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July 21, 2024

Archive for June 7, 2014

Shlach Lecha (Send Forth) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

Shlach Lecha

Numbers 13:1-15:41

This Week’s Torah Portion |June 8 – June 14, 2014 – Sivan 10 – Sivan 16, 5774

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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Glossary – Shlach Lecha (Send Forth) – Weekly Torah Portion

The Land of Canaan

We are immersed in the desire. All we have is a desire that must be corrected from harming others into doing good to them. The land of Canaan is that desire when it is still uncorrected but is about to be corrected.

Forty Days

Forty is the degree of Bina. The gap between Malchut and Bina is called “forty.” It is the gap between the will to receive, the ego, and the degree of faith, Bina, the level of bestowal.

Flowing with Milk and Honey

Milk and honey represent the abundance we receive in the corrected desire.


Amalek is the foundation of all evil, it is the intention to receive in order to receive, which exists within our nature.

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How to Understand the Boundary of Your Perception, Like a Kabbalist

How to Understand the Boundaries of Your Perception, Like a Kabbalist

Why You Can Never See or Imagine Anything Outside Your ‘Black Box’

A person is like a “black box,” feeling, understanding and receiving only what enters from outside. All of our investigations are limited by our five senses, and every instrument we have built and will build in the future, ceases to escape our five senses’ limits. Our five senses’ limits are merely expanded through these instruments.

This is because we can never imagine what our five senses lack. Namely, what other additional sense we need in order to perceive the true reality around us. We feel no lack for this, as we feel no lack of a sixth finger on our hands. That for which we feel no lack, can never be something to which we would come to request. Therefore, all of the investigations of our world are only according to our five senses, and we can never begin to see, feel and understand what is beyond our senses. These are the limitations of our conceptions.

Also, our imagination is the product our five senses, and the experiences which stem from them. We can never imagine any object or creature which does not resemble that which is familiar to us from our five senses.

If I want, for example, someone to draw for me some creature from another planet, certainly he would draw it according to the elements which are familiar to us from our world. And if I asked you to describe something imaginary you would give me, without a doubt, something which is very similar to this world.


How to Understand the Boundary of Your Perception

All this exemplifies our limitations: we all live in a small world, and we are unable to feel, and therefore imagine, anything outside of it. Moreover, since our limitations are absolute, no science or philosophy can ever help us understand what is beyond this world.

It could be that in the same space, in other dimensions exist other creatures and worlds. We cannot feel them because we lack the requisite senses or “vessels” to feel them. It could be that in this other world that is vaster than ours is to be found the reason for our existence, for all of the incidences which occur to us, and the reason for our death. And we, oblivious of these causes, live without true knowledge and without a true goal, unconscious in our world.

There are people in our world who do receive additional senses with which to feel the wider surrounding existence. These people are called “Kabbalists” (“receivers”) since they know how to receive higher knowledge than ours.

Kabbalists say that there are worlds above ours, and that all these worlds are like the layers of an onion, in which our world is found in the midst of all of these worlds. We, who live in this world, according to our inborn senses, are able to feel only this world.

The Kabbalists tell us that “this world” is called so, because it is just a small fragment of the vast reality that exists outside our current sensation of reality. If we could develop additional senses, then what we would feel with them would be called the “higher world,” or the “spiritual world.” The sole purpose of the wisdom of Kabbalah is to develop these additional senses with which we can gain a clear perception and sensation of the higher reality.

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