Carnegie Shul Chatter – May 31, 2013

Candle lighting time is 8:25


This week’s parshah, Shelach, occurs shortly after the Israelites leave Mt. Sinai to head for the Promised Land.  Moses sends out twelve spies, one for each tribe, to determine what enemy lies in his path even though he knows that God has promised that they will conquer all who stand in their way.  But when the spies return, ten of the twelve falsely report that there are giants that cannot be defeated in their path and that they should not proceed.

The Children of Israel demand that Moses take them back to Egypt, once again failing to show confidence in God’s might, and for this they are denied access to the Holy Land, required instead to stay in the dessert for forty years until the entire generation, except Caleb and Joshua, the spies who told the truth, has passed away.

Many commentators attribute the actions of the spies to the “slave mentality” that the Israelites had adopted in their many years in Egypt, causing them to lack faith in their ability to overcome trials and tribulations on their own.  But it is amazing to me that once again these people, who had so recently seen God’s might as he vanquished the Egyptians, could ever lack faith in God’s willingness and power to protect them.


On June 9, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Volunteer Center is sponsoring a Jewish Cemetery Clean Up at Beth Abraham Cemetery on Rt. 51 in Overbrook.  The clean up is from  10 until noon.  Beth Abraham is a very large cemetery that is now operated by the Jewish Cemetery and Burial Association of which I am a Board member.  We can use all the help we can get in this project.  Many members of the Roteman family are buried here and it is likely you have a loved one or friend at Beth Abraham.  Please call Jessie Svec at the Volunteer Center, 412-992-5229,  if you can help.




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