Once a year, I travel back to Germany to see my family and friends, but also to see for myself how things are, back in Europe. Things have changed since I moved to South Africa, nearly five years ago. Of course Chayim tells me of his impressions, I read the news, see what friends write in their blogs and posts on Facebook, but I want—I need to feel it by myself.
Our Torah portion is titled “Sh’lach lecha”, which can be translated as “Send for yourself” scouts. It is, as God is telling Moses and the Israelites that reports and promises are not enough, that they need to feel the land.
It is my hope that I find Germany still in the way I left it, a stronghold against anti-Semitism and a place that was able to welcome refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria, despite the reports of a growing right wing movement. I hope that Europe still remembers the achievements that came with the unification, despite the polemics, thrown into the world as part of the recent election campaign and the Brexit.
It is my hope that I will be able to see the beauty and the possibilities, as Joshuah bin Nun did in our Torah reading, and that I will not be overwhelmed by the negativities as the ten scouts.
Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom and see you again in July.
Rabbi Adrian M Schell
Shabbat Sh’lach Lecha Numbers 13:1-15:41
Reading: Num 13:16-14:9
Plaut p. 979/990; Hertz p. 623/633
Haftarah: Joshua 2:1-24
Plaut p. 998; Hertz p. 635
Shabbat Korach Numbers 16:1-18:32
Reading: Num 18:1-18:10
Plaut p. 1008; Hertz p. 645
Haftarah: 1 Sam. 11:14-12:22
Plaut p. 1019; Hertz p. 649
11 August 2019
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