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September 30, 2023

Archive for June 5, 2015

Shlach Lecha (Send Forth) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

Shlach Lecha

Numbers 13:1-15:41

This Week’s Torah Portion |June 07 – June 13, 2015 – 20 Sivan – 26 Sivan, 5775

In A Nutshell

The portion begins with Moses sending the twelve heads of the tribes to spy in the land of Israel, to examine it and prepare to enter it. The spies return and describe a land flowing with milk and honey, but occupied by giants that will make it impossible to enter the land, conquer it, and rule it. Their words spread fear in the people, except for Joshua Ben Nun, and Caleb Ben Yephunneh. This angers the Creator and He wants to destroy the entire people. Moses prays and asks for mercy on the people. As a result, only the ten spies that slandered the land die in a plague. The other two, Joshua Ben Nun and Caleb Ben Yephunneh continue to accompany the people.

Later in the portion, the children of Israel trip once more and seek to run back to Egypt. In the end they repent and abort their decision. Afterward Israel make another mistake: they try to fight and conquer the land without instructions to do so, and therefore fail.

The portion ends with the instruction to wander another forty years in the desert until the entire generation of the spies passes away, except for Joshua Ben Nun, who is to lead the people into the land of Israel.

 Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

We have to develop from our will to receive, from our ego, into a state in which we come to be “the people of Israel,” when we are all Yashar El (straight to God), having the quality of the Creator: bestowal and love. We will all be in “love your neighbor as yourself,”[1] in love of others, because we have no other choice.

We must not go by our own reason, which alternates between dictations to advance and retreat. Rather, we must fight while examining if we are doing what is right, and if the way is right. The portion explains that we cannot know what to do or even where to start. It is a problem because we are accustomed to work by the mode of “A judge has only what his eyes see.”[2] It seems as though we must advance by following our essence, according to our Kelim (vessels/tools), using our minds and hearts.

The Creator demands that we develop and do something. But how can we do something if we cannot tell between right and wrong, if we do not know whether to move forward into war or run back to Egypt? We can see that there are giants in the land of Israel. And while there are also fruits there, we cannot tell who rules there, which desires, or how big they are.

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How to Develop a Desire to Reveal the Creator

How to Develop a Desire to Reveal the Creator

Developing a Need for the Creator

The Zohar is considered by many to be a moral teaching based on Kabbalah, since it is written in the language of the commandments, prescribing what an individual should do. It is clear that by defining the book of Zohar in such way, people attempt to deny its mystical, concealed essence.

The authors of the Zohar have written this book, which deals only with the composition and the operation of the spiritual worlds, in a deliberately scholastic and legalistic language. This was intended to leave no doubt in the readers’ minds that the main purpose of Kabbalah is not the wisdom itself, but the “dispenser of the wisdom.” In fact, the main purpose of Kabbalah and of the spiritual laws is to develop our need for the Creator, and for us to wish to come closer to Him in the qualities of the soul.

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