The Portion of Shelach

Jun 7, 2015

Photo credit: Yehoshua Halevi

וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃

Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying,

Numbers 13:1

אֲנִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם לִהְיוֹת לָכֶם לֵאלֹהִים אֲנִי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם׃

I Hashem am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I, Hashem your God.

Numbers 15:41

This week’s portion focuses primarily on the Sin of the Spies, which results in God’s decree that the Israelites must wander in the desert for forty years instead of entering the land of Israel directly. It also includes details regarding a number of laws, such as the libations which must be brought alongside certain sacrifices and the separation of a portion of all bread baked for the sustenance of the priests. We are told what must be done to atone for sins and, through the example of the wood-gatherer, what to do with those who violate the Sabbath. The portion ends with the command to tie fringes, or tzitzit, onto the corners of any four-cornered garment.

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