Friday, July 1, 2016

12 Wonderful Insights on Parshas Shelach

12 Insights on Parshas Shelach:

1) In this parsha, Moshe renamed Hoshea, Yehoshua, which literally means ‘Hashem shall save’. Rashi quotes from Gemara Sotah 34b, which explains that Moshe Davened for Yehoshua that Hashem should save him from the counsel of the other Spies.

2) Though the question begs itself; why did Moshe daven for Yehoshua only? Gur Aryeh (Maharal) explains that if Yehoshua were to sin, then it would reflect badly on Moshe. But it was not gaava that motivated Moshe to do this. He did it because if people lost faith in him, then they might come to question the Torah itself, which they received through him.

3) Midrash Rabbah also comments on the change of the name. It says that the letter Yud was flying around before the Throne of Glory all the years from the time it was removed from Sarai’s name, to make it Sarah, and saying to Hashem “Just because I am the smallest of all the letters, I was taken out of the righteous Sarah?Until it was added to Yehoshua’s name.

 4) The first part of the second Passuk in Parshas Shelach reads 'Shelach li'cha anashim.... etc.' (which literally means 'Send for yourself men...').  The Chassidishe Masters like to chop words out of Passukim, and derive lessons from it, which is exactly what they did on this Passuk:  They say, we learn from the words 'Send for yourself', that we must try to send away the part of ourselves which only cares about our self.  Not being selfish, not doing things just for ourselves, etc.  This is very important. 

5) The Chassidishe Masters do this again on the next part of this Passuk:  The Torah says 'Vi'yasuru es Eretz Canaan, asher Ani nosain li'Vnei Yisroel....etc.' (which means 'And they will spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the B'nei Yisroel....etc.').  The Chassidishe Masters explain that the word 'Canaan', aside from the simple meaning, can mean business.  So a message that we get from this Passuk, they explain beautifully, is that when we are in business, or anything else for that matter, it is Hashem giving us the money (thus the emphasis on 'which I am giving to the B'nei Yisroel').   Though a person might work very hard to make money, in the end, it is always Hashem Who gives us everything.  He is Infinitely kind!!  Blessed is Hashem Who is Abundantly kind, Amein!!

6) The Torah says in this parsha (Bamidbar 13:22), during the episode of the Miraglim, that ‘he came to Chevron’. Rashi quotes from Gemara Sotah 34b, which asks; why does it say ‘he came’, shouldn’t it have said ‘they’? After all, we are talking about the Miraglim, aren’t we? The Gemara answers that ‘he’ refers to Calev. He came to Chevron to daven at the graves of the Avos and Imahos that he should not be enticed to join in the conspiracy of the Miraglim.

7) In the parsha, the Miraglim said ‘It is a land that consumes its inhabitants. The Hebrew word for ‘inhabitants’ is ‘Yoshvehah, which means ‘its settlers’. And so, on this, Rebbe Yitzchok of Vorka zt”l explains a nice thing: He says that the deeper meaning behind this is that Eretz Yisroel does not tolerate a person who settles down, content with how good of a person they are’.1 A person always has to get better!  We are never good enough!

8) The Torah says that ‘the people wept that night’. And Gemara Taanis 29b explains that the night that it was decreed that they would not enter the Land of Israel was Tisha B’Av.

9) Rebbe Avraham Yehoshua Twerski shlita asks; we see that the Jews repented after the Cheit Ha’Eigel, and were forgiven. But they also repented after the sin of Miraglim, but they weren’t forgiven. Why? So he explains that it is because the Jews truly regretted their sin after the Cheit Ha’Eigel, and they did true Teshuvah. But in this case, they knew that through Teshuvah they could achieve repentance, and so they only repented to achieve forgiveness.2

10) The Torah says that all of the Miraglim were heads of the Bnei Yisroel. And the Commentaries explain beautifully, that one of the faults of the Miraglim (except for Yehoshua and Calev) was that they considered themselves as heads of the Bnei Yisroel.3

11)  Rebbe Moshe Yechiel Epstein of Ozaharov ztl explains that one of the reasons the Miraglim did what they did, was because they misinterpreted something that Hashem had said. So they thought that Hashem would not help them beat the Canaanim, and they would have to fight them themselves. And by themselves, they surely would have lost. But they made the mistake of not having faith in Hashem. If Hashem tells you to do something, do it and He will protect you.4

12)  There are 119 Passukim in this parsha. HaRav Dovid Feinstein shlita explains that this corresponds to the word פּלט , which means to remove or to rescue. This, he explains, connects to the fact that since the Jews sinned; Hashem had to punish them, though He removedMoshe from the decree of punishment.5 

Have a great Shabbos!!

1  Parsha in-depth, Parshas Shelach.
2 Four Chassidic Masters, page 66.  By Rebbe Avraham J. Twerski M.D. shlita.  From the PocketScroll© series.  A Shaar Press© Publication.
3 Tales of Tzaddikim, page 71, Parshas Shelach, 'The Tzaddik may Suffer'.  By G. MaTov.  Artscroll/Mesorah Publications©.
4 Stone Edition Chumash.  Parshas Shelach.  Artscroll/Mesorah Publications©.
5 Stone Edition Chumash.  Parshas Shelach.  Artscroll/Mesorah Publications©.

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