Parshas Shelach
June 20, 2009 - 28 Sivan 5769


  Voices From the Ezras Nashim 

First I feel the need to apologize for my incorrect use of “yemach shemo” which is singular when the correct terminology is “yemach shemam” which is plural in last week's comments on this page.  There is more than just a grammatical difference between the terms.  Indeed, we as Jews would be blessed if there was only one individual who sought to do us harm.  The truth is that there are many in this world including a large number of Jews, who undermine the Jewish world through failure to protect our religious beliefs and the land granted to us by HaShem.

The Israeli commentators who analyzed the United States President's speech made in Cairo have noted the many points made to bolster the Muslim people and religion.  They have also pointed out the inaccuracy of the President's belief that the reason for the State of Israel is world guilt over the events of the holocaust.  There is no recognition in the President's speech of the Jewish right to the land bestowed upon them by HaShem or of the hate filled call for destruction of the infidel which fills the Quran. Perhaps no more can be expected from a man steeped in Muslim education as a child. 

On the other hand the speech by Prime Minister Netanyahu did not seem so threatening to me.  I listened to the conditions for the establishment of an independent  Palestinian Muslim state and knew that the conditions would never be met.  I allowed this understanding to temper my feelings and did not equate the long shot establishment of a Palestinian Muslim state with the fact that the land for this state would be Samaria and Judea.  Then I read “A Jewish View of Netanyahu's Speech” by Professor Paul Eidelberg.  The piece I read was an edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report on Israel National Radio on June 15, 2009.  Professor Eidelberg's views are strong and suggest a deep understanding of Torah law, the history of the middle east and of the “peace process.”  There is sharp criticism of Netanyahu and his failure to recognize the source of the Jewish right to Samaria and Judea as well as failure to understand “the one colossal falsehood that has betrayed Israel since Menachem Begin signed the Camp David Accord—that peace is possible with the disciples of Muhammad.

Professor Eidelberg hints at but does not discuss a way out the maze of entanglements which are keeping the middle east from peace.  I would like to know what Professor Eidelberg sees as a solution.  We cannot rewrite history and change Jewish law nor can we do away with the religious heritage of the Muslim world.  What exactly the role of each of us should be in this dilemma I do not know, but there is no doubt in my mind that there is a deep and unequivocal connection between the events of the past few weeks and Parshas Shelach which we will read in the diaspora this week and which Israelis read last week.

The commentators who discuss Parshas Shelach point out that the sin of the spies started before they actually began their mission to spy on the land promised to them by HaShem.  They began their mission with doubt which then clouded everything they saw and did in the Holy Land.  Of course the commentaries also point to the fact that the spies committed loshen hara about the Land of Israel. The sin of the spies led to the death of an entire generation in the dessert with only a new generation being permitted to enter the land of Israel.

Today we are blessed to have a national home land.  We are also commanded to live in that homeland.  Many have commented that there is a parallel between the loshen hora and fear of the spies to enter the land and our own excuses and denials about the need for each of us as Jews to act upon the words we say in prayer.  It is time for us to return home.

May we soon know and do what is necessary to bring us to our homeland in peace. 


Elk's Menu
Parshas Shelach
June 20, 2009—28 Sivan 5769

This week's menu is Parve.  All recipes which may have been dairy have been modified to meet the dietary requirements of our Baal Korei. 

Whole Wheat Challah
Baked in the merit of a child for a childless couple
Call Yehudis Halberstam at 718-972-4793 for this week’s names
Pineapple Fruit Cup
Split Pea Soup
Salmon en Croute with Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions
Salmon with Whisky Marinade
Spinach Souffle
Red Wine and Maple Glazed Carrots (((recipe)))
Israeli Salad
Lettuce Salad with Fine Herbs and Homemade Dressing
Coconut Blondies


Egg Salad

Tuna Salad

Gefilte Fish




Orzo Salad



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