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Parashah #37 Sh’lach L’kha / Send On Your Behalf

In Blog, Weekly Torah Portions | on June, 14, 2014 | by

Parashah #37
Sh’lach L’kha ~ Send On Your Behalf
Torah: B’midbar / Numbers 13:1 ~ 15:41
Haftarah: Y’hoshua / Joshua 2:1 – 24
B’rit Hadashah: Messianic Jews / Ivrim / Hebrews 3:7 – 19


This weeks Parashah brings the story we learned as children about Y’hoshua / Joshua and Kalev / Caleb going into the Promised Land. They brought back grapes so LARGE they had to be carried on a pole supported by two men. Hurray! for Joshua and Caleb for their foresightedness! They knew the Children of Israel / B’nei Isra’el were in a position to (yah-resh ha Eh-retz) yaresh ha Eretz / possess the land Yehovah had prepared for them. They were intuitive enough to realize “walled cities” meant the inhabitants were fearful people and could be over come!


Verse 2 “Send men on your behalf . . .” in The Complete Jewish Bible or “send men, if you please . . .” in the Chumash, indicates Yehovah has already promised them the land. How many times and in how many ways does He have to say “which I am giving to B’nei Isra’el / the people of Isra’el.”? All they had to do was go into the land and take possession of it.


There’s an interesting parallel between this chapter and Mattityahu / Matthew, Chapter 10. Here (verses 4 – 15) we see Moshe sending out the twelve, by name, to check out the land. In Matthew, Yeshua sends out, by name, His (tahl-me-deem) talmidim / disciples / students. It appears, in verses 2 – 4, Yeshua sent them out two by two. Back to Moshe, it doesn’t say he sent them two by two but perhaps it could be construed as such when you take into consideration Caleb and Joshua seemed to travel in tandem and there were two who carried the grapes back.


An interesting study, which was brought to my attention, had to do with the names of the leaders who were chosen to go into the Promised Land. They were . . .

• From Re’uven (behold the son) we have Shamua (rumor) son of Zakur (memorial)
• From Shimon (hearer) we have Shafat (judge or condemn) son of Hori (caveman)
• From Y’hudah (praise) we have Kalev (fiercely loyal) son of Y’funeh (prepares the way)
• From Yissakhar (recompense) was Yig’al (Yehovah avenges) son of Yosef (Yehovah added)
• From Efrayim (doubly fruitful) we have Hoshea (salvation) son of Nun (continue / continuity)
• From Binyamin (son of the right hand) we have Palti (my escape) son of Rafu (healed)
• From Z’vulun (dwelling place) we have Gadi’el (fortune is my El) son of Sodi (my friend)
• From M’nasheh (one who forgets) we have Gadi (my fortune) son of Susi (horseman)
• From Dan (judge) we have ‘Ammi’el (people of Elohim) son of G’malli (keeper of camels)
• From Asher (blessed) we have S’tur (hidden) son of Mikha’el (who is like Elohim)
• From Naftali (my strife) we have Nachbi (run away) son of Vofsi (rich)
• From Gad (fortune) we have Ge’u’el (pride of Yehovah) son of Makhi (decrease)

When you take a look at the names of these leaders, who were sent to spy out The Land and consider the outcome, we can begin to get an understanding why Yehovah tested them. With the exception of Hoshea / Joshua (salvation) and Kalev / Caleb (fiercely loyal) you have . . .




Fortune is my mighty one

My fortune



Run away


Most of those names are representative of the Egyptian (worldly) culture they came out of as well as the spiritual condition of most of (B’nay Yish-ra’el) B’nei Isra’el / Children of Israel.


Here’s another interesting matter. In Hebrew, a person sent on a mission is called a (shah-lee-ahk) shaliach, שליח which means a sent one. When translated into Greek, it becomes apostolos, from which we get the English word apostle. With this in mind, in Matthew 10:1 – 2, we see Yeshua call these men his disciples / students (verse 1) and yet these same twelve become apostles in verse 2. What was the difference? In verse 2 they each became “a sent out one”, a shaliach!


