Parashas Shelach presents the reader with many questions. How could the Jewish People rely on the assessment of ten men who claimed that Eretz Yisroel was not suitable for the Nation, when HaShem had informed Moshe that He would redeem them from the shackles of slavery in Egypt and lead them to the Good and Expansive Land? Were they really prepared to wander in the Wilderness forever? The Zohar states that the spies were leaders of their tribes and did not wish to be demoted from their positions so they slandered the Land with the intention of not having to enter Eretz Yisroel. How are we to understand this? Did they not realize that the life of a Jew is not the same when not living in the Land that HaShem promised to our forefathers?
The commentators point out how the spies declared that the giants of the Land viewed the spies as grasshoppers, and “so were we in their eyes.” This statement reflected an inferiority on the part of the spies. Yet, we must wonder, would not each and every one of us feel inferior if we were to meet someone who towered over us in height by a few hundred feet?
To answer these questions, we must understand the Diaspora mentality. When one has not yet lived in Eretz Yisroel, or even when one has lived in Eretz Yisroel and has left, the attitude can often be, “there are problems with living in Eretz Yisroel, such as earning a livelihood, terrorism, different mentality, less conveniences etc. While every individual must decide for themselves if living in Eretz Yisroel at a specific time in history will work for them and their family, we cannot defy HaShem’s wishes that the majority of the Jewish People inhabit the landed despite the hardships involved. Although the spies seemed justified in relating to the people the terrifying and strange sights that they had witnessed, such as people dying constantly, oversized fruit and the giants, their mistake was that the Land, and subsequently, the Ultimate Redemption, is acquired through good speech. We find that Moshe was concerned how the Jewish People could be worthy of redemption from Egypt when there was even one or two talebearers amongst the Jewish People. It would certainly follow that an entire group of slanderers would jeopardize the Jewish People’s entry into the Land. Ultimately, the Jews suffered then by having to wander forty years in the Wilderness and we all still suffer until today because their cries caused crying and mourning for all future generations.
HaShem should allow us to speak only good about Eretz Yisroel, whether we currently reside there or even if we have not yet merited the mitzvah of doing so. When we talk only good about the Land and the Jewish People, we will no longer feel inferior to the nations of the world and HaShem will bring us the long waited Moshiach, with the Ultimate Redemption, speedily, in our days.
Have a SUPERIOR Speech Shabbos!
Erev Shabbos Kodesh Inspiration Shelach 5776
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