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Weekly Message 06.16.2023 Parashat Shelach

Parashat Shelach (Send) Numbers 13:1 - 15:41

HafTorah Joshua 2:1 -24

Hi friends,

I have returned from a very pleasant journey to Pennsylvania and New Jersey attending a family wedding and then spending a few more days with family and friends. On this Shabbat and Father's Day/Juneteenth weekend, we celebrate Barry Cohen's Bar Mitzvah anniversary tomorrow (Saturday) morning with a Shabbat luncheon that he is sponsoring for the congregation. I hope we have a large minyan to share this special day with him!

This Shabbat, we read the turning point of the journey to the promised land as told in the portion of Shelach Lecha in the Book of Bamidbar. During their two-year journey after escaping slavery in Egypt, the children of Israel who have been constantly complaining about their condition in the wilderness have tested Moses to the point of exasperation. To help build confidence and prepare for occupying the Holy Land, he sends a group of twelve spies (each representing one of the tribes) over the Jordan River to scout out the land and report back an accounting of the land and its inhabitants and fortifications. All report what a wonderful land it was (truly the land of "milk and honey"). However, all but Joshua and Caleb fear that the Hebrew nation would be annihilated by the occupants of the land and once again, the people begin clamoring to return to Egypt and slavery. This, of course, is the "last straw" of Hashem's patience, and all but Joshua and Caleb who were adults at the time are doomed to wander in the wilderness for 38 more years and then perish there. Only the children and those born in the wilderness will live to see the Holy Land.

There are so many lessons for us to learn from this episode and I look forward to discussing them with you this Shabbat. How many of us don't fulfill our dreams because of stumbling blocks, real and imagined? How many of us are not content with their lots in life and maintain a positive attitude rather than "qvetching" about annoyances, large and small? How many of us are fearful of potential consequences when taking risks?

So, please join me at services this evening at 7:30 pm and tomorrow morning at 9:30 am (in-person or virtually on Zoom) so we have a proper minyan for those saying Kaddish and to celebrate Barry's Bar Mitzvah anniversary.

See you in shul!

Ron Becker,

Spiritual Leader



JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shabbat Service, Friday 06/16/2023 7:30 pm

Time: Jun 16, 2023 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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JCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Saturday Service, 06/17/2023 9:30 am

Time: Jun 17, 2023 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 497 903 0958

Passcode: 5QdVaA

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