Verse 16 shows Moshe / Moses changing (Hoe-shay-ah) Hoshea’s name to (Yah-hoe-shoo-ah) Y’hoshua. Hoshea means salvation. In essence, Moshe added the letter yod (י) to the beginning of Hoshea’s name so it would begin with the letter as Yehovah’s name. The Hebrew name Y’hoshua means Yehovah saves.


The Sages connect Joshua’s name change with Sarah’s name change. In B’resheet / Genesis 17:15, when Yehovah changed Sarai’s name to Sarah, remember? He took out the yod (י) and replaced it with the letter (ה) hey.

• According to the Talmud, Sanhedrin 107a, “The letter yod which I took from
  Sarai’s name cried out continuously through the years until Joshua came and I
  added it to his name, as it is written, (in Numbers 13:16) “Moses called Hoshea
  the son of Nun, Joshua.” And again in the Talmud, y.Sanhedrin 2:6 “God said
  to the yod that He had taken away from mother Sarah, “I will place you at the
  beginning of a man’s name.” Therefore, it is said that Joshua carries on the
  legacy of the patriarchs.


NOTE: As we can see, Hebrew names have meaning. Yeshua MEANS salvation. However, the Greek nickname He was given by the Roman Catholic Church, Jesus, means “horse” in Greek.


Then in verses 17 – 20, Moshe gives the tribal leaders a list of instructions:

• Go up to the Negev (southern desert area) and into the hills
• See what the land is like
• Notice the people living there . . .

     o strong or                   o weak                  o few or           o many

• What kind of country they live in . . .

     o good or                     o bad                   

• What kind of cities . . .

      o open or                    o fortified

• See if land is . . .

      o fertile or                 o unproductive             o is there wood           o or no wood

• Bring back some fruit of the land


In the Complete Jewish Bible, the word “reconnoiter” is used. Webster uses the words “inspect, survey, scout out” as synonyms. The Hebrew word used in verses 16 & 17 is לתור (lah-tour) latur / to scout. With this in mind, Rabbi Avi Geller from Aish.com sheds some interesting light on this Parashah, both in the Torah and the Haftarah, Joshua 2:1 – 24. He points out, if a nation is considering the invasion of another nation, the first thing it considers is the positive elements of the land. This is particularly important when the nation consists of various tribes, each with its own special interests. So it would be logical to send representatives / leaders of every tribe to “scout out” the land and report on its bounty to the entire camp. On the other hand, once a nation decides on conquering, they must send “spies” to find the weak points in the defenses. This is purely for military purposes and they report only to the commander-in-chief.


Bearing this in mind, Moshe actually sent out “scouts” to inspect the good of the land and determine the resources available. Consequently he had to send representatives from every tribe to report their findings to the people. However, Joshua sent “spies”, who were military men for purposes of battle strategy and they reported only to their leader.


Based on what we have already learned, the delegation Moshe sent out, wasn’t really spying out the land as we, in our western mentality might consider “spying”. In reality, they were . . .

• checking out the lay of the land
• the kind of crops that were grown
• if the people were healthy or sickly
• what their cities were like
• the customs of the people

. . . and the like. It was more of a fact finding mission as opposed to a military strategic planning mission.


Verses 23 & 24 tell us they came to the Eshkol Valley. Here they cut off a branch with one cluster of grapes SO big they carried it on a pole between two men. (Esh-coal) Eshkol, means cluster in Hebrew.


For those who are interested in the significance of numbers, verse 25, says “Forty days later, . . .” I was curious about the number 40. I know later on the Children of Israel / B’nei Isra’el wind up in the wilderness for 40 years; 1 year for each 1 day they scouted The Land.


Forty is the number of probation, testing, and trial. The result at the end of this period of time ended either in victory or defeat depending upon the response of the hearts of the people of Yehovah.

• It rained for forty days and nights during the flood. Genesis 7:4
• Twice Moshe spent forty days and nights on the mountain with Yehovah. Exodus 24:18
• Yehovah tested Israel forty years in the wilderness. Deuteronomy 8:2
• Forty lashes was the limitation flogging. Deuteronomy 25:3 & 2nd Corinthians 11:24
• Nineveh was given forty days to repent. Jonah 3:4
• Yeshua spent forty days in the wilderness fasting. Luke 4:2
• Forty days after his resurrection, Yeshua proved His resurrection to His disciples. Acts 1:3


One of our readers from Port Gibson, MS sent the following: “The Temple stood 40 years after the resurrection. Could it be Yehovah gave the people 40 years to “get it” when the red ribbon never turned white . . . 40 years to figure out the “Glory of God” was not to be found in the Temple?” WOW! What a good observation!!!


