Shabbos Parshas שלח
Shabbos Mevorchim Choidesh תמוז
Tiere Reb Pinchas, Askonim, Family & Friends Sheyichyu
שלום וברכה 😊
Our Parsha שלח begins with משה רבנו sending 12 men to check out the land which השם יתברך promised the Yidden. The תורה tells us about this disastrous story in order to teach us fundamental lessons about our Jewish life and the power we have to fulfill our purpose individually and collectively.
Story - The Unseen Roadblock
This week started on a high note at the שמחנו program in Stamford, Connecticut, :) sharing lessons in how our Emunah and Bitachoin brings our Geuloh. :) In the morning on Yoim Rishoin I met a kind Hatzoloh member who was on his way to daven Shacharis in a nearby shul and offered me a ride.
It’s 5778, so first things first: he put the Shul’s address into his handheld computer and waited for Waze to give him permission to proceed. As we set out, we noticed that the main road was empty and there were bright orange cones, marking off a separate path along the main drive.
The driver attempted to follow the commands Waze was giving him, but he was unable to do so because the road was blocked off. He continued down the road while Waze recalculated. It commanded him to make a left turn, which he did, only to find himself behind a long line of stopped cars in front of Bedford Ave.
Apparently, there was a marathon taking place that morning whose route was now blocking our path. Waze commanded him to make a left turn onto Bedford Ave, but he was unable to do so because the marathon had completely taken over Bedford Ave and it was not available to automobile traffic.
We sat and waited, watching the marathon runners run by. There was an interesting range of people, all focused and concentrating on a goal and purpose totally opposite to ours.
To the runners, the power of the physical body was their main focus that morning, ignoring their neshomoh, while to the Yidden on their way to Daven, the focus was on the power of the G-dly Neshomoh invested in every Yid. Our Neshomoh, through davening and being connected to Hashem, is able to achieve things which are infinitely higher and above the limitations of the natural world in which we live. It’s our mission to fuse the infinite power of our Neshomoh with our Body, to guide the body and make it a dwelling place for the shchina above.
Finally, the number of runners “ran out,” but the line of cars was only allowed to proceed forward, not to make the left onto Bedford Ave itself, as we were being told to do. The driver proceeded forward, relying on Waze to direct him to his goal in a different way but he was sadly disappointed. Despite recalculating, Waze, unaware that Bedford Ave was closed. continued to incorporate it into their directions.
Finally, the frustrated driver realized the directions he was receiving were not applicable to him, so he parked and we walked to the minyan. :)
The Baal Shem Toiv says: From everything a Yid sees and hears he needs to take a lesson in his serving השם יתברך! :) This is as true in a place called freedom as it is in a place called prison. :)
Modern navigation relies on truly amazing technology. Devices we can carry in our pockets can pinpoint our location and use information gathered from numerous sources and very sophisticated programming to direct us to our desired destination in the fastest way possible.
The wisdom of this program has been so accepted that total loyalty is given in following its commands. One can see the complete Kabolas Oil people have, normally only seen in a religious context, even when it commands them to make turns onto paths they never traveled, they will travel off the beaten path, with the assurance they will reach their destination.
That morning, however, the limitations and of even the wisest of programs were on full display. Ignorant of the unusual circumstances in the area, it failed to give proper directions and good advice.
These limitations are even more evident in a situation where the “advisor” is ignorant of a specific person’s unique abilities. A taxi driver in Eretz Yisroel once explained that Waze is totally useless to him. As a taxi driver, he has a special lane available to him to use allowing him to avoid traffic in the regular lanes. Waze sees those routes as congested and directs him to abandon it and avoids it completely, when he can actually use it and arrive quicker than by using other routes available to him.
The lesson from this experience:
General guidance or advice, even if it’s logically sound or scientifically proven, can lead you to fall short of your potential or even to the wrong conclusions, Chas V’Sholom! You need guidance and advice that applies to the specific situation you find yourself in, and more importantly, advice that accounts for your unique qualities! Only this type of advice will lead you to the path of life which will give you the שמחת החיים and מנוחת הנפש in fulfilling your purpose in life. :)
This is why a Yid does not rely on conclusions drawn from the world around us, and instead relies only on the תורה to give him advice and direction to achieve and reach the true goal in life. Only תורה takes into consideration the circumstances in which a Yid finds himself and the unique nature and abilities of a Yid. The Yid is created to make this world a holy place by bringing G-dliness into this world, by learning Toirah and doing Mitzvois and overcoming the darkness of this world thru Emunah and Bitachoin in השם יתברך :)
This explains one of the fatal mistakes which the 10 Meraglim made.
