Shlach

Parshat Shlach, Numbers 13:1-15:41. שְׁלַח-לְךָ

Tree of Life or Nothingness

In the Torah portion Shlach (Numbers 13:1-15:41),  Moses instructs his spies to scout the land of Canaan and to bring back a report. He says to them: … What is the soil like – is it fat or lean? Are there any trees in it or not? You shall be courageous and take from the fruit of the land. (Num. 13:20) The verse seems pretty straight-forward – bring the fruits of the land as a proof that there fruit trees in the land. The trouble is, this is not exactly what the verse says. Translated literally, the verse reads: … What is the soil like – is it fat or lean? Is there a tree in it or nothing? You shall be courageous and take from the fruit of the land. This literal [...]

By |2018-06-08T07:07:49+00:00January 22nd, 2016|Numbers, Pentateuch (Chumash), Shlach, Uncategorized|1 Comment

String Theory

Speak to the children of Israel and you shall say to them that they shall make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments, throughout their generations, and they shall affix a thread of sky blue [wool] on the fringe of each corner. (Num. 38) This past Shabbat, we read in the Torah portion of Shelach. At the end of that portion, Torah commands us to attached tzitzit—tassels—to the four corners of the garment. Reading about the white and blue strings of the tzitzit brought back childhood memories of how I first “discovered” the string theory. It was early seventies and I was about 12 or 13 years old at the time. Growing up in Russia, alas, I didn’t have a Bar Mitzvah, so I wasn’t busy studying Torah reading, or preparing [...]

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