Parshas Shlach

Words in bold represent changes to the traditional translation based on the Aramaic translation/commentary attributed to Onkelos the Ger.

Parshas Shlach

Chapter 13

Rishon

1. Hashem spoke with Moshe, saying,

2. Send men for yourself and they will scout the land of Canaan that I am giving to the children of Israel. One man each[1] for the tribe of his fathers you shall send, each a leader[2] who is among them.”

3. Moshe sent them from the Paran wilderness by Hashem’s word,[3] all of them men,[4] they were heads of the children of Israel.

4. And these were their names: From the tribe of Reuven, Shamua son of Zakur.

5. For the tribe of Shimon, Shafat son of Chori.

6. For the tribe of Yehuda, Kaleiv son of Yefuneh.

7. For the tribe of Yisachar, Yigal son of Yoseif.

8. For the tribe of Efraim, Hoshea son of Nun.

9. For the tribe of Binyamin, Palti son of Rafu.

10. For the tribe of Zevulun, Gadiel son of Sodi.

11. For the tribe of Yoseif, of the tribe of Menashe, Gadi son of Susi.

12. For the tribe of Dan, Amiel son of Gemali.

13. For the tribe of Asher, S’sur son of Michaeil.

14. For the tribe of Naftali, Nachbi son of Vafsi.

15. For the tribe of Gad, G’ueil son of Machi.

16. These are the names of the men whom Moshe sent to scout the land. Moshe called Hoshea son of Nun “Yehoshua.”

17. Moshe sent them to scout the land of Canaan. He said to them, “Ascend this in the south and ascend the mountain.

18. See the land – what it is – and the people who dwells on it – is it strong or if it’s weak, is it few or if (it’s) many?

19. And what (of) the land in which it dwells – is it good or if (it’s) bad? And what (of) the cities in which it lives in them, if they’re in open cities[5] or if (they’re) in fortresses?

20. And what (of) the soil – is it rich or if (it’s) poor?[6] Does it have trees[7] or if (it) lacks? Strengthen yourselves and take from the fruit of the land.” And the days were the days of the first grapes.

Sheini

21. They ascended and scouted the land from the Tzin wilderness until R’chov[8] coming to Chamas.

22. They ascended in the south and came until Chevron, and there were Achiman, Sheishai and Talmai, descendants of the mighty.[9] And Chevron was built seven years before Tanis[10] in Egypt.

23. They reached the Eshkol valley and they cut from there a branch with a single cluster of grapes – they carried it on a pole by two (of them) – and from the pomegranates and from the figs.

24. That place was called the Eshkol valley because of the cluster that the children of Israel cut from there.

25. They returned from scouting the land at the end of 40 days.

26. They went and they came to Moshe, to Aharon and to the entire congregation of the children of Israel, to the Paran wilderness in R’kam.[11] They returned word to them and to the entire congregation, and they showed them the fruit of the land.

27. They spoke to him and they said, “We came to the land to which you sent us, and it also makes[12] milk and honey, and this is its fruit.

28. However, the people who dwell in the land are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. And also, we saw the descendants of the mighty there.

29. Amalekites dwell in the southland; Hittites, Jebusites and Emorites dwell on the mountain; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and on the bank of[13] the Jordan.”

30. Kaleiv made the people listen[14] to Moshe. He said, “Let us surely go up; we will take possession of it because we shall surely overpower it.”

31. And the men who had ascended with him said, “We are unable to go up against[15] that people because it is mightier than us.”

32. They spread a bad name[16] about the land they had scouted to the children of Israel, saying, “The land through which we passed (in order) to scout it is a land that kills[17] its inhabitants, and the entire people that we saw in it are men of stature.[18]

33. And we saw the mighty[19] there –the descendants of Anak of the mighty. We were like grasshoppers in our own eyes,[20] and so we were in their eyes.”

Chapter 14

1. The entire congregation raised (their voices) and lamented,[21] and the people cried on that night.

2. All the children of Israel complained against Moshe and against Aharon. The entire congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this wilderness!”

3. Why is Hashem bringing us to this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be for spoils! Wouldn’t it be better for us that we return to Egypt?”

4. They said to one another,[22] “Let’s appoint a leader[23] and return to Egypt!”

5. Moshe and Aharon fell on their faces before (the) entire assembled congregation of (the) children of Israel.

6. Yehoshua son of Nun and Kaleiv son of Yefuneh, from those who scouted the land, tore their garments.

7. They said to (the) entire congregation of (the) children of Israel, saying, “The land through which we passed in order to scout it is an extremely good[24] land.

