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A Modern Orthodox Synagogue

Parashat Shelach

Dear Friend,
Let's take a minute to look at some of the topics that are covered in this week's parasha, Parashat Shelach:
- The parasha begins with the Almighty instructing Moshe Rabbeinu to send out spies to the Land of Israel in anticipation of the Jewish people's entry into the Land. This mission results in two of the spies, Yehoshua and Calev, returning from the Land with an optimistic report.  Tragically, the bulk of the spies return with a pessimistic report. 
- The parasha continues from the account of the spies to the introduction of two mitzvot: 1) the mitzvah of nesachim, to offer wine libations to accompany animal sacrifices. 2) the mitzvah of challah, to set aside a portion of dough to be given to the kohanim for their consumption.
- We also learn about the account of the mekoshesh eitzim, the individual who desecrated the Shabbat in the wilderness by improperly gathering wood on the holy day.
- The parasha concludes with the mitzvah of tzitzit, to attach strings to the corners of a garment.  The Torah tells us in this parasha that amongst these strings, a petil techelet should be included.
As we continue to follow the news from Israel, and pray for the success and safety of the IDF in Gaza, on the northern border, and beyond, let us keep in mind the words of the prayer for Israel that we chant together every Shabbat morning.  We pray that the Almighty should, "send His light and truth to Israel's leaders, officers and counselors, and direct them with His good counsel."
Let us pray that Israel's political and military leaders should guide the country and the war-effort with good counsel, and may we only hear good tidings from Israel going forward...
All the best,
Rabbi Peretz Robinson