This week's Torah portion, Shoftim, contains the prohibition "Do not erect or yourselves a sacred pillar (or monument,) which the Lord your God detests (Deuteronomy 16: 22). Sacred pillars were part of the idol worship practiced by nations with whom the Israelites came into contact.
c begins with the saga of the spies’ report about the land of Israel. On the eve of the Jewish people’s preparation to enter Eretz Yisrael, 12 spies, each representing a tribe, were sent to survey the land. Upon their return, ten of the twelve deliver very negative news: It will be impossible for the Jewish people to overcome and conquer the land from the nations living there.
Rabbi Eli Garfinkel, rabbi of Temple Beth El in Somerset, New Jersey and the techie behind the award-winning RabbiPod, has created his first app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad family of Apple devices.