamps of the Menorah allude to the seven “lamps” of the head: the two eyes, two ears, two nostrils and the mouth. The highest of all are the eyes, and the visual image of the Menorah with which BEHA’ALOSCHA begins (“according to the VISION that HaShem SHOWED Moses”) initiates a series of parshiyot all of which prominently feature the faculty of vision.
As we will discuss presently, this certainly applies to SHELACH LECHAH, with its theme of “spying out the Land”. It also applies to the ensuing parshiyot: In KORACH we find that Korach rebelled because he was deceived by his own VISION, while all the children of Israel SAW that the Staff of Aaron sprouted. In CHUKAS we learn that when sprinkling the blood of the Red Heiffer, the priest had to LOOK towards the entrance of the Sanctuary, while the bitten Israelites had to GAZE at the bronze serpent. “And Balak SAW.” (Numbers 22:2). “And Bilaam SAW.” (24:1). “And Pinchas SAW.” (25:7) “And HaShem said to Moses, Go up. and SEE the land that I have given to the Children of Israel” (27:12).
SPYING OUT THE LAND
The theme of vision is paramount in SHELACH LECHA. The parshah begins with G-d telling Moses to send men who “will SPY OUT the Land of Canaan which I am giving to the Children of Israel”. The parshah ends with the passage recited by every Israelite in the SHEMA morning and evening: “They will make for themselves TZITZIS on the fringes of their garments. and you shall LOOK at it and remember all the commandments of HaShem and you shall do them, AND YOU SHALL NOT GO SPYING AFTER YOUR HEARTS AND AFTER YOUR EYES that you went astray after them.” (Numbers 15:38-39). The same word for spying occurs in the opening and closing verses of the parshah, highlighting the importance of the theme of vision throughout the parshah. The Tzitzis are the remedy for faulty and sinful vision.
In the words of Rashi’s comment on the latter verse (Numbers 15:39): The heart and the eyes are spies for the body, and they act as the body’s agents in sinning. The eye sees, the heart desires and the body carries out the sins.” The fringes of the Tzitzis surrounding us on all four sides, are a visual reminder of G-d’s presence everywhere. The blue TECHEILES thread in the Tzitzis is the color of the sea, which is a reflection of the color of the heavens, the seat of G-d’s glory.
Tzitztis is the first mitzvah to which a young boy is introduced (customarily at the age of 3), because this mitzvah comes to remedy the vision of the eyes, which caused Adam’s downfall. “And the woman SAW that the tree was good for food and it was desirable to the EYES. and she ate and she gave also to her husband with her” (Genesis 3:6).
Likewise, it was deceptive vision that led to the fall of the Children of Israel forty days after the revelation at Sinai. “And the people SAW that Moses’ was delayed in coming down from the mountain.” (Exodus 32:1). According to the sages, Satan deceived the people with a “desert mirage” of Moses being carried up dead to heaven. They didn’t want an invisible leader. They wanted one they could see with their own eyes. “And the people gathered against Aaron and said to him, Rise, make us gods who will go before us.” (Exodus 32:1). They couldn’t stand not being able to see G-d. They felt impelled to violate the Second Commandment against making graven images. They wanted a visual representation of the divine — the demanded to see the unseeable — but their representation turned into an idol, giving a license to lust.
In the sin of the Golden Calf, the heart went astray after the image before the eyes. The sin took place at the very height of TEKUFAT TAMUZ (season of Vision), on the 17th of the month. The sin of the Golden Calf led to all the subsequent trials and tribulations of the Children of Israel, represented in the Forty Years of Wandering in the Wilderness (for it is only after 40 years that a person attains BINAH, “understanding” — Avot 5:21). Although the decree of forty years wandering was specifically incurred through the sin of the spies, Rashi (on Numbers 14:33) tells us that “From the moment they made the calf, this decree arose in His Thought. Except that He waited for them until their measure was filled, as it says (Exodus 32:34): ‘On the day of my visitation I will visit upon them their sin’ “.
The forty-year penalty corresponded to the forty-day journey of the Twelve Spies from the Wilderness around the Land of Israel. This also took place during TEKUFAS TAMUZ, one year after the sin of the golden calf. The spies left at the end of Sivan, they were travelling around Israel during the entire month of Tammuz, and they arrived back at the Israelite camp in the Wilderness only on the 9th day of the month of Av.
On their tour of the land, the spies saw exactly what they wanted to see. With the exception of Joshua and Kalev, they rejected the vision of the forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They did not want to accept the traditional report that their ears alone had heard: that G-d promised to take them to a land “flowing with milk and honey”. They could not take it on trust. They wanted to check it out with their own eyes and decide for themselves. And they saw what they wanted to see: a real place, a land governed by natural laws, where people live and die. A beautiful land, but one which it was against all the laws of nature that the puny ex-slave Israelites could conquer in the face of a sea of entrenched Amalekites and Canaanites. “And we were in our own eyes as grasshoppers, and so we were in their eyes” (Numbers 13:33).
The sin of the spies was a failure of faith. They allowed themselves to be misled by the external appearance of the natural world into a colossal failure of nerve, despite all the promises given by G-d that He would bring them to the land. The faith of Israel does not depend upon what the eyes see. On the contrary, we declare our faith wrapped in the Tallis, clutching the Tzitzis by our hearts, closing our eyes to the visual world around us and covering them with our hand: “Sh’ma Yisrael, HaShem is our G-d.!” Only Joshua and Kalev closed their eyes to external appearances, knowing that with G-d’s help, it is possible to “bend” nature. “We will go up and take possession of it, for He can — we can — (conquer) it.”