NOW, back to our parashah! In verse 30 we have the faithful Hebrews who declared “Let us ascend and possess the land for we can succeed in overcoming all the hardships.” However, in verses 31 – 33 we have the “wimpy, whiney” ones who declared “We cannot go into Eretz Israel because the enemy is stronger than us . . . to ourselves we looked like grasshoppers by comparison and we looked that way to them too!” At this point, my mind went racing to a couple of scriptures:


(1) “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Mishlei / Proverbs 23:7) and
(2) “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Mishlei / Proverbs 18:21).


According to one commentary, this declaration about “grasshoppers” was the root of the (meh-rah-gleem) meraglim / spies’ sin. According to the Sages, they had no right to consider how the giants viewed them; they should have thought only of their mission, not of what anyone else thought of them. After all, they were (Eve-reem) Ivrim / Hebrews, Yehovah’s chosen people, and emissaries of the Hebrew people.


In traditional Jewish approach, there exists a balance between (bit-ah-cone) bitachon / trust in Yehovah and (hish-tahd-loos) hishtadlus / human effort. Each individual must learn to strike the proper balance between the two. If not, either material pursuit will be emphasized to the detriment of the spiritual pursuit or vice versa. A proper balance takes into account it is Yehovah who provides our livelihood. So why must we work? Mankind was told in the opening chapters of B’resheet / Genesis “you shall eat with the sweat of your brow” (3:19). Yehovah works with us cooperatively. We do our part . . . we work with a thankful attitude for the jobs we have. But ultimately, He is the ultimate source of all our provision!


Yehovah deals with us where we are, not where He is. Whenever we use our freewill to make decisions which go against His original plans and wishes, He doesn’t leave us to grope through life’s difficulties alone. He responds with a brand new list of challenges and tests for us to pass. This doesn’t mean there is no accountability for our choices and actions. Yehovah judges us and records all our failures. This of course leads to consequences and punishments but even if we have chosen an incorrect path, He is still with us throughout our lives. We set the playing field of our lives and hopefully it is in line with His desires for us. However, even if it is not, Yehovah, shows up at the “new stadium” which we have built for ourselves and writes a brand new “game-plan”. He may now have very different expectations for us than He once did. Rest assured, though, no matter what happens and no matter what we decide, He is right there with us at all times.


I imagine those on my e-list are familiar with the Gaza-bound flotilla incident in Israel in 2010 – and also familiar with the smear tactics used by the worldwide media to “demonize” Israel and distort the truth. This is not a new story. In fact, it is a very old story. As Solomon so often said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Israel has always and will always be singled out as the nation that has no right to defend itself. We must remember the prince of this world hates the God of Israel and the people who are in covenant with Him.


The 12 spies were sent into the Promised Land to bring back a report. We know ten bring a terribly negative report, filled with fear, lacking all trust in their God. But two display a “different spirit.” The two – Joshua and Caleb (interestingly, one from Judah and one from Ephraim) – look at The Land through spiritual eyes, not worldly eyes. They see what the other 10 could not see! They see the Beautiful Land, promised to their forefathers – they see the future of a people belonging to Yehovah. Why could they see it while the other ten could not? I believe these two faithful men valued their inheritance. They believed their Covenant – keeping God would conquer the “giants in the Land” and defeat all their enemies. He had promised them this – and they believed Him.


Here is what Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem had to say in making a thought-provoking comparison of this story from Numbers 13 & 14 and the 2010 flotilla incident in Israel:


“When God subsequently tells Moses that the entire generation will die in the desert due to their faint-hearted response, save Joshua and Caleb, it wasn’t intended as a reward for the two, but in recognition that only they possessed the very faith and the courage necessary to inherit the land. This week’s episode of the terror flotilla that set sail for Gaza has afforded all the world’s illustrious notables yet another opportunity to cynically and shamelessly trash Israel. Precisely today, when the entire world is clamoring to slander the nation of Israel, and speak ill of the land of Israel, and behave disparagingly toward the God of Israel, it is incumbent upon each and every one of us to take a stand and speak boldly and forcefully, as did Joshua and Caleb, on behalf of the people, the land and the God of Israel. Only those that make their voices heard now, and cast their lot with Israel will make their mark in history, and likewise be noted by God, that they too, like His servant Caleb, are ‘possessed by another spirit,’ worthy of God’s deliverance.”


