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Parshas Shlach: Better Safe Than Sorry

Parshas Shlach: Better Safe Than Sorry

The order to destroy Jericho came after 400 years of chances to repent, which the city leaders declined. How long do we dare try the patience of the Almighty with child sacrifice and wickedness?

Our Torah portion this week, Shlach: Bamidbar (Numbers)13:1 - 15:41, illustrates clearly the grave consequences of disobeying God's directives and instructions. Whether this disobedience stems from arrogance or ignorance, bad things happen when we go our own way. We need to be in His will to receive His goodness. When we remove ourselves from His presence, we subject ourselves to all sorts of trouble. 

This spiritual law plays out dramatically when all but the tribe of Levi demand a reconnaissance mission be sent into the Holy Land before they comply with God's order to just walk in and possess it. Moses picks 12 'princes' for the mission, one from each of the 12 tribes. Upon their return, 10 of these highly regarded leaders recommend scrapping God's plans to enter the land of Israel based on an assessment that the newly formed army lacks sufficient military skill to overcome the enemy tribes that stand in their way, dismissing completely God's promise to ensure victory. Only Joshua and Caleb dissent.

The 10 die in a plague and all the people, except the tribe of Levi, complain against Moses, lamenting their departure from Egypt. They threaten mutiny. Moses informs them that rejecting God's promised victory in battle and prosperity in Israel requires a penance of 40 years wandering around in the desert until all but the youngest among them are still alive to follow Joshua and Caleb into the Promised Land. Rather than face this bleak future, some people choose to launch the earlier planned military offensive without God's support. They all perish in battle.

Throughout this drama, Moses appeals to God to live up to His promises of mercy and forgiveness so eloquently expressed just a short time ago at Mt. Sinai. As bad as things were, they could have been worse without these appeals to Heaven.

The 10 princes, the best and the brightest of their respective tribes, dismissed awesome, life changing miracles of only a few weeks previous that proved God's presence, reliability and love for His people. Within a time span of 40 days away from the center of spiritual enlightenment, they slipped back into their fear based, enslaved, self conscious mind. For most of them, this abandonment of the Divine mind back into the usual state of being probably occurred beneath a conscious level. This trick of the subconscious to regain control and mastery over one's existence challenges spiritual seekers still.

10 of 12 is 83% - in an age of visible miracles. Consider the time we live in now, with few obvious miracles. Perhaps even a higher percentage of leadership positions are filled with compromised 'princes.' We all know them. Consider an email I received about a Jewish leader in Maine, Lisa Margulies, Esq. VP of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, This credentialed lawyer, teacher, and community leader proudly announced recently a new law compelling private insurance plans to cover 'abortion care,' a trendy euphemism for baby killing services, without requiring a co-insurance payment.

According to the website mylife.com. Ms.Margulies identifies as Jewish.


New Maine law goes into effect eliminating out-of-pocket abortion care costs


Speaking of abortion care, I spoke with a Jewish abortion attention seeking woman who displayed a big pink banner at the Celebrate Life Rally at the Lincoln Memorial last Saturday. The banner said Abortion is Health Care. I inquired if she condemned the torture and murder of babies on October 7th in Israel, and asked her that if she did, how can she promote the same violence against babies from abortion. She turned up her music in response. When I told her about our healing program, she accused me of shaming her. She hides her angst well behind a sarcastic attitude. But, we were there to talk to her and now she knows about us and can think about our conversation in the small hours of the night. Baruch HaShem we were there.

The portion goes on to warn against idolatry, commenting on idolatry enacted by errant legislation. It seems that from the very beginning of man made legal systems, bad laws, ie., laws that sanction immoral actions, were passed. In the situation described here pertaining to rabbinical error, Torah demands sin and atonement offerings to God, who forgives the rabbis as well as those who take advantage of the bad law. Let's hope that His mercy still prevails in cases where religious and secular legal authorities continue to this day to decide wrongly, causing much death and destruction.

The Haftarah portion this week, Yehoshua (Joshua) 2:1-24, recounts another occasion when spies are sent out. Joshua, tasked with destroying the city, sends in two spies to scout out conditions before the battle. Jericho, a Canaanite city known for its extreme depravity, including child sacrifice, was the first offensive by the Israelites in the Holy Land meant to clear the land of degeneracy and wickedness. The order to destroy Jericho came after 400 years of chances to repent, which the city leaders declined. How long do we dare try the patience of the Almighty with child sacrifice and wickedness?

A silver lining to this sad state of affairs was the positive energy during the Celebrate Life Conference and Rally at the Lincoln Memorial. You can watch the Rally at https://nationalcelebratelifeday.com/livestream/?

We hope to have some images to share next week.

Young activists from Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust and their mentors from all over the country gathered for a prolife boot camp the week of the Conference. They made quite the impression at the Rally. Students for Life were present all around. We were welcomed warmly by everyone we met. We enjoyed meeting and speaking with a variety of activists, young and old. Pro-Israel vibes were in the air.

I smile to myself when I think that these amazing energetic youngsters and older weary seniors willing to commit their lives to saving pre-born human children must surely please God, perhaps saving us all from Divine outrage for another day. Despite all the suffering and bloodshed, it could be worse.

Cecily Routman

May there be abundant peace from Heaven, and good life upon us and upon all Israel. Amen.

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