Saturday 20th June 2020 28th Sivan 5780
PARASHAT SHELACH L’CHAH Torahbytes Alan Gilman
Torah: Num 13:1-15:41; Haftarah: Joshua 2:1-24; New Covenant: Matt 10:1-14
Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, "Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?" And they said to one another, "Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt." (B'midbar/Numbers 14:1-4)
This week's parshah includes one of the greatest fails in the Torah. The people of Israel are on the cusp of acquiring the land God promised to their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, hundreds of years before. No other people in history had ever experienced the favour and power of God as they did. Having been subjected to the bitter bondage of slavery their whole lives, they saw their God pummel Egypt with devastating plagues until the stubborn king finally allowed them to leave.
And that was just the beginning! They were then personally led by God by way of a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night. He parted the sea, enabling them to cross to the other side on dry ground, from where they watched that same sea drown the Egyptian army, terminating that threat for good. Each day, except on Shabbat, they woke up to a miraculous nutritious meal of manna. God also provided them with water when none was available be it by transforming poisoned water into fresh or bubbling forth from a rock.
The one time they had to endure battle, their victory was in direct relationship to Moses' prayers despite their complete lack of fighting experience, having been slaves until recently.
Many of these acts of God's pow