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  • Writer's pictureGabbai

Food for Thought – Shelach

The reading begins abruptly with God’s command to send scouts to the land of Canaan. There is no mention of any request from the people for spies to be sent.

Yet, all of the commentaries rush to explain that this was done at the behest of the people, and God was allowing it, even telling Moses to go through with the plan. Of course, this is because the repetition of this story in Deuteronomy relates the conversation between Moses and the nation as they demanded that spies be sent up to scout the land.

The commentaries focus on the phrase “Send for yourself men, and they will scout the land…” Send for yourself? This phrase puts confusion – or clarity – into the episode. The commentaries draw various conclusions from this phrase as they attempt to decipher God’s objective in allowing this mission which ended in such terrible failure.

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