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Send Yourself

In this week’s Torah portion, Moses begins with the words “shlach lecha” which means “send yourself.”  He is speaking to the men who he has appointed to be scouts of the new land, the Promised Land. He sends them out to see what the future might hold for him and the Israelites. 

He asks them to look for answers to the questions:  Are the people there strong or weak? Many or few? Is the land good or bad? Are the towns open or fortified? Is the soil rich or poor, wooded or not?

A majority of the scouts come back with pessimistic reports, but Caleb and Joshua saw a promising future. Moses chooses to believe in the vision of Caleb and Joshua. He knew that they would be fitting leaders for the people because of their hope for the future.

Spiritually, each of us is working to progress toward a metaphorical Promised Land. But before we take steps to get there, it is important to envision what that future might look like—this is why people make vision boards. They clip magazine photos or words or articles to a cork board that helps point them in the direction that they would like to travel. In this way, they are able to spiritually make it to the Promised Land even before their dreams have come true. From there, the rest of the journey is merely fulfilling a destiny.

What future are you striving towards? Have you seen it in your mind’s eye? How can you get there? 

May you send yourself in the direction of your best vision, and may you arrive there in good time, soon, and safely. 

The above is a reflection by Rabbi Heather Miller on this week's Torah portion, Parashat Shlach, Numbers 13:1 - 15:41 . Please visit to subscribe and follow on social media.

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