The taste of Shabbat – Parshat Shelach 5776

The taste of Shabbat – Parshat Emor 5776

Rav Mordechai Elon

We all call Parshat Shelach the parsha of the spies,as it begins with the mitzvah

וַיְדַבֵּר ה' אֶל מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹֽר, שְׁלַח לְךָ אֲנָשִׁים וְיָתֻרוּ אֶת אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אִישׁ אֶחָד אִישׁ אֶחָד לְמַטֵּה אֲבֹתָיו תִּשְׁלָחוּ כֹּל נָשִׂיא בָהֶם.

And God said to Moshe, send for yourself people so that they will tour the land of Canaan that I have given to the people of Israel

in other words God commands Moshe to send the spies, but when Moshe tells the story forty years later he explains what happened

וַתִּקְרְבוּן אֵלַי כֻּלְּכֶם וַתֹּאמְרוּ נִשְׁלְחָה אֲנָשִׁים לְפָנֵינוּ וְיַחְפְּרוּ לָנוּ אֶת הָאָרֶץ וְיָשִׁבוּ אֹתָנוּ דָּבָר אֶת הַדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר נַעֲלֶה בָּהּ וְאֵת הֶעָרִים אֲשֶׁר נָבֹא אֲלֵיהֶן.

And then you all came to me and said "send people in front of us so they will inspect the land, and tell us how to enter it and its cities

The people asked, God agreed, Moshe had to decide., as Rashi explains:

שלח לך. לדעתך, אני איני מצוה לך, אם תרצה שלח.

Send for you – according to your decision, I don’t command it – but if you want, do it.

God leaves the decision in Moshe's hands, why?
We must also ask why is our parsha called the story of the Spies if the word "spy" is not mentioned.

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