Shelach Lecha

Shelach Lecha: An Old Name

June 08, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Of the twelve men sent to bring back a report about the land of Israel, only one of them—Yehoshua—has previously been mentioned in the Torah. During the war against Amalek, Yehoshua served as the commanding officer leading them into battle. This military experience would serve him well for his mission forty years later when he would lead the Jewish people in their conquest of the land of Israel.  We also meet Yehoshua when he...
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Shelach Lecha: Right People, Wrong Mission

June 16, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Having the right people for the wrong job can lead to tragic consequences. Such was the fate of the meraglim. Twelve handpicked leaders, who represented the best the Jewish people had to offer, were to serve as the final link between Egyptian slavery and Israeli redemption. Yet something went terribly wrong and this was not to be. In the forty days they spent on their mission these great leaders sowed the seeds of despair, pain and...
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Shelach Lecha: Ties That Bind

July 01, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Parshat Shelach Lecha details a most familiar story. The tragic events surrounding the mission of the meraglim forced Bnei Yisrael to endure a long and arduous journey in the desert. Many commentaries point out that even today, we still suffer from the effects of that rejection of the land, similar to the way that the effects of sinat chinam from the days of the second Temple are still with us....
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Shelach Lecha: No Sin Here

June 12, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Parshat Shelach Lecha is perhaps the most tragic parsha of the Chumash. The march of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel came to a sudden standstill--one that would last a long forty years. The signs were there in Parshat Beha'alotecha--complaining about the food, about Moshe, about the desert. But had it not been for the sin of the spies and...
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Shelach Lecha: Making Mistakes

June 13, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Who should get the blame for the meraglim fiasco? Was it the report of the spies, or the lack of faith of the people that did us in? Might it be possible to question Moshe’s judgment in sending spies in the first place? And might we even question G-d who, knowing the fickle nature of His people, allowed them to fail? When leaving Egypt, G-d “did not lead us the way of the Philistines, although it was the shortest route,...
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