Bamidbar / Num. 13:1 – 15:41
Haftará: Joshua 2:1-24
Brit Hadashah: Matittiyahu / Mt. 10:1-14
Shelach Lecha means “send you“
Summary of the Parsha
Moshe sends twelve spies to the Land of Kena‘an.
They return forty days later, carrying a huge bunch of grapes, some pomegranates, and some figs, to report on an exuberant and kind land.
But ten of the spies warn that the inhabitants of the earth are giants and warriors “more powerful than us“; only Caleb and Yehoshua insist that the land can be conquered, as HaShem indicated.
People cry saying that they prefer to go back to Egypt.
HaShem decrees that Israel’s entry into the Promised Land must be delayed for forty years, during which time the entire generation will perish in the desert.
A group of repentant Jew’s rush over the mountain at the edge of the Earth but are driven back by the Amalekites and Canaanites.
The laws of Menachot (offerings of flour, wine, and oil) are given, as well as the precept to consecrate part of the dough (challah) to HaShem when bread is baked.
HaShem instructs to put fringes / Tzitzit on the four corners of the garments to remember the observance of the Mitzvot (Divine perceptions).
Thus begins our Parashat shavua
וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹֽר׃
שְׁלַח־לְךָ אֲנָשִׁים וְיָתֻרוּ אֶת־אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן אֲשֶׁר־אֲנִי נֹתֵן לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אִישׁ אֶחָד אִישׁ אֶחָד לְמַטֵּה אֲבֹתָיו תִּשְׁלָחוּ כֹּל נָשִׂיא בָהֶֽם
וַיִּשְׁלַח אֹתָם מֹשֶׁה מִמִּדְבַּר פָּארָן עַל־פִּי יְהוָה כֻּלָּם אֲנָשִׁים רָאשֵׁי בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵֽמָּה׃
Vayedaber Adonay el-Moshe lemor.
Shlaj-leja anashim veyaturu et-erets Kena’an asher-ani noten livney Yisra’el ish ejad ish ejad lemateh avotav tishlaju kol nasi vahem.
Vayishlaj otam Moshe mimidbar Paran al-pi Adonay kulam anashim rashey vney-Yisra’el hemah.
“Adonai said to Moshe, 2 “Send men on your behalf to reconnoiter the land of Kena‘an, which I am giving to the people of Yisra’el. From each ancestral tribe send someone who is a leader in his tribe.” 3 Moshe dispatched them from the Pa’ran Desert as Adonai had ordered; all of them were leading men among the people of Yisra’el.”
The vers #2 says; “You yourself send men in order that they recognize the land of Kena’an, that I am going to give to the children of Israel; you shall send a man from each of the tribes of his fathers, each of them chief among them. “
The first Hebrew words of this shelach lecha prayer literally mean “send for yourself” or “send for you.”
The idea of sending spies did not come from HaShem or Moshe, but from the people, as it is written in Devarim / Deut. 1: 22-23:
“Then all of you approached me and said:” Let us send men ahead of us, to explore the land for us, and to bring us news of the way by which we are going to ascend and of the cities into which we will enter. ” And I liked the plan, and I took twelve men from among you, one man for each tribe. “
Moshe liked the plan and HaShem granted it.
But since HaShem had not taken the initiative to send spies, when giving the order, he says to Moshe: “send for yourself”, in other words: “you are the one who is interested in doing this, so do it yourself. I did not take the initiative for this plan, and it is not pleasant for me but if you want to do it, send them yourself.”
Bamidbar / Num. 13:8; 16
“From the tribe of Ephraim, Hosea, the son of Nun … but Hosea, the son of Nun, Moses called Joshua.”
What relationship is there between Messiah and Efrayim?
Yehoshua (Joshua) is the long form of the name Yeshua.
Moshe knew prophetically that the name of the Messiah would be Yehoshua / Yeshua and that is why he put that name on the one who was to be his successor.
This Yehoshua son of Nun, came from the tribe of Efrayim, son of Yosef.
This is a prophetic sign that the Messiah had to be the son of Yosef and fulfill the role of the suffering Messiah and then be lifted, just like Yosef in Egypt.
Bamidbar/ Num. 13:32
10 spies, “gave a bad report to the children of Israel of the land they had recognized, saying: The land through which we have gone to recognize it is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people we saw in it are men of great height…
14:7 And two spies “spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, the land through which we passed to spy it out is a very good land.”
How do you see what lies ahead?
What we see determines our speech, our decisions, and our behavior.
The twelve spies saw the same land, the same cities, and the same inhabitants, but there were two very different ways of reacting to what they saw.
The important thing is not what you have ahead but how you react to it.
Although the ten spies saw the beautiful land, their souls were invaded with thoughts of problems and impossibilities, and they could not believe that it was possible to win over such great towns and conquer such fortified cities.
The reason was that they did not want to believe HaShem.
