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1/2 July: Parshat Shelach Lecha

rabbipaulsmlShabbat comes in 9.07 pm: goes out 10.26 pm 

The scouts enter the land and journey to Hebron where they encounter a group of aboriginal giants.  During their forty-day mission, the scouts proceed to Wadi Eshkol, where they procure a cluster of grapes to bring back to Moses.  The scouts return and give their report.  Although the men begin with the positive, it becomes clear that they would like to abandon the idea of conquering the land.  Two of the scouts, Caleb and Joshua, attempt to pacify the people but they are ignored.  The people are demoralized by the scouts’ report and begin to panic.

The rabbis asked why the account of the spies follows directly after the story of Miriam’s slander against her brother Moses,  an incident recorded at the end of last week’s parshat ?  Rashi explains that Miriam was stricken with leprosy on account of the slander she spoke regarding her brother; and  now, these men were slandering the Land of Canaan.

The sin of these national representatives was an act of slander against the Promised Land, just as Miriam’s sin was an act of slander against Moses.  Her actions created an environment that may have encouraged the malcontents among the Israelites to rise up in rebellion.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Paul Arberman

June 29, 2016