• Maverick (Avigdor) Peters

Parshas Shelach 2011

In the opening pasukim (passages) of Parshas Shelach Hashem tells Moshe (Moses) to send miraglim (spies) to Eretz Canaan (Israel) because they wanted to make sure the land was a good land for the B‘nai Yisroel. In truth, the B’nai Yisroel were intensely frightened of entering the land of Canaan because of the widespread rumors about the land’s inhabitants. They pleaded with Moshe and insisted upon sending spies to see if the land is okay and safe. Hashem was not “supporting” this because how could His chosen people not trust in Hashem who has guarded and guided His people from the very start? Hashem basically said, go and do want you want.

So Moshe selected men from each shevet (tribe). When the miraglim went into the land they encountered people of enormous size (giants) living in the land. Not only were the people abnormally large but so was their food. So when the miraglim returned, ten out of the twelve spoke Lashon Harah about the Promised Land. The other two were tremendous tzadikim named Yehoshua and Kalav who were not influenced by the negative mindsets of the others. The other miraglim decided to bring back some of the giant fruits to show everyone how dangerous the land was, but Yehoshua and Kalav separated themselves.

When the miraglim returned and spoke Lashon Hara the B’nai Yisroel began to kvetch even more and eventually cried deeply over this matter. Hashem told them since they cried on this day when there was no reason He would make it a day for them to cry forever. This was the 9th day of the month of Av, A.K.A. Tisha B’Av.

Moshe changed Yehoshua’s name from Hoshea Bin Nun to Yehoshua Bin Nun. Moshe davened for Yehoshua before the spies left because he wanted Yehoshua to have extra help from Hashem and changed his name (to mean “save you“). So Moshe added a yud (from Hashem’s name) calling him Yehoshua.

We can and should learn from this week’s Parsha how important it is to distance ourselves from the wrongdoings and wrong intentions of others and put our faith in Hashem! -Amen!


Stay tuned for next week’s Parsha called, Parshas Korach!

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