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    Your grandfather’s heart – Sh’lach L’cha

    The Torah reading opens with a command to Moses to send representatives to check out the Land of Israel.

    Whenever I read this passage my mind goes back to my youth when I was an officer in our school cadet unit – wonderful training in leadership, but rather embarrassing to be saluted by real soldiers who happened to see me in the street.

    One of the things that a real sergeant-major taught me and my contemporaries was the law of passing the buck – “Don’t do anything that you can get someone else to do for you!”

    If he had known the Bible he could have quoted the Torah, Sh’lach-l’cha anashim – “Send people for yourself”.

    The “for yourself” is technically called the ethical dative, but Rashi gives it a homely meaning when he says, L’cha – “for your own good and benefit”.

    Actually, getting someone else to do your work is not always so good for you. No-one else can think for you. No-one can believe on your behalf.

    As a great Jewish scholar said, “You can’t be Jewish with your grandfather’s heart”.

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