Saturday, January 16, 2016

Parshat Shelach, 6th portion, (Numbers 15:17-26), 7/1/2016

I haven’t done my Torah blog for over a year. I stopped because I didn’t know anything. I’ve been studying the Torah for a year now, and wouldn’t say I know much more… but I do feel up for trying.

In this Parshat, the Lord, speaking through Moses, tells what must be done should people err and not fulfill the commandment that must be met when getting to the promised land.

The commandment is that you should give your first loaf of bread as a gift to the Lord. We tend to give what is left over. We call that generosity. This isn’t generosity. It is being grateful. And because it is a commandment, it is not something that we have a choice about. An error would only occur if we had forgotten to do it… something we all do.

I don’t remember other places where failing to fulfill the commandments might be attributed to an error. Still, there are offerings that must be done should that breaking of a commandment occur. It is interesting that the possibility of not fulfilling the commandments could only be due to an error. Will the Israelites, upon reaching the promised land, be so grateful that they will only break commandments inadvertently?

In the end, after the offering, all will be forgiven. Do we have the God of mercy rather than the God of justice?

Do we only break commandments because of errors? According to Socrates, people only choose the good. If they don’t “do good” it is simply an error in judgement. They are not sinners. They are not bad. Is this the Torah’s teaching as well?


  1. Not knowing anything about the Torah, can only speak about precepts.
    Precepts tell you based on cause and effect what creates suffering. If you work it out, you can also see what leads to happiness, I.e. giving life, living honestly, being generous, being faithful, and being sober.
    No judge or jury or executioner needed..Persuing one course has negative results on ones own well being and so on. This must hold true throughout the myriad combinations and permutations of action by body speech and mind. Gassho, Rinshin.


Thanks for commenting. One cannot study the Torah alone.