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    Joshua & the spirit of God – Sh’lach L’cha

    One of the great Biblical leaders is Joshua.

    Like a number of others his name begins with “Jo”, which in its Hebrew form “Ye-ho” is one of the names of God.

    Names like that are called theophoric; they indicate the leading qualities of the Almighty. In Joshua’s case, “Yehoshua” means “God is (his) salvation”.

    The Joshua who figures in this week’s reading is Moses’ assistant and successor, an important and interesting person, made even more interesting by his father’s name Nun. It means “fish”, and is a symbol of progeny – hence “nin”, a great-grandson.

    In rabbinic writing Joshua is the exemplar of faithfulness and dependability.

    He is considered wise, especially in his sense of strategy. He assesses situations on their own merits and, like Caleb, reports honestly to Moses that the plan to enter Canaan and settle there is workable: ten others who were sent to spy out the land dismiss the plan as unthinkable.

    Joshua’s original name was Hoshea but when he showed the spirit of God the name was changed to Yehoshua.

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