Parashat Shlah

Seeing Beneath The Surface

Unable to see beyond their own fears and insecurities, 10 of the 12 spies despaired of conquering Canaan.

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Again, the spies present themselves as more tragically flawed than deliberately disruptive; paralyzed by fear, thinking of themselves as weak and ineffectual, they could see only the surface reality of physical strength, not the spiritual truth of their destiny as dwellers in the Promised Land. Seeing only the outer husk of things keeps us from moving forward; having faith in ourselves and faith in the Holy One enables us to grow, evolve, and become what we're meant to be.

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Rabbi Neal J. Loevinger

Rabbi Neal Joseph Loevinger is currently the rabbi of Temple Beth-El in Poughkeepsie, NY. A former student at Kolel, he served as Kolel's Director of Outreach from late 1999-2001. He was ordained in the first graduating class of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies of the University of Judaism, and holds a Master's of Environmental Studies from York University in Toronto.