Shlishi

8. If there’s desire for us before Hashem,[25] He will bring us to this land and give it to us – a land that makes milk and honey!

9. Just don’t rebel against Hashem’s word and you won’t fear the people of the land because they’re delivered into our hands.[26] Their strength[27] has left from them and Hashem’s word is our help.[28] Don’t fear them!”

10. The entire congregation said to stone them with stones, and Hashem’s glory was revealed[29] in the Tent of Meeting to all the children of Israel.

11. Hashem said to Moshe, “How long[30] will this people provoke anger before Me, and how long will they not have faith in My word (after) all the signs that I performed among them?

12. I will strike them with a plague and destroy them,[31] and I will you into a nation greater and more mightier than them!”

13. Moshe said before Hashem, “When the Egyptians[32] hear – because You brought this people up with Your might from among them –

14. they will say to the inhabitants of this land who heard that You are Hashem, Whose presence dwells among this people; that with their eyes they see the presence of Your glory, Hashem,[33] and Your cloud provides shelter[34] over them, and in a pillar of cloud You lead[35] before them by day, and in a pillar of fire by night.

15. If You kill this people like a single person, the nations who have heard the reputation of Your might[36] will say, saying,

16. ‘Because there was no ability before Hashem[37] to bring this people to the land that He promised them, He killed[38] them in the wilderness.’

17. Now, there is now sufficient strength before Hashem,[39] as You have spoken, saying,

18. ‘Hashem distances anger[40] and is abundant to perform kindness; pardoning[41] sins and transgression; He forgives those who return to His Torah and He doesn’t acquit those who don’t return,[42] revisiting the sins of parents on rebellious children to the third generation and to the fourth generation.’

19. Now pardon the sins of this people according to the abundance of Your kindnesses,[43] and as You have pardoned[44] this people from Egypt until now.”

20. Hashem said, “I have pardoned as per your words.

21. However, as I live and as Hashem’s glory fills all the Earth,

22. that all the people who see My glory and the signs that I have performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, and who tested before Me these ten times and not heeded My word,[45]

23. if they will see the land that I promised to their fathers. All who provoked anger before Me will not see it.

24. And My servant Kaleiv, because a different spirit was with him and he followed after fear of Me,[46] I will bring him to the land that he entered there, and his descendants[47] will drive (the Canaanites) from it.[48]

25. And the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwell in the valley. Tomorrow, turn yourselves and travel[49] into the wilderness by way of the Sea of Reeds.”

Revii

26. Hashem spoke with Moshe and to Aharon, saying,

27. “How long will this evil congregation (persist), that they keep complain against Me? The complaint[50] of the children of Israel that they have complained against Me is heard before Me.[51]

28. Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says Hashem, ‘if I don’t (do) as you have spoken before Me;[52] so shall I do to you.

29. In this wilderness your carcasses will fall, and all of your counted for all of your numbers from the age of 20 years and up, you who have complained against Me,

30. (see) if you come to the land about which I have sworn by My word[53] to settle you in it, except for Kaleiv son of Yefuneh and Yehoshua son of Nun.

31. And your children, about whom you said they would be for spoils, I will bring them. They will know the land that you despised.

32. And your carcasses that are yours[54] shall fall in this wilderness.

33. And your children will wander[55] in the wilderness (for) 40 years. They will bear your sins,[56] until the last of your carcasses (has fallen) in the wilderness.

34. According to the number of days that you scouted the land – 40 days – a year for each day,[57] you shall bear your sin (for) 40 years. You will know that you complained against Me.[58]

35. I, Hashem, have decreed through My word;[59] (see) if I don’t do this to this entire evil congregation who have assembled against Me. In this wilderness they will end and there they will die.’”

36. And the men whom Moshe sent to scout the land, and who returned and caused the entire congregation to complain against him by spreading a bad name about the land,

37. the men who spread (the) bad name about the land died in the plague before Hashem.

38. Yehoshua son of Nun and Kaleiv son of Yefuneh lived of the those men who went to scout the land.

39. Moshe spoke these words to all the children of Israel and the people mourned greatly.

40. They got up in the morning and ascended to the top of the mountain, saying, “Behold, we will ascend to the place that Hashem said, because we sinned.”