The other ten “leaders” came back, like gutless wonders, with their stories of woe and despair. (Ahm Yish-ra’el) Am Yishra’el / People of Israel were fearful of the (Ah-nah-keem) Anakim, and their walled cities. Forgetting Yehovah could help them overcome any obstacle, they began grumbling against Aharon / Aaron and Moshe / Moses AGAIN!!! Can you believe it?!?!?! They just learned what happened to Moshe’s sister, Miriyam for (lah-shone hah-rah) lashon hara / evil tongue / slander. Now, they want to “bad mouth” The Land, Yehovah is taking them to? Oh well . . .!!! Verse 4: Can’t you just hear them in their whiney voices saying “Let’s get a leader and go back to Egypt. We wish we had died there or at least let us die here in the desert. Now we’re gonna die by the sword if we go where those giants are.” The really sad part about this incident is:

• These are the very same adult generation which witnessed the wonders of Egypt.
• The very same individuals who saw the Torah come down from Mt. Sinai
• The very same crowd which saw Yehovah provide the pillar of Cloud by day and pillar of Fire at night!


Traditionally, it is believed, it was the ninth day of the fifth month when Yehovah “lowered the boom” on (B’nay Yish-ra’el) B’nei Yishra’el / Children of Israel. The fifth month on the Hebrew calendar is (Ahv) Av and many atrocities have occurred to the Hebrew people on this date, The 9th of Av (Tisha B’Av).

• Hundreds of years later, the destruction of the First Temple occurred on Tisha B’Av
• 500 years afterwards, the Second Temple was destroyed on the same date
• On this same date World War I broke out and many believe World War II was just a continuation of the first.


The Tel Aviv Diaspora Museum has maintained a list of other major events which occurred on Tisha B’Av.

• 1096 ~ The start of the first Crusade which resulted in the death of many Hebrews.
• 1290 ~ The Hebrews were expelled from England.
• 1306 ~ The Hebrews were expelled from France.
• 1492 ~ The Hebrews were expelled from Spain.
o (Many believe this is why so many Hebrews were on Christopher Columbus’ ships. Recent evidence seems to show Christopher Columbus, himself, was Jewish.)
• 1648 ~ Many Hebrews in Poland were massacred by hordes from the East.
• 1882 ~ The start of the pogroms which swept Russia slaughtering many Hebrews.
• 1914 ~ The assassination in Sarajevo which set alight World War One.
• 1942 ~ The Warsaw ghetto purge began.
• 1994 ~ The Shoemaker-Levi comet collided with the plant Jupiter.


Tisha B’Av is a fast day in Hebrew observance because of the atrocities mentioned above. Notice, also, these events all happened on Yehovah’s calendar, not the Julian Calendar most of us follow today. Yehovah says He changes not. This is jus another reason to understand HIS calendar, holidays (holy days) and everything else in the Torah. Additional confirmation of The Father following His own calendar comes from the recent discoveries of the blood moons falling on His feast days. Biblically significant events, including Yeshua’s death and resurrection have coincided with these.


Again these faithful two, Joshua and Caleb, continue to explain, “If Yehovah favors us, He will bring us into this land and give it to us” verse 8. I am thankful Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Knesset are more responsible Israeli leaders, especially during these difficult times. May they be reminded of the words describing the crisis in the desert and the Divine solution expressed by the above words of these two great leaders, Joshua and Caleb.


With all due respect, it is not the international leaders and certainly not the terrorists, nor the ancient biblical giants, who determine the course of Israeli history. It is the Mighty One of Israel, the God of Avraham / Abraham, Yitz’chak / Isaac and Ya’akov / Jacob. He is the one who guides and determines the direction of Israel’s destiny. Always remember the words in verse 7, of Kalev / Caleb and Y’hoshua / Joshua . . .

