Times: Shabbat starts tonight with candle lighting at 4:50pm, and ends Saturday night at 5:51pm. The weekly Torah portion is Shlach. Rosh Chodesh Tammuz is on Tuesday & Wednesday

Mincha in the CBD: Whisky and Kugel Fridays is on today at 1pm using the SMS system to confirm numbers. Mincha (Tue-Thu) continues next week at 1.00pm with the SMS reminder. Please note, mincha will not take place on Monday due to the Queen’s Birthday public holiday.

Study: The Wednesday shiur & lunch continues this week at Billing Bureau, following 1.00pm mincha.

Thought of the Week with thanks to David Prins. In this week’s Torah reading, Moshe sends twelve tribal leaders as representatives to view the Land of Israel. They generally known as the “spies”, though the Torah does not call them spies. Ten of the leaders come back with bad reports. What followed was a night of crying, which traditionally happened on 9 Av, a day of national disaster both then and for generations to come. How did the leaders go so badly wrong, resulting in tragedies that still reverberate today, thousands of years later?

As a business consultant, I note that the leaders failed to stay within the terms of reference of their study tour. Their mission was to view the land that G-d was going to give them, and not to question how that might come about.

Others maintain that the leaders misunderstood the purpose of life. They thought that the ideal was to spend all their time learning and studying Torah. They realised this would not be possible once they entered the Land, but they failed to understand that our mission is to combine learning with earning a living in our own Land.
Put simply, the leaders brought a bad report on the Land, based on lies, half-truths and innuendos, lacking the required evidence for their conclusions, and with ulterior motives.

There are lessons still today from all the above.

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