Eretz Yisrael looks like a regular country with houses, roads, fields, forests and mountains, etc. (as Rabbi Nachman put it, “these actual stones and houses”). Yet in reality, the law of the land is totally beyond nature. It is: “A land that HaShem your G-d cares for constantly, the EYES of HaShem your G-d are on it from the beginning of the year and until the end of the year” (Deut. 11:12).
Every Israelite recites the law of the Land of Israel twice daily, morning and evening in the Sh’ma: “And if you will surely listen to My commandments. And I will give the rain of your land in its season.and you will eat and be satisfied. Guard yourself lest your heart seduces you and you go astray. and you will be lost quicfrom the good land which HaShem is giving you” (Deut. 11:13-17).
Perhaps the spies feared the people could not live up to the level of the law of the land, and they preferred an easier, more natural way of life outside of Israel. As leaders of their tribes, the spies conducted an ingenious operation of public opinion manipulation, using skillfully chosen words to implant in the people’s minds a vision of the impossibility of achieving their natural destiny that led them all to tears. (This the spies achieved with words alone, even without the use of television, which is the Satan’s ultimate deceiver of eyes.) “And all the community cried out, and the people WEPT on that night.” Tears come from the eyes, the organs of vision. With our tears we try to wash away the bad that our eyes have seen.
The people should have focussed their vision on that which is beyond nature — the miracles that had been performed for them. This should have given them the faith that G-d has the power to fulfill His promises. (See Rashi on Numbers 14:11). Those who had seen the miracles and still did not believe in G-d would not see the land. “All the men who see My glory and My signs that I did in Egypt and in the Wilderness yet have tested Me in this ten times, and have not listened to My voice — They shall not see the land that I have sworn to their fathers, and all who despise Me shall not see it” (Numbers 14:22-3).
Yet immediately after the imposition of the decree, the Torah continues with a series of commandments that can only be fulfilled in the Land of Israel, including the laws of the wheat, oil and wine libations that accompany animal offerings in the Temple, and CHALLAH, the gift of the first portion of one’s bread to the priest (Numbers Ch. 15). The positioning of these commandments directly after the narrative of the spies is a reminder that even though the exile (“forty years”) may be lengthy, eventually Israel will inherit the entire land and have the merit of offering its choicest produce in the Temple and on the table of the priests. [The Challah, separated by the woman and given to the priest, rectifies Eve’s sin of giving the forbidden fruit to Adam.]
Shabbat Shalom!!! – Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum
Haftarat Shelach – ‘Send’ – Joshua 2:1-24
This week’s Torah parasha contains the account of the sending of the twelve spies into the Land. Of course we know the result of that was that ten returned with a bad report and only two returned with the faithful report that the Land was promised, and hence HaShem would deliver it to them.
In the haftarah for Shlah, Joshua is continuing the mission that Moses began: planning a military crusade to conquer the land. Joshua sends two spies into the city of Jericho to survey the region and assess the military options. The spies lodge with a prostitute named Rahab, who lives along the wall built around the city.
Our haftarah reading from the Prophets is about a similar event forty years later. As Joshua prepares to take the Land, he sends two spies into the Land, to Jericho, to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the Canaanite inhabitants. How ironic. Yet there are not coincidences in Scripture. In Numbers 13:1-15:41, only two spies returned with a good report, and the other ten’s bad report convinced the Israelites to doubt G-d’s promises. Now, Joshua, one of the two faithful spies sends only two (on the testimony of two the truth is established) in to spy out the Land again.
I know that HaShem has given you the Land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how HaShem dried up the water of the Reed Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for HaShem your G-d, He is G-d in heaven above and on earth beneath. -Joshua 2:9-11
Rachav became a ger toshav – a sojourner dwelling in Israel’s midst.
By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. -Hebrews 11:31
She repented, and acted out her faith by righteous deeds. By her faith, she was born again as an Israelite.
Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. -James 2:25-26
One ordinance shall be for you of the assembly and for the stranger [ger] who dwells with you, an ordinance forever throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the stranger be before HaShem. One Torah and one custom shall be for you and for the stranger [ger] who dwells with you.’”
When the spies return to the Israelite camp and report to Joshua they say, “The Lord has delivered the whole land into our power; in fact, all the inhabitants of the land are quaking before us” – Joshua 2:24.
However, while Moses sends 12 spies, and 10 of them come back quaking in fear of the giants they saw in the land, Joshua sent only two spies, who returned with a message of confidence.
Blessed art Thou, HaShem, Who brings forth the Manifestation of Salvation. ( Baruch Atah HaShem, matzmiach keren Yeshuah )
We will see that the children of Israel return to Most High and Torah of Mashiach, And will hug in the Holy Land, and by obeying and listening the “VOICE of Most Ancient Holy One of Israel”, will bring offerings in a righteous way on the holy mountain and also bring the Ark of the covenant with pure heart in the right place ( i.e In Har HaBayit, on the foundation Stone) .
We will Welcome the son of David on Mount Zion, Jerusalem.
[ Ha Khadosh Baruch Hu – Baruch HaBa B’Shem Adonai ] – Gaddi, President, BetYisrael International.
Gaddi – President