Learn from Congregation B’nai Chaim: Shelach Lecha

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Rabbi Marc Rubenstein
Rabbi Marc Rubenstein. Valley News/Courtesy photo
Rabbi Marc Rubenstein, Special to Valley News When I was in rabbinical school, one of my teachers told us a story about how he learned how to study Talmud. My teacher and his classmates were instructed to spend the week studying a small section of Talmud. When the week was up, they returned to class to explain what they had learned. My teacher began to speak and said maybe a sentence or two when he was cut off by his very stern teacher, rebuking them by exclaiming, “You’re not smelling the sugya (passage) right.” He kicked them and told them not to come back until they smelled the sugya correctly. This story always amused me, and I have been thinking about it this week as we prepare to read this week’s Torah portion. Much is made in the text of the spies and the
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