23 June 2016

Parashat Sh'lach - 5776

18 Sivan 5776
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

"Why is the LORD taking us to that land [Israel] to fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be carried off! It would be better for us to go back to Egypt!

Don't even think about it!

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...And Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, of those who had scouted the land, rent their clothes and exhorted the whole Israelite community: “The land that we traversed and scouted is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD is pleased with us, He will bring us into that land, a land that flows with milk and honey, and give it to us; only you must not rebel against the LORD.

...And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people spurn Me, and how long will they have no faith in Me despite all the signs that I have performed in their midst?

If you get nothing else out of this parashah, then understand this...

From these statements we learn some important facts: 1) rejection of Eretz Yisrael is equal to rebellion against God; and, 2) rejection of Eretz Yisrael is equal to rejecting God and lacking faith in Him. 

The Torah itself attests to this! Think on this all your days.


Food for Thought:

"Your children will roam in the Wilderness for forty years and bear your guilt.... Like the number of the days that you spied out the Land, forty days, a day for a year, a day for a year, shall you bear your iniquities - forty years - and you shall comprehend straying from Me."

I was thinking about this forty years for the forty days. According to the way I read this pasuk, there were forty days of sinning that had to be 'paid for' with the forty days of wandering.

But, doesn't it make you wonder why forty days when the sin was only committed when the evil report was given at the end of the forty days?

Could it be that the spies who erred had determined in their hearts from the very beginning that no matter what they saw in the Land, they had no intention of going in to settle it? This would be one explanation for why they viewed every detail so negatively and why they couldn't be swayed by Calev's or Yehoshua's arguments. Perhaps for all those forty days, they had been planning to give a bad report.


  1. Rashi says this, that from the start they had evil plans. The evil was to go against Hashems wish/will. They wanted to stay in the setting of the midbar (man, anenei cavod...) they couldn't imagine, that settling "a" land can be a higher spiritual activity, than the midbar setting. So tbey planed to report in the way that creates their desired reality. This is a very familiar problem even today and even in subjects not concerning eretz israel. We have to purely go with Hashems will, not with man shaped torah. That's all in a nutshell.

  2. Also, another point might be added to above comment is that when H' performed all those miracles for them, they really got spoiled and loved having the food (manna) ready and available for them, not having to lift a finger, so to speak, and not to having to wash clothes, being protected at night by the fire and during the day by the clouds of glory - they had it made. They had lost any feeling for the Land (probably never had it as many generations had passed since they came down to Egypt and being enslaved also had an unnatural negative effect). In other words, they became too comfortable as the Jews through the millenia of galut seem to always become. The last 200 years of galut in the free world has been the hardest for many to overcome. But, many frum Jews were able to make aliyah long before it became a State (even though quite difficult); a big reason for the antipathy was because the leadership of the zionist movement was against Torah Judaism.


  3. I believe the pull was so strong that Calev had to go to Hevron, to kivrei horeinu (the graves of our parents), to pray that he wouldn't be sucked in with the rest! He apparently knew their plans, so they must have discussed them from the beginning!

  4. "Whatever mankind desires, that it will hope for and believe in."

    -Mein Kampf

    I desire G-d. I hope for the fulfillment of His Will speedily in our days with the revealing of Moshiach. I believe in Israel.