Shabbat Shalom! – Shelach Lecha

Image: Sculpture of two people eavesdropping at a brick wall. (couleur/pixabay.)

Shelach Lecha – “Send for yourself” or “Send to yourself” – is the fourth Torah portion of the Book of Numbers. It offers us two challenging narratives, the story of the Spies and the story of the Sabbath violator, along with three commandments:

  • Take Challah – Set aside a portion of dough for the priests.
  • Wear tzitzit [fringes] on four-cornered garments.
  • Do not go astray after your whims or what you see with your eyes.

Here are seven different divrei Torah on the portion:

The Faith of Women is Overlooked and the Result is Catastrophic by Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild

Larger than Life by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

What’s Your Confidence Quotient? by Rabbi David Ackerman

Moses Stays God’s Wrath… Again! by Rabbi Stephen Fuchs

Hope in the Darkness of Fear by Rabbi Vered L. Harris

What Does Changing Your Mind Say About You? by Hannah Perlberger

A Jewish Birthday by Rabbi Ruth Adar


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Rabbi Ruth Adar is a teaching rabbi in San Leandro, CA. She has many hats: rabbi, granny, and ham radio operator K6RAV. She blogs at and teaches at Jewish Gateways in Albany, CA.

6 thoughts on “Shabbat Shalom! – Shelach Lecha”

  1. Wow, I like the dvar of Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild.

    I also like the idea of a so reciprocal partnership between humans and G-d, as expressed by Rabbi Stephen Fuchs. Those parts of Torah where G-d tells a decision, and humans actually say, “wait, shouldn’t it be a bit different in fact” and G-d actually reconsiders are really an interesting aspect of the relationship to G-d.

    Alas, the link in “What Does Changing Your Mind Say About You? by Hannah Perlberger” doesn’t work. It asks for a WordPress login.

    And I like your own, quite personal dvar, too. Hope and fears, I think I can relate to that. Also like, “it may be hard, but I also have a sense that this is very good”.

    It worked out for you, it worked out – eventually – for the Israelites, and I hope a good path will work out for me too.

  2. Thank you for culling these wonderful divrei Torah from the vast amount of material out there. Like Hannah, I really liked Rabbi Rothschild’s perspective – Debra in Judges is a great example of a woman overcoming the doubts of the people in her time. Also, thank you for your drash on being “a spy in the Land of Israel”. It’s so important for our communities to be welcoming to people who are taking those early, nervous steps.

    1. I am so glad that Rabbi Rothschild posts her sermons online, because California is a long way from London! I read her every week without fail. This week’s d’var Torah did not disappoint; I have so many new things to think about!

      Shabbat shalom!

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