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  • Rav Moshe Weiss

Nahar U’Pashtei Parshas Chukas 5781

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

Growing Weary

Throughout Klal Yisroel’s time in the Wilderness, we find different complaints brought by the nation against Hashem and against Moshe Rabbeinu. We must strive to know the true motivation behind these complaints in order to better understand how we can avoid similar pitfalls. The different responses of Hashem to the various complaints also plays a part in the lessons contained within these passages. When Klal Yisroel was instructed to travel around the territory of Edom, the Torah states, and the soul of the nation was weary. The next verse recounts that they began to protest; thus indicating that the reason for their complaint was their weariness, mentioned here. But what can this mean? That the nation was physically drained from the extra travel? This cannot be, for we know that through the forty years of traveling in the Wilderness, Klal Yisroel’s feet did not swell. What’s more, they were surrounded by the ananei hakavod, and were thus essentially carried! It must be then, that the issue mentioned here was a certain mentalweariness that the people felt. As Rashi tells us, the nation was aware that their parents had been ever so close to Eretz Yisroel, only to be instructed to turn around and wander for another thirty-eight years. When they were bade to go around Edom’s territory, they began to suspect that they had done something to make them unworthy, and they would share the same fate! This was not a possibility they were prepared to face, and their mental state became weary. This resulted in everything seeming burdensome to them, even the small amount of extra effort expended to circumvent Edom. With this in mind, let us proceed to the next verse, which states, And the nation spoke [against] Hashem and Moshe; “Why did you bring us up from Mitzrayim to die in the Wilderness; for there is no bread and no water, and our souls are disgusted by this detrimental bread. Here, Klal Yisroel dared to find fault with their daily sustenance, the mon. Rashi explains that they supported their claims about the mon with logic. If no man can survive with out ridding his body of the waste matter ingested with his food, they claimed that the waste produced from the mon must be building up inside their bodies to kill them! Now, this entire argument is clearly ridiculous! They had been eating this mon for forty years without a single report of even an upset stomach, and certainly no fatalities! Rather, as we discussed, it was the mental weariness that had set in that was behind their complaints. And how did Hashem respond to this fabricated complaint? With deadly poisonous snakes. They were expressing the complaint that the way Hashem chose to take care of them was really unhealthy for them. They chose to mask their real complaint of weariness, and used feeble logic to excuse their unhappiness. Hashem said, “This is the conniving way of the snake; and so they shall be punished with snakes!” Now, complaints are never easy, and any feelings such as these that a person may encounter should be worked through accordingly. But what we see from this episode is something far more dangerous. A person can feel weary because of one issue that he is grappling with, and this attitude can spread its venom to affect his entire outlook on life! Because he struggles in one specific area, his entire life can seem to him to be upside-down, and downright terrible! But if one isolates in his mind the issue at hand, he will see that Hashem is with him, and does good with him constantly. This in turn will make it easier for him to come to a place where he will be able to alleviate the stress of his plight regarding the one area with which he is having difficulty. We can see how the weariness Klal Yisroel suffered caused them to fabricate a complaint about one of the greatest of all gifts, the mon. One must not let such weariness play a part in his quest to be closer to Hashem. A Gut Shabbos! A Project of the YSI Alumni Association Written by R’ Moshe Weiss

https://files.constantcontact.com/c9410498701/4bbc268d-ccfc-4984-8965-32146f519fb0.pdf

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