But the two spies had a different spirit and saw the same things differently.
They had learned from what happened in Egypt and in the desert.
They knew they had a powerful Elohim, and they believed his promises.
They saw the visible reality and they also saw the invisible reality.
The sons of Anac were giants, yes, the cities had very high walls, yes, but the Almighty is much greater, and he was with them.
The ten spies saw things from below, but the two spies saw them from above.
If we only see and hear things from a natural point of view, we will act only naturally and receive only natural results.
But if we see and study what the divine promises teach, we will act naturally and receive assistance from heaven so that our natural actions become supernatural.
The way we hear determines our faith.
According to our way of seeing things, this will be done to us.
Bamidbar / Num. 14:28, 29, 33
“Tell them:” As I live “- HaShem declares -” that just as you have spoken in my ears, so will I do to you. Your corpses will fall in this desert, all of you numbered of all those counted from twenty years upwards, who have murmured against me… And your children will be shepherds for forty years in the desert, and they will suffer for your unfaithfulness until your corpses are left in the desert. “
Can the words of parents influence their children?
The tongue has death and life in its power.
Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.“
Those who complained received exactly what they had said in their cry of disbelief.
The Eternal considered their complaint and their unbelief as spiritual adultery.
The Hebrew word that was translated as infidelity is zennut –זנות – and it means adultery.
What kind of adultery did they commit?
Did they bow down to some other god? Not.
They had said that it would have been better to die in Egypt or in the desert than to fall by the sword and be taken prisoner and they had also talked about appointing a leader to return to Egypt.
HaShem called this attitude zennut / adultery.
He who is in a covenant with HaShem and does not trust him and his promises commits spiritual adultery.
With that attitude you get nowhere, only death.
Bamidbar / Nun. 15:16
“There will be a single Torah / Law, a single Ordinance, a single Instruction, for you and for the foreigner who resides with you.”
Who is the Torah for?
The foreigner mentioned in this text is the one who lives with the community of Israel and has voluntarily embraced the Elohim of Israel.
This type of foreigner is called in Hebrew “ger”.
It is recorded in the Brit Hadashah that Yeshua told his followers in Yohanan / Jn. 14: 21-26:
21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me, and the one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” 22 Y’hudah (not the one from K’riot) said to him, “What has happened, Adon, that you are about to reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Yeshua answered him, “If someone loves me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make sukat / our home with him.
Bamidbar / Num. 15:18
“Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them: When you enter the land where I am taking you …”
How can you keep hope?
After the forty-year sentence in the desert, it was easy for the people to lose sight of their mission.
Could it be that we will never get to the promised land?
Could it be that HaShem will exterminate us all here?
In the most difficult moments for the people, HaShem confirmed the vision and strengthened hope.
He does not tell them: “If you enter the earth“, but “When you enter …” implying that there is no doubt that they will reach the goal.
The Torah, the Word of HaShem, is the one that rules over the entire world.
What we read each week in the Torah reflects what is happening in the world.
During these last weeks, we have read about murmurings, rebellions, discouragement of the leaders, trials, and great defeats.
But we have also read about the manifestation of HaShem’s glory.
Meat to eat in the desert, multiplication of the spirit of prophecy, forgiveness of the sin of all the people, healing for an incurable disease, the revelation of the name of the Messiah, and the certainty that the promised land is very good and lately the repeated affirmation of the fact that they will be able to see the promises kept.
Don’t stop seeing the positive in the midst of your struggles.
We must humble ourselves like Moshe.
Talk like Calev and Yehoshua.
Do not look at what is now, look to the future with the hope of the fulfillment of divine promises.
The whole earth will be filled with the glory of HaShem as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).
Bamidbar / Num. 15:38-41
“Speak to the sons of Yisra’el and tell them to make fringes around the edges of their dresses, throughout their generations, and to put a blue cord on the fringe of each edge. And the fringe will serve you so that when you see it you will remember all the commandments of HaShem so that you fulfill them and not follow your heart or your eyes, after which you have prostituted yourselves so that you remember to fulfill all my commandments and be holy to your Elohim. I am HaShem your Elohim who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your Elohim. I am HaShem your Elohim.
What are fringes for?
The fringes that Jewish men put on their four-pointed clothes serve to remember their commitment to HaShem and his commandments.
When your eyes want to stray and go after an impurity, the fringes will remind you that you are holy and that will help you avoid sin.
The desire to be morally pure has to do with the certainty that HaShem is my Elohim and that I live for him, therefore, I am holy like him.
The time will come in history, and it is not far off when ten men of the nations will grab hold of the edges of a Jew – where the four fringes are – and ask for help to walk with him, as it is written in Zechariah 8:23:
“Thus says Adonai Tzevaot / of the armies:” In those days ten men of all the languages of the nations will take hold of the dress / Tzitzit, of a Jew, saying: ‘We will go with you because we have heard that HaShem is with you.’ “”
Shabbat shalom Mishpochah!