Rabbi Howard Finkelstein
Chazan Yair Subar
President Howard Nadler ~~~~~~~~~~~ Parashat Shelach
Mincha & Kabbalat Shabbat: 7:00 pm
Candle Lighting: 8:32 pm
Shabbat Ends: 9:43 pm
Sefer Torah Sponsor: Kathi Kovacs & Irwin Schweitzer
Beit Tikvah will honour the graduation of our youth at a future time
when many more graduates will be available to attend.
Special guest speaker this coming Shabbat during Seudah Shlishit:
Rabbi Mordechai Levine, Rosh Kollel of Yeshivat Torat Chaim, Jerusalem.
From the Rabbi’s Desk – Shelach:
“Tyranny of the majority” has been used as a catch phrase to depict inherent discrimination against minority rights and privileges. It is usually a term reserved for political discourse. However, it is also appropriate to employ that term in reference to the report of the ten spies versus that of Joshua and Caleb that persuades the majority of the Israelites to return to Egypt. To recount, the ten spies Moshe sends out to scout the land of Canaan speak disparagingly of the land resulting in the concomitant condemnation of the people of Israel to sojourn in the wilderness for forty years.
What is interesting about the dialogue recorded in this week’s Torah reading between the ten spies and Caleb and Joshua, is that at the end of the first conversation cited, there is no concerted call from the people of Israel to retreat back to Egypt. That call only comes after the spies continue their diatribe against the land of Canaan. To be exact, the Torah records only Caleb reacting with horror at the majority of spies’ determination to abandon plans to go to Canaan. However, in response to the second debate regarding the propriety of entering the Holy Land, the population privy to this discussion wish to kill Joshua and Caleb according to the Torah text. The midrash as well as the Talmud indicate that the people desire to kill Moshe and Aharon as well, and begin to throw stones at them, as well as toward the heavens.
Throwing stones at the heavens symbolically indicates a rejection of G-d, and not only the leadership of the people of Israel. This attack on G-d becomes almost “religious” in nature, not in terms of spiritual fervour but in terms of a determined effort and frenzy to distance oneself from G-d. The deliberate abandonment of G-d as demonstrated by the symbolic casting of stones against the heavens prompts the punishment that results in the Hebrews wandering in the desert for forty years.
Without G-d in our lives, we live as wanderers without purpose and moral guide. Life becomes meaningless as our daily existences become routine without goal and without direction. It is no wonder that there is a long period of time that transpires during the sojourn of the people in the desert where there is no communication between G-d and Moshe. A symbolic Hester Panim, or G-d’s hiding takes place.
Today, despite the fact that G-d does not directly communicate with us, we communicate with G-d through our actions, our prayers and our study of Torah. Each mitzvah we fulfill, each prayer we say, each passage of Torah and Talmud we study, brings us closer to G-d and to redemption. The people of Israel in this week’s parsha were so close to reaching their goal of entering into the Promised Land, a matter of a few short days. However, they threw their stones to the sky, and their faith to the winds. We learn from them how not to behave, but we follow the examples o f Caleb and Joshua who urge us to go forward in our pursuit of our heritage.
On Monday, June 12th Beit Tikvah held an election for the presidency of the Shul. Thank you to the two candidates who ran for the position of President, Gedalia Kerzner and Howard Nadler. Thank you to Marten Brodsky, Jonathan Isserlin, Katherine Moss and Stan Wilder for their hard work collecting proxy votes. They worked hard to ensure that the voting process was correctly executed and that all details pertaining to the evening were handled in a professional manner.
Mazal Tov to Howard Nadler who has been voted as the President for another term.
We look forward to a very productive year with the help of our newly elected board.
SHABBAT MORNING TOT SHABBAT PROGRAM:FOR CHILDREN 0-7 YEARS OF AGE FROM 10:30 – 11:30 AM.Please join us for prayers, singing, stories, games, and snacks. Parents are encouraged to accompany their children ages 2 and under. To ensure this program runs smoothly and on time please make sure children are in the Youth lounge at 10:30. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ONGOING CLASSES OFFERED BY RABBI FINKELSTEIN:Everyone is welcome at no charge.
GEMARA: Wednesday evenings after Ma’ariv. Please check calendar in case of shifting.
SHABBAT CLASSES: Parsha and Halacha class between Mincha and Ma’ariv.
Donations: * General Donations: $18
* Siddurim: Koren/Artscroll $50
* Koren Talmud Bavli: $100
* Wall of Honour/brick: $118