Dvar Torah Parshat Shelach

There is an episode mentioned in this week’s Sidra which requires some ramification. We are told about an individual who desecrated the Shabbat and Moshe had to request divine guidance as to how to deal with this issue. We are told by the Sages that there is no chronological order in the Torah. They often explain the reason for passages that are placed in juxtaposition. Why was the incident of the sacrilegious defilement of Shabbat included in the Portion of Shelach?

The Shabbat to Jewish people is a reminder of YETZIAT MITZRAYIM. We say in the Friday night Kiddush: ZECHER LEYETZIAT MITZRAYIM. The Shabbat is in remembrance of the Exodus. When the spies who were sent to tour Israel returned with a negative report Hashem decreed that this entire generation will not enter into the Promised Land. They will wander in the desert and perish there.

Perhaps this individual desecrated the Shabbat out of protest. He did not want to keep the Shabbat which is a reminder of the Exodus. He protested against Moshe, as many did before him, for taking them out of Egypt. They had already been adjusted to the bondage imposed upon them there. Why did Moshe bring them to perish in the Wilderness? Hence he protested against keeping the Shabbat which serves as a reminder of the Exodus.


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