Thursday, June 16, 2011

Parashat Shlach

This week we are privileged to read the portion of Shlach. Perhaps one of the most troubling events in our nations history took place, when Jews decided to send spies to "tour" the land of Israel and inspect it. The Meraglim - spies, returned with an unfavorable report which caused an uproar and as the Talmud teaches us, G-d's response was "you cried an unnecessary cry I will give what to cry for". This day was the 9th of Av, the day two Temples (Batei Mikdash) were destroyed and remains a day of mourning until this very day. Later in the portion we learn about the Mitzvah of separating chalah from dough, and the portion ends with the mitzvah of Tzitzis.

In Bamidbar 13/32 the Torah repeats the slander of the Meraglim (spies) about Eretz Yisroel. The Torah quotes them saying "eretz ocheles yoshveho - a land which eats/destroys its inhabitants".  Rashi explains that wherever they went, they
Saw people burying their dead. The Sha"ch explains that it was custom of the Knaanites, when someone died, they didn't bury him/her immediately, they rather waited until a pious man died and when they buried him, they buried everyone else. This they believed, will help everyone else get to Heaven. The Talmud (Sotah 35) tells us that Iyov passed away on that day (when the meraglim started), perhaps says the sha"ch that's why there were mass burials.

We find that one of the things Moshe told them (the spies) to inspect, was whether there's a tree tree three, Rashi says this means a Pious man. They were to inspect whether there's a righteous man whose merit can defend them.  Likely we find Yehoshua and Koleiv said their shadow was taken away from above them, referring to the death of Iyov whose merit may have protected them.

The lesson is a person sees what he wants to see. Had they thought properly with a good attitude, they would have seen the good in these events, instead they chose the contrary.

Let us merit to always see the good in everything and may we speedily merit to return to the land of promise.

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