Shlach 2023


By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron


In this painting we see an interesting combination of ancient buildings of Hebron alongside new buildings. This theme may be seen in this parsha which seems to bridge between the visit to Hebron of Kaleb, of the “generation of the Wilderness/dor hamidbar,” and the last time we read about Hebron which was in the context of the age of the Patriarchs.
We also see seven vines here which make evoke the verse “Hebron was built seven years before Zoan.” Also the spies took grapes from a vine in the vicinity of Hebron at the “first-fruits-season” of grapes. We see a pool of water, which is/was actually in close vicinity to the Maarat Hamachpela in reality. I remember talking with Baruch Nachshon next to this pool, and him telling me that this pool has been identified with the pool in Hebron where King David “hung” the murderers of Ish Boshet (see Shmuel II 4, 12).
The four structures with arches [three yellowish newer looking and the fourth brown older-looking] may hint to Kiryat Arba – the “City of Four.” The fact that three are newer looking and the fourth looks old may hint to the four Kabbalistic worlds in which the highest world Atzilut is considered ancient”while the lower three worlds Briah, Yetzira, and Asiah are considered “newer.”
Hebron which means connection – hibur – can also represent our connection between the new and the ancient, between the Patriarchs and their children, thereby awakening the message of the redemption when Eliyahu will connect the hearts of the fathers to the sons and the hearts of the sons to their fathers.