“Tovah Ha Eretz Me’od, Me’od
(Toe-vah Ha Eh-rehtz May-ode, May-ode)
The Land is exceedingly good.”


Thank Yehovah for Kalev / Caleb and Y’hoshua / Joshua; two minority voices in the midst of a discouraged multitude! Two who said, “Just don’t rebel against Yehovah. And don’t be afraid of the people living in the land – we’ll eat them up! Their defense has been taken away from them and Yehovah is with us! Don’t be afraid of them'” Verse 9


Needless to say, Yehovah’s wrath rises up and He says “How long will this nation provoke me . . . how long will they not have faith in Me despite all the miracles I have performed?” (Verse 11). This was true then and true today as well. It is amazing to me, as small as Israel is, she still thrives and the only answer to it all is . . . our Yehovah is mighty!


In verses 13 – 19, Moshe continues to intercede for the Children of Israel / B’nei Yishra’el. Again, he argues if Yehovah wipes out Israel, all the other nations will hear about it and they will say Yehovah slaughtered His people because He wasn’t able to bring them into The Land He wanted to give them. Moshe reminds Yehovah of His great mercy at Mt. Sinai and he even recites some of those words back to Yehovah consisting of:

• Slow to anger
• Rich in grace
• Forgiving offenses and crimes
• Not exonerating the guilty


If Moshe hadn’t interceded, Israel probably would have died right there in the wilderness. Moshe’s intercession keeps the wrath of Yehovah from falling upon the people, just as Yeshua’s intercession keeps the wrath of Yehovah from falling on us.


In verse 22 the words, “. . . tested me these ten times . . .”, according to the Sages, refers the exact number of times the nation tested Yehovah. The ten times were:

1. When the Egyptians chased them into the sea (Exodus 14:11)
2. When they had nothing to drink but the bitter waters of Marah (Exodus 15:24)
3. When they ran out of food (Exodus 16:3)
4. When they left manna overnight, contrary to Yehovah’s instructions (Exodus 16:20)
5. When they left the camp to gather manna on the Sabbath even though they had been told not to (Exodus 16:27)
6. When their water ran out at Refidim (Exodus 17:2)
7. When they worshiped the Golden Calf (Exodus 32:4)
8. When they rebelled against Yehovah’s mitzvot (Numbers 11:1)
9. When they complained the manna was not good (Numbers 11:4)
10. When they believed the spies’ evil report about Eretz Yisra’el (Numbers 14:1 – 4)


Verse 25 gives us an idea of where B’nei Yisra’el is in their journey. “. . . turn and journey toward the Wilderness in the direction of the Sea of Reeds.” According to the Stone Edition of the Artscroll Chumash, the “Sea of Reeds” doesn’t simply refer to the body of water where the “Splitting” took place but to the entire body of water surrounding the Sinai Peninsula. The southernmost part of the journey the Hebrews were about to begin was (Eht-zee-own Geh-vehr) Etzyon Gever, which is probably in the vicinity of the present-day port of (Ay-ee-laht) Eilat. Check your maps to see this area.


Because of the grumbling and complaining, in verses 31 – 34, Yehovah levels his wrath by sentencing Israel to wander in the wilderness for forty years, one year for each day spent in Kena’an / Canaan. None of the original group, except Y’hoshua / Joshua and Kalev / Caleb would step foot in the Promised Land. Additionally, all those bringing the “bad report” “died by the plague in the presence of Yehovah.” Notice here, Yehovah uses the “year for a day” formula. See this again, for example, in Yechezk’el/Ezekiel 4:4 – 6


Yehovah was ready to wipe them off the face of the earth, had it not been for the intercession of Moshe / Moses. After they had already “blown it”, the rest of the people decided to correct their wrongs and foolishly attempted to take The Land by force. Needless to say, they met with disaster and disappointment. (Verses 39 – 45). The lesson is quite clear, “Father really does know best”!!! Sometimes, we get “cold feet” when Yehovah is moving us to action and other times our impatience motivates us to “jump ahead of the program” when we are told to wait. The People of Israel / Am Yisra’el displayed both of these human qualities. We need to learn to GO when Yehovah says “GO!” and to STAY PUT when He says “STAY PUT!”


