June 24-25, 2022 Parashat Shelach Lekha
26 Sivan 5782 Shabbat Mevarkhim haChodesh
Judaism teaches that the Holy One is almighty and all-knowing, powerful and prevailing, sovereign and supreme. According to our sacred texts, the Holy One has the power to create light, darkness, and even humanity itself! The Almighty is so powerful that one wonders: could (and more importantly, should) a common human dare to argue with such a Being?
In Parshat Shelah Lekha, Moses sends scouts into the Land of Israel to check things out. The scouts return with frightening news: while the soil is good and the fruits are plentiful, the people who live there are large and intimidating. The Israelites are afraid; they tell Moses they would rather return to Egypt than enter this unknown land. Because of the people’s lack of confidence, the Holy One determines that this generation, the ones who have wandered in the wilderness, should die out before ever reaching the Land of Israel. Moses protests, appealing to the Almighty’s “ego.” Moses argues that if this were to happen, then all the other people of the world would say that the all-powerful Almighty was incapable of bringing the people to Israel. Essentially, our powerful Sovereign would lose credibility, appearing weak and powerless to the world. The all-powerful Almighty would not appear powerful at all. In rebuttal, the Holy One relents and offers an alternative, telling the Israelites to make fringes on the corners of their garments as a reminder of the commandments. Today we wear those fringes (tzitzit) on the corners of the tallit, all because Moses dared to argue against power.
Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin teaches that arguing with the Holy One is “…an essential Jewish way of relating to the Holy One, even if it is not always successful.” If Moses argued with his Creator, then how much more so are we allowed and even encouraged to argue with ours?
Shabbat Mevarkhim HaChodesh
This Shabbat we bless the new month of Tamuz, which will begin Tuesday night and Wednesday.
Please join our Shabbat celebrations in the Synagogue (masks required) or on Channel 1960
Friday at 5:00 PM: Shabbat Blessings in the Dining Room
Friday at 6:30 PM: Shabbat Evening Service
Saturday at 10:00 AM: Shabbat Morning Service followed by Blessings in the Dining Room
Candle lighting time for Shabbat for the city of Mission Viejo: Friday evening at 7:47 PM
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 8:48 PM
Shabbat Shalom Rabbi Sherman