41. Moshe said, “Why is this (that) you transgress the decree of Hashem’s word? It won’t succeed.

42. Don’t go up – because Hashem’s presence is not among you – and you won’t be broken[60] before your enemies.

43. Because the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you. You will fall by the sword because therefore you have turned from the service of Hashem,[61] and the word of Hashem will not be your help.”[62]

44. They evilly[63] ascended to the top of the mountain, and the ark of Hashem’s covenant and Moshe didn’t move from among the camp.

45. The Amalekites and the Canaanites who dwelled on that mountain descended and struck them; they drove them[64] until Chormah.

Chapter 15

1. Hashem spoke with Moshe, saying:

2. Speak with the children of Israel and say to them: When you come to the land of your settlements that I am giving you,

3. and you would make an offering before Hashem[65] – a burnt offering or a holiness sacrifice[66] for a verbal vow, or as a donation, or on your holidays – to be accepted with favor before Hashem[67] from the cattle or from the sheep,

4. The one who brings his offering before Hashem shall offer a flour offering of one-tenth (of an ephah) of fine flour mixed with a quarter-hin of oil,

5. wine for a libation – a quarter-hin– you shall make on the burnt offering or for the holiness sacrifice, for each sheep,

6. or, for a ram, you shall make a flour offering of two-tenths (of an ephah) of fine flour mixed with a third of a hin of oil,

7. and wine for a libation – a third of a hin – you shall offer be accepted with favor before Hashem.

Chamishi

8. And if you make a young bull as a burnt offering or a holiness sacrifice, for a verbal vow or as a holiness sacrifice before Hashem,

9. he shall offer with[68] the young bull a flour offering of three-tenths (of an ephah) of fine flour mixed with a half a hin of oil,

10. and you shall offer wine for a libation – half a hin – an offering to be accepted with favor before Hashem.

11. So shall be done for each ox or for each ram,[69] or for a lamb of sheep or goats;

12. according to the number that you make, so shall you do for each according to their number.

13. Everyone native-born shall do these (things) thus, to offer an offering to be accepted with favor before Hashem.

14. And if a stranger will convert[70] with you, or whoever is among you throughout your generations, and he makes an offering to be accepted with favor before Hashem, as you make (it), so shall he make (it).

15. The community: there shall be one law for you and for the stranger who converts. It shall be an eternal statute for your generations: like you, like the stranger it shall be before Hashem;

16. There shall be one law[71] and one judgment for you and for the stranger who converts with you.

Shishi

17. Hashem spoke with Moshe, saying:

18. Speak with the children of Israel and say to them: When you come to the land to which I bring you there,

19. it will be when you eat from the bread of the land, you shall separate a gift before Hashem.

20. The first of your doughs you shall separate a loaf[72] as a gift; like one separates from the threshing floor you shall separate it.

21. From the first of your doughs you shall give a gift before Hashem throughout your generations.

22. And if you err and don’t perform all these commandments that Hashem has spoken with Moshe,

23. all that Hashem commanded upon you by Moshe’s hand from the day that Hashem commanded and onward through your generations,

24. it shall be, if from the eyes of the congregation it was done accidentally, the whole community shall make one young bull as a burnt offering to be accepted with favor before Hashem, and its flour offering and its libation as is fit,[73] and one young goat as a sin offering.

25. The priest shall atone for the entire congregation of the children of Israel and it will be pardoned for them because it was accidental and they brought their offering – an offering before Hashem – and their culpability[74] before Hashem for their error.

26. The entire congregation of the children of Israel and the stranger who converts among them will be pardoned, because it happened to the entire people accidentally.

Shevii

27. And if a single person[75] sins accidentally, he shall offer a female goat in its first year as a sin offering.

28. The priest shall atone before Hashem for the person who erred by sinning accidentally, to atone for him and it will be pardoned for him.

29. The native born among the children of Israel and the stranger who converts among them – there will be one law for you for one who acts inadvertently.

30. And the person who acts with obvious intention[76] from the native born and from the stranger – he provokes anger before[77] Hashem. That person shall be expelled from among his people.[78]

31. Because the word of Hashem he has disgraced and His commandment he has perverted.[79] That person shall surely be expelled; his sin is upon him.

32. The children of Israel were in the wilderness and they found a man while he was gathering wood on the Sabbath day.

33. Those who found him while he was gathering wood brought him near to Moshe and to Aharon and to the entire congregation.

34. They locked him up in prison[80] because it hadn’t been explained to them what should be done to him.

35. Hashem said to Moshe, “The man shall surely be executed.[81] The entire congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.”

