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  • Rav Moshe Weiss

Nahar U'Pashtei Parshas Shlach

The Missing Ingredient

When Klal Yisrael believed the slanderous report of the Meraglim, they cried for no reason, and set into motion the eventuality that on the anniversary of that terrible day - Tisha Ba’av - Klal Yisroel would cry for generations to come. As a result of their sin, their lofty spiritual madreigah had dissipated, and they were now destined to die in the Wilderness. But how did the Meraglim convince the nation to sin while they were still on a high level? Why did the people pay attention to the evil report about the Land when Hashem, as well as their leader Moshe, said otherwise? Let us take a deeper look at the conversation that went on here, and perhaps we can understand what it was that went so wrong. When the Meraglim returned, they sought to convince the people with the true facts. There were giants! There were strong fortified cities, and the inhabitants of the Land were not even scared of Hashem! And after the spies presented the facts, they proceeded to add their own wicked opinion, that We will not be able to go up to the nation. In the manner of most who slander, they sought to move the nation toward their understanding of the facts. But Kaleiv was waiting. He pretended to join the slander, and when he had quieted the assembly, he exclaimed to the nation to remember all the miracles that Moshe had performed. Trust in Hashem, and all would be well! Indeed, had Klal Yisroel followed Kaleiv, they would have gone up and conquered the Land with no weapons at all! The test here was in Bitachon! But the Meraglim did not give up so easily. They had an agenda, and were prepared to not only misrepresent facts, but if necessary, they would even lie in order to accomplish it. They spread evil about the Land itself, saying that it was a land that consumes its inhabitants! And although to the rational mind, this contradicted the calm and fortified picture of the Land which they had already presented, they now contradicted themselves in desperation to push the nation past Kaleiv’s arguments! The nation was unfortunately swayed, and began to cry and complain. Kaleiv and Yehoshua tried once more, saying, do not fear the inhabitants of the Land, for they are our bread. Hashem has removed their shade from upon them. Rashi brings (second explanation) that they were merely stating that to Hashem, all of this meant nothing. If Hashem decided to give Klal Yisroel the Land, no measure of fortification or strength could possibly stand in His way! Nothing the spies had said should have made a difference to one who trusted in Hashem; there was no need for the conquest of the Land to be feasible by natural order! But to no avail. The nation simply did not possess the level of Bitachon needed to walk into the Land and receive it, and indeed, when they did merit the Land, it was through many years of wars and strife. Ultimately, the reason that the spies were able to influence the nation even on a high madreigah was because they lacked a concrete foundation of the level of Bitachon they needed to have. And we too must work toward this goal. Whatever situation a person is confronted with, no matter how impossible it seems, he must know that it is not - and it cannot be - beyond Hashem. Furthermore, no “solution” to the issue is necessary, just Bitachon. Hashem has a million ways that he can alleviate a person’s plight, and He should never be limited by the solutions we are and are not able to perceive. And, as we have mentioned many times, this should improve the way we daven as well. No doubts and no solutions - only trust. And perhaps, if we can embody this lofty level, we ourselves will merit to enter the Holy Land! A Gut Shabbos! A Project of the YSI Alumni Association Written by R’ Moshe Weiss


Nahar U_Pashtei Parshas Shlach 5781
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