Verses 1 – 16 address the meal and libation offerings. Once again, in verses 15 & 16, we notice there is no difference between the Hebrew and the “foreigner living with you”. This passage would not apply until the nation entered Eretz Yisra’el. However, the law was given to them now to encourage the younger generation and give them the confidence of Yehovah’s continued intention to give them The Land. Moreover, this verse is for us today! These are His instructions about how we are supposed to live and there is only ONE set of instructions for all of us! Oh my! how could our heavenly Father be any clearer!!!!


The Torah says there is to be only one law for both the Hebrews and the aliens travelling with them. Most believers do not keep Torah’s ritual laws: Sabbaths, festivals, dietary laws and ritual symbols like wearing tzitzit / tassels or putting up a mezuzah scroll on their doorposts. This does not mean they are godless or even lawless. Hebrew believers are certainly bound to keep the whole Torah, but other believers have never felt bound to Torah’s external signs in the way the Hebrews are. After all, Hebrews / Jews should be Hebrews and believers should be believers, right? Is it really okay with Yehovah for there to be over 33,000 denominations? How do we know? Can we ask the denominational leaders? (Mark7:7 – 13 and Yirme’yahu / Jeremiah 16:19 – 20)


Does the Torah really make different laws for Hebrews and other believers? According to Numbers 15:15 & 16, there is to be only ONE law for both Hebrews and non-Hebrews. This seems simple enough. Therefore, believers should keep the whole Torah. One might suppose the believers who were fellow-shipping in the apostolic communities should fit into the category of “the alien who sojourns with you.” When the apostles considered this question in Acts 15, they left the matter open. They gave the new believers four minimum standards for fellowship within the Hebrew synagogue communities, and some will tell us they did not issue a mandate indicating an obligation to the whole Torah. However, further reading (Acts 15:21) indicates the believers were studying Moshe (Torah) every Shabbat (7th day) in the synagogues! Believers are not supposed to have a different type of worship or religion. There is only ONE Torah for all Yehovah’s people. The only question left open is, to what extent the believer is obligated. Personally, I have chosen to push the envelope and err on the side of obedience to Yehovah. There is life and reward in His commandments. The more we apply the commandments, the more life we experience. Consequently, I encourage all believers to “go all the way” like the 1st century believers did!!! You can’t go wrong by being too obedient to Yehovah!!!!


Verses 17 – 21 talk about the bread or dough offering. The Chumash says this portion is commonly known as (khah-lah) challah. Now, we know why we have this as an offering on Erev Shabbat / Friday night, specifically evening of Sabbath!

• Verses 22 – 26 concern the atonement for public, unintentional idol worship
• Verses 27 – 29 individual idol worship
• Verses 30 – 31 intentional idolatry
• Verses 32 – 36 Sabbath desecration in the Wilderness.


At the end of our Parashah reading we have the first mitzvah / commandment concerning the tzitzit / tassel or fringe, which adorns a modern Torah pursuant person’s clothing. Verses 37 – 41 clearly teach the offspring of Avraham / Abraham to attach a “ribbon of blue” to the extremity or (kah-nahf) kanaf / wing of their garments. Traditions play an important part of our daily walk as new creations in Yeshua HaMashiach / Jesus the Messiah. In my opinion, some traditions are from Him while others come from men (our 33,000 denominations, for example). Some enhance our walk while others hinder it. It seems to me if a tradition comes directly from Torah, then Yehovah designed it to enhance our walk. According to Hebrew tradition, men wear a tallit to signify obedience to the above mentioned mitzvah, to signify the desire to participate in public prayer and Torah study. In some cases, it can signify a position of leadership (rabbi, elder, cantor, etc). We know from the Torah itself, in the B’rit Hadashah / The Renewed Covenant, Rabbi Yeshua ben-Yosef / Jesus, son of Joseph, as a Torah observant Jewish man, wore the fringes on his garment. Mattityahu / Matthew 9:20 (The woman with the issue of blood) is one of my favorite teachings.


Those of you who know me, know I love (Eve-reet) Ivrit / the Hebrew language. Also, I love Biblical symbolism and numbers. So, at this point, I would like to share with you some of the teachings I have gleaned over a period of time concerning the tzitzit.


