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    Pass the buck – Sh’lach

    I was told as a cadet officer, “Find someone of lower rank to whom you can pass the buck!”

    This is not quite the same as the opening command of the Torah portion in which Moses is told, Sh’lach l’cha anashim, “send men” to carry out a reconnaissance of the Land. “Pass the buck” means “Save yourself some effort: get someone else to do the job”.

    Sh’lach l’cha anashim contains a little word, l’cha, “for your benefit”. There are times when you are not the expert but somebody else is. It is to your advantage to consult the other person and secure their assistance and support.

    Moses was not qualified to carry out a survey of the terrain and its features, but each tribe would have had at least one man competent to perform the task. It is not that Moses was lazy or lacking in energy – on the contrary, even at the end of his 120 years his “natural force” was still strong (Deut. 34). But he needed a good team around him, as every successful leader does.

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