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  • Writer's pictureRabbi Yonah Burr

Shelach: Hashem Loves You!

By Rabbi Yonah Burr

אם חפץ בנו ד' והביא אתנו אל הארץ הזאת ונתנה לנו ארץ אשר הוא זבת חלב ודבש: אך בד' אל תמרדו ואתם אל תיראו את עם הארץ כי לחמנו הם סר צלם מעליהם וד' אתנו אל תיראם (במדבר יד:ח,ט)
If Hashem desires us, He will bring us to this land and give it to us; it is a land flowing with milk and honey. Just don’t rebel against Hashem! And you should have no fear of the people in the land; they are ours to devour, their protection has been removed and Hashem is with us, have no fear of them!

Many explanations are given regarding the motive of the spies to offer the negative report and convince us to not want to enter the land- ranging from a ‘noble’ motive of not wanting to leave the miraculous existence of the desert, to the not so lofty motive of not wanting to lose their positions of authority to a simple lack of faith in the power of Hashem.

The Chofetz Chaim brings a medrash that the Meraglim did believe in the power of Hashem; the problem was that we are not deserving of Hashem’s help! Of course He could do it, but we are not worthy of this tremendous kindness.

The gemara in Berachos 61a tells us “says Rav, the Yatzer Hara is compared to a fly that sits between the two chambers of the heart, fluttering back and forth between the two”.

The Chofetz Chaim explains: we tend to alternate between two different emotions - sometimes we feel confident and complacent, and sometimes we feel humble and undeserving. Each feeling has its time and place. The place for confidence is when we need to stick up for what is right, to correct a wrongdoing, to defend the oppressed. The time for humility is when we accomplish or feel talented- to attribute our gifts and successes to Hashem.

The way of the Yatzer Hara is to confuse the two; when we should rise to the challenge, he convinces us to be humble; how could I possibly accomplish this, why bother!

And when we are supposed to feel humble, he confuses us to feel arrogant and attribute our successes to ourselves.

When the spies saw the might of the nations, they felt a misplaced sense of humility; how could we possibly deserve Hashem’s kindness to help us conquer this land? However, this was a time to feel confident- Yehoshua tells us, “just don’t rebel!” as long as you are trying, and not rebelling, we have every right to feel confident in the kindness of Hashem;

This is such a comforting thought! Just don’t rebel! As long as we are trying Hashem will help, because Hashem truly loves us!

Have a wonderful Shabbos!

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