It is a positive commandment to put tzitzit on any four cornered garment you wear, as it says in verses 37-41. “Yehovah said to Moshe as follows: “Speak to the Israelite people and instruct them to make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments throughout the ages; let them attach a cord of blue to the fringe at each corner. This shall be your fringe; look at it and recall all the commandments of Yehovah and observe them, so you do not follow your heart and eyes in your lustful urge. Thus you shall be reminded to observe all My commandments and to be holy to your Yehovah. I, Yehovah, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God. I, Yehovah, am your God.” As is apparent, this mitzvah is given in order to remember . . .

• Yehovah
• His great love
• All of His commandments . . .
• And to do them


Traditionally, the large tallit is used specifically for prayer, however, I find NO scripture to back up the following statement. “It is a mitzvah in itself to wear a garment with tzitzit all day. Therefore, a (tah-leet kah-tahn) tallit katan / small tallit is worn all day and a large tallit just for morning prayers.” We are told the tallit is not worn at night because the traditional mitzvah stipulates one should see the tzitzit. The implication is this should be seen by light of day, not by artificial light. Now, bear in mind some of these teachings are Rabbinical and should be taken with a grain of salt.


The tzitzit have to be at the corners. There is, however, a question as to the location of the corner on a four cornered piece of material. A general guide is for the hole to be three or four finger breadths from the corner edges. There is an opinion the tzitzit should hang on the side of the corner and not on the bottom toward the ground. There is a custom not to cut the tzitzit to shorten them, but to bite them with your teeth. (I don’t know why; I’m just sharing what the custom is!!! . . . . again Rabbinical teaching.)


Each tzitzit will have one long strand, 60 inches long and three shorter strands, 40 inches long. The longer strand is called the (shah-mahsh) shamash / servant and is the one used for winding. Double the strands, about 2” down from the top of the loop, and tie a double knot using all the strands. Take the shamash and wind it round the other seven strands in a spiral, seven turns. Tie another double knot at this point. Spiral the shamash eight times around; tie another double knot. Spiral the shamash eleven times around; tie another double knot. Spiral the shamash thirteen times around and tie a final double knot.


The first two windings of seven and eight equals fifteen, which in gemmatria / numerology is equal to the two letters yod and heh the first two letters of the Hebrew Name of Yehovah. The third winding equals eleven and is the equivalent of vav and heh the last two letters of the Holy Name. The total, twenty six, is thus equivalent and represent YEHOVAH. The thirteen windings is equivalent to the Hebrew word (Eh-khad) Echad (alef, chet, dalet) which means One. So to look at the tzitzit is to remember and know “Yehovah is One”.


The five knots mentioned above represents the five books of Torah as well as the five senses, which can all be dedicated to the service of Yehovah. The eight strands represent “new beginnings” as well as representing the b’rit milah / circumcision which takes place eight days after a baby boy is born. Another interesting side note is all of the windings equal 39; the number of books in the Tanakh (Original Testament).


“And you should see it and remember all of Yehovah’s commandments and do them”. How do the tzitzit do this?


In gemmatria, the word tzitzit = six hundred. In addition there are eight strands plus five knots, which equal 13. The total is six hundred and thirteen which, according to tradition, in the Torah, is the exact number of commandments / mitzvot. According to the Sages, just to look at the tzitzit therefore, is to remember all the mitzvot.


(A SIDE NOTE: While I found the above six paragraphs quite interesting I still haven’t found any scripture to back them up. For that matter, I know the Ashkenazics, Sephardics, Karaites and the Messianics all have different ways of tying their tzitzit!!!!! Oy vey!!!!!)


Remember the woman in Mattityahu / Matthew 9, with the issue of blood? The “hem of His garment” was His tzitzit. She reached for them because she KNEW the POWER is in the NAME. Touching / holding the tzitzit is holding onto the name of Yehovah.

In closing, I want to re-emphasize the purpose behind placing the tzitzit / tassels on the garment serves as a reminder to keep the commandments. This idea of commandment keeping is a state of mind, as well as a daily function. We should never fall for the age-old compulsory reasons for keeping the commands of Yehovah! Legalism, that is, keeping the Torah for the sake of salvation is simply NOT Scriptural. I have heard it said . . . “Obeying the Torah is the fruit of our salvation, not the root of our salvation.” Torah observance is a matter of the heart! It is our guidebook on how The Holy One would have us live AFTER receiving salvation. Torah is about obedience to our Bridegroom. “If you love me, keep my commandments” (Yochanan / John 14:15). This means ALL of them, not just the ones we want to keep! Selective obedience is Idolatry!!!

