Parshat Shelach Lekha (Send Yourselves)

The Torah portion is Shelach Lekha, Numbers 13:1-15:41. In synagogues using the Triennial system, 5783 is year 1 and the Torah reading is Numbers 13:1-14:7.

One man from each tribe is sent to scout the Promised Land. They find that the land was abundant with produce, but they were intimidated by the cities and the residents. Only Joshua and Caleb had faith that they could take the Land, but the people followed those who were intimidated, and G-d declared that those people would live out their lives in the Wilderness and not set foot in the Promised Land. Discusses the offerings brought for fulfillment of a vow or freewill offerings and for sins made in error. Discusses the offering of "challah," a piece taken from bread baking. The word "challah" is now more commonly known as the name of special Shabbat or holiday bread but it really refers to this piece that is taken out. Introduces the idea of tzitzit (tassels) worn on the corners of four-cornered garments like a string around your finger to remind you of commandments, best known today from the prayer shawl (tallit) worn in services.

The haftarah is Joshua 2:1-2:24. Tells the story of the scouts that Joshua sent to reconnoiter Jericho, like the scouts that were sent into the Promised Land in the Torah portion.