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SHABBAT 12/13 JUNE: PARASHA SHELACH LECHAH

Shabbat comes in at 9.04 pm, and goes out at 10.04 pm.
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Mazel Tov to Edwin Lucas and his daughter Gillian Lucas on their birthdays.  They are delighted to invite the Hatch End Masorti Synagogue congregation to join them for Kiddush at the Girl Guide Headquarters, after the service to celebrate this special occasion.

In Parsha Shelach Lechah,  Moishe sends spies to search out the land of Israel. This is the first step leading to the conquest of the land.
Maimonides points out that the holiness of the Israelites in the land continued for as long as we remained in the land. Once Israel was destroyed by the Babylonians, the holiness ceased.
Interestingly, he states that when we returned to the land, with the permission of King Cyrus of Persia, seventy years later, the holiness became eternal, continuing even after Israel was destroyed by the Romans.
Why was the first holiness finite and the second eternal?
Maimonides suggests that the distinction lies in the way we acquired the land.  Conquering the land through military means lasted for as long as we were the conquerors.  Once we were conquered, the holiness came to an end. Peacefully settling the land as we did in the time of King Cyrus, the holiness was more powerful and had the capacity to
continue on.
Beyond any political message, this message has import for our everyday lives.   What do we acquire through power and what do we acquire through negotiation and consensus ?   Which is everlasting?
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Paul Arberman
June 9, 2015