Sh’lach L’kha ~ Send On Your Behalf
Haftarah: Y’hoshua / Joshua 2:1 – 24

Immediately we see the connection to our Torah portion. Y’hoshua sent (meh-rah-gleem) meraglim / spies into the Promised Land 39 years after the previous disastrous mission. So what was the difference? These two men were sent in a completely different spirit than the first mission. Y’hoshua intended to correct Israel’s past error and teach the people to have a proper attitude toward entering the Land – an attitude of trust in Yehovah. He sent the meraglim after the decision had been made to be obedient and to occupy the Promised Land. This mission was not a feasibility study of taking the land; it truly was a mission for the spies.


Y’hoshua’s primary purpose for this mission was to determine if the proper time had arrived for the Children of Israel / B’nei Yishra’el to march into the Land of Israel / Eretz Yisrael. If the inhabitants feared B’nei Yisrael, it would be a sign of Yehovah’s Divine Providence. He was ready for them to enter, conquer and occupy The Land in the power of His might. (Rah-hahv) Rahav / Rahab, the inn-keeper, confirmed the hearts of the people had melted when they heard about the miracles Yehovah performed for Yisrael when they left Egypt and of the victories over the powerful nations of (See-hone) Sihon and (Ohg) Og. When the meraglim returned, they reported with confidence to Y’hoshua the time had come to initiate the conquest and attack across Jordan.


What was the difference in these two scouting missions? The real difference was the scouts’ attitudes toward their mission. The men Moshe sent were not sure they SHOULD enter The Land. On the other hand, Y’hoshua’s men knew they should enter The Land. The only question was how and when. It never entered their minds NOT to enter. When a person or people start out with a positive mind-set, their focus will be locked on Yehovah who will direct their paths by the Ruach HaKodesh / Holy Spirit, to achieve Yehovah’s purpose and objective. Consequently, the thought of not achieving, never enters one’s mind! Remember, this was (and is) The Land of Promise, His promise to Avraham. Y’hoshua / Joshua’s group had total trust in His promise.

Sh’lach L’kha ~ Send On Your Behalf
B’rit Hadashah: Messianic Jews / Ivrim / Hebrews 3:7 – 19

Ivrim / Hebrews 3:7 – 19 These verses parallel our Torah portion with regard to those who have lack of faith as B’nei Yishra’el did when Yehovah wanted them to go in to take the Promised Land. Yehovah wants us to be obedient to His Torah. We are called to trust and obey each and every day. As we do, He prepares us for the time when He will ask us to do more than we think we are able. However, if we will trust and obey, Yehovah will show Himself mighty to provide the strength and endurance we need.


Let’s not copy Israel’s past failure of unbelief and cut ourselves off from the very things Yehovah has promised He will give us . . . life and rest and peace . . . and The Land.


In closing I want to include something I received from Torah teacher, Mark Ensign of Adot Adonai Congregation, Amarillo, TX entitled “Watch”.

• Watch your thoughts, they become your words
• Watch your words, they become your actions
• Watch your actions, they become your habits
• Watch your habits, they become your character
• Watch your character, it determines your thoughts & determines your eternity

The corresponding Psalm for this Torah portion is:

Psalm 64


Next week’s lesson: Parashah #38
Korach ~ חרק ~ Korah
Torah: B’midbar / Numbers 16:1 ~ 18:32
Haftarah: Sh’mu’el Alf / 1st Samuel 11:14 ~ 12:22
B’rit Hadashah: 2nd Timothy 2:8 – 21; Y’hudah / Jude 1 – 25

Who fills his mind with Torah clears it of fear and folly.
Rabbi Chanina Sgan HaKohanim

The giving of Torah happened at one specific time, but the receiving
of Torah happens all the time, in every generation.
Meir Alter, the Gerer Rebbe

Organize yourselves into classes for the study of Torah,
since it can best be acquired in association with others.
Talmud: Berkot 63b

Shavuah tov (have a good week)!!!

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