Shlach 2024



By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron

This parsha explicitly mentions Kaleb’s coming to Hebron. Our Sages explain that Kaleb prayed at the Tomb of our Patriarchs that he would not be ensnared in the plot of the other spies. Even today, Hebron is a symbol, an inspiration, and a Divine aid to be faithful to the Holy Land, the land Hashem promised to our Patriarchs of Hebron.
Although there are numbers of R’ Nachshon’s paintings centered in Hebron, it seems that this painting is the “greenest” of them all, depicting Maarat Hamachpela in a very green vegetative setting. This matter may also convey the idea that just as vegetation represents a deep connection between the vegetation and the earth, and also to the sky/heavens, since photosynthesis is based on light usually coming from the sun, so too Israel’s settlement of the Land connects heaven and earth. This matter is a primary theme of Hebron which means connection – “hibur” – and clearly stands for Israel’s deep connection to the Holy Land, the “Land of Life/Living.”
We see six vines and five trees on the side of the “closest” to the viewer. Kabbalistically speaking Israel are identified with the letter “vav” of the Tetragrammaton with the numerical value of six, while the Land of Israel is identified with the last “heh” of this Name, with the numerical value of five. This matter also follows with our Sages’ comparison of Israel to a vine. This matter depicts some of the depth to Israel’s connection to the Land – it is through this connection that God’s Holy Name is completed, and it is through this connection, the connection illuminated by Hebron, the City of this Connection, that this Name shines in its completion and the Holy Presence rests!

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