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Weekly Drash - Shelach

Compliments of First Fruits of Zion
reprinted by permission of FFOZ

Shelach - שלח : “Send thou”
Torah : Numbers 13:1–15:41
Haftarah : Joshua 2:1–24
Gospel : John 7, 8

Thought for the Week:
(An excerpt from Torah Club)

The world looks on us as fools, wasting our time with religion. On some occasions, we may feel as if our efforts to serve God have been utterly in vain. It might seem as if we have wasted our time and energy in pursuit of His Kingdom. But in the Torah, we learn that which is wasted on the God is not a waste at all, but a sacred service received on the altar of heaven.

Even if I am being poured out…
(Based on Torah Club)


In Numbers 15:1–12, the Torah teaches about the wine libations which the priesthood was to pour out over God’s altar. No one drank of the wine libations. They were completely poured out. To some, it might have seemed like a waste.

Paul compared his own life to a wine libation poured out over the altar on two different occasions. He first did so in his early letter to the Philippians; the other instance is in one of his last letters, 2 Timothy.

To the Philippians, Paul compares his life to a drink offering in that he has poured out his efforts upon the Philippians without any assurance of success. Some would measure his efforts spent on them to be a ‘waste,’ but Paul sees it as a gesture of worship “upon the sacrifice and service” of faith.

But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me. (Philippians 2:17-18)

Years later, near the end of his life, Paul wrote to Timothy. He knew that he would not survive the murderous intrigues of the court of Nero, and he again compared his life to a drink offering being poured out over the altar. He knew that he was going to die a martyr’s death. But in his perspective, it was a noble end in as much as it was a martyrdom for the sake of the Kingdom. In the same way that the wine of a libation was ‘wasted’ on the altar is not wasted at all, but rendered up as a holy service to God, so too Paul regarded his own life as spent on the service of God. Though it may seem ‘wasted’ to others, to Paul it was a holy service.

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. (2 Timothy 4:6)

Yeshua Himself, on taking the cup of His last seder meal, makes allusion to the drink offering ritual saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” (Luke 22:20) In Mark He says His blood is “poured out for many,” (Mark 14:24) and in Matthew He adds that it is poured out “for forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)

The Master’s blood which was poured out on the ground like water and like a drink offering upon the altar. It was not a waste.

Shavuah Tov!  Have a Good Week!

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FFOZ's Weekly e-Drash is based on our popular Torah Study Program,
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