36. The congregation sent him to outside the camp and stoned him with stones and he died, as Hashem had commanded Moshe.

37. Hashem said to Moshe, saying:

38. Speak with the children of Israel and tell them they shall make fringes[82] for themselves on the corners of their garments throughout their generations. They shall put a thread of blue on the fringes (at) the corner.

39. They[83] shall be fringes to you; you shall see it and remember all the commandments of Hashem and perform them, and you won’t stray[84] after the thought of your hearts and after the sight of your eyes that you stray after them.

40. In order that you shall remember and you shall perform all My commandments, and you will be holy before your God.

41. I am Hashem your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be God to you. I am Hashem your God.

[1] Literally, “one man, one man.”

[2] The Hebrew nasi is commonly translated as “prince.”

[3] Literally, “mouth,”

[4] i.e., of stature.

[5] Rather than “camps.”

[6] Hebrew: “fat” and “lean,” respectively.

[7] Onkelos makes this word plural.

[8] Onkelos considers this Hebrew word to be a proper noun rather than a common noun meaning an open area.

[9] Hebrew: “the Anak,” ostensibly referring to a race of giants.

[10] Hebrew: Tzoan. Onkelos uses a name that would be familiar to his contemporaries.

[11] Hebrew: Kadeish. Again, Onkelos uses a name familiar to his audience.

[12] Rather than “flows with.”

[13] Rather than “next to.”

[14] Rather than “quieted the people.”

[15] Literally, “to.”

[16] As opposed to “a report.”

[17] Rather than “devours.”

[18] In the literal sense.

[19] Hebrew: Nefilim, again presumably referring to a race of giants.

[20] Literally, “in the eyes of our souls.”

[21] Literally, “gave their voices.”

[22] Literally, “a man to his brother.”

[23] Literally, “place a head.”

[24] Literally, “very, very good.”

[25] As opposed to “if Hashem desires us.”

[26] Rather than “they’re our bread.”

[27] Rather than “their protection.”

[28] As opposed to “is with us.”

[29] Rather than “appeared.”

[30] Literally, “until when…?”

[31] Not “disinherit them” – see Rashi.

[32] Rather than “Egypt.”

[33] Chumash: “that You, Hashem, appear eye to eye.”

[34] Rather than “stands.”

[35] Rather than “go.”

[36] As opposed to “Your reputation.”

[37] Rather than “Because Hashem was unable….”

[38] Rather than “slaughtered.”

[39] Chumash: “may my Master’s strength be increased.”

[40] As opposed to “is slow to anger.

[41] Rather than “forgiving.”

[42] Chumash: “He doesn’t completely cleanse.”

[43] Rather than “Your great kindness.”

[44] As opposed to “carried.”

[45] Rather than “My voice.”

[46] Literally, “he filled after Me.”

[47] Hebrew: “seed.”

[48] Not “will inherit it” – see Rashi.

[49] Literally, “turn and travel yourselves.”

[50] Onkelos changes this word to singular.

[51] Rather than “I have heard.”

[52] As opposed to “in My ears.”

[53] Rather than “raised My hand.”

[54] Rather than “you.”

[55] Rather than “graze.”

[56] As opposed to “faithlessness.”

[57] Literally, “a year per day, a year per day.”

[58] Chumash: “You will know My alienation,” i.e., their actions “drove God away” from them.

[59] Rather than “spoken.”

[60] Rather than “struck.”

[61] As opposed to “following Hashem.”

[62] Rather than “with you.”

[63] As opposed to “impudently.”

[64] Rather than “beat them.”

[65] As opposed to “a fire offering to Hashem.”

[66] “Peace sacrifice” is implied but not explicit in the Hebrew.

[67] Chumash: “make a pleasing aroma to Hashem.”

[68] Literally, “on.”

[69] Literally, “for one ox or for one ram.”

[70] Rather than “dwell.”

[71] Hebrew: Torah.

[72] Hebrew: challah.

[73] Rather than “according to law.”

[74] As opposed to “sin offering.”

[75] Chumash: “soul.”

[76] Chumash: “with a high hand.” Onkelos’ Aramaic literally translates as “with an exposed head.”

[77] Rather than “blasphemes.”

[78] Chumash: “That soul shall be cut off from among its people.” (Changing “soul” to “person” necessitates a gender change for the pronoun “its.”)

[79] Rather than “violated.”

[80] Rather than “They placed him under guard.”

[81] Rather than “die.”

[82] Hebrew: tzitzis.

[83] Onkelos changes this to plural.

[84] Rather than “turn.”

© Copyright 2022 Rabbi Jack Abramowitz