Facts, not Analysis
Meforshim ask: What was the sin of the Meraglim?
Before sending them, Moshe described their mission: Scout the land report back. Are the people strong or weak? Few or many? Is the land good or bad? Fortified or not? Is the soil rich or poor? Wooded or not? Strengthen yourselves and bring back fruit.
This is exactly what they did!
They went and toured the land. They returned, bearing enormous fruit, and gave their report on the questions Moshe had asked: The land is flowing with milk and honey. The people are powerful, the cities fortified, and we saw giants living there.
So, what was their sin?
The answer is: After completing their report, they continued with a conclusion based on their findings, a conclusion, although logically sound, betrayed their entire mission and brought tremendous tragedy on Klal Yisroel.
Moishe Rabbainu had sent them not to determine if they were capable of conquering the land, but to determine how. All those details Moshe requested are the details normally considered in a natural battle plan, but he didn’t need the information to decide whether or not to go into the battle and enter the land .
Their actions would be dictated by השם יתברך! He had commanded them to conquer the nations and He would ensure that they did, by miraculous means if necessary. The way of השם יתברך is to avoid performing Nissim for no reason. Therefore, person needs to do as much as he can by natural means in order to minimize the number of miracles, or the magnitude of the miracles, which are required, even if ultimately some miraculous intervention will be needed.
In this context, the invasion needed to be planned as if it was subject to nature, so משה רבנו sent the spies, but there was never any question (until the Meraglim raised it) that the Yidden would conquer the land, because השם יתברך had commanded them to do so!
By saying “we will not be able to go up against them because they are stronger than us (Him),” the Meraglim abandoned the bedrock of our Emunah - that the outcome is dictated not by nature, but by Hashem. The natural obstacles to conquering the land lead them to conclude that we will not be able to conquer them, even though this is what השם יתברך commanded them to do! Which is fundamentally opposite to our EMUNAH and their mission. They were supposed find a natural path for the miracle to occur, instead, they presented nature as an obstacle to HASHEMS will!
We CAN Conquer!
This is not just a historical anecdote of the mistake of a dozen men in a single situation. It is fundamental to our approach to fulfilling all of the Mitzvois.
We must know with absolute certainty and clarity that the Mitzvois that השם יתברך has commanded us are within our ability to fulfill!
No rational person would command someone to do something if he knows that person does not have the power to do it! This is doubly true when he is setting expectations for a tool which he has himself crafted - he will not subject the tool or object to a greater strain than he has designed it to endure. (Although a craftsman can miscalculate.)
How much more so can we conclude that the King of Kings, הקדוש ברוך הוא, the ultimate good and righteousness, will not demand that a person, whom He created, do something which is not in his capabilities to fulfill, and השם does not, Chas V’Sholom, miscalculate.
Starting from this certainty, that הקדוש ברוך הוא grants us the ability to fulfill the Mitzvois he has commanded us to do, we turn to action. We do not rely on miracles - the main point in doing Mitzvois is that the world reflects Hashem’s Will without being coerced through supernatural means. Instead, we do the Mitzvois in a natural way, in order to make this world a dwelling place for הקדוש ברוך הוא, still maintaining or trust that it is not the natural means that decide or success.
In this way we live the lesson of Moishe Rabbainu, who sent the Meraglim to determine the most natural approach, without falling into the mistake of the Meraglim by concluding that nature has power and must drive our conclusions and decisions.
A Naturally “Holy” Argument
This brings us a glaring question. The Yidden had all seen the great and awesome Makois Hashem had brought upon Paroi and Mitzrayim, bringing the world superpower to its knees. What could possibly explain their fear of the kings and nations of Canaan?
There was a more subtle argument which the Meraglim, which created this fear.
The Meraglim argued: Certainly - Hashem is able to make Nissim to help the Yidden. But since Hashem wants the Yidden to be engage with the world in a natural way, to make this world a dwelling place for Hashem, their entry to Eretz Yisroel must be in a natural way as well.
They need to employ the natural methods and strategies of war, and not rely on miracles, because that is counter to the purpose of going into Eretz Yisroel in the first place. Miracles, which Hashem can surely perform for the Yidden, would be engaging in the world in a coercive, supernatural way, and not in the transformative, natural way which will accomplish Hashem’s intent.
The response of Kalev and Yehoishuah addresses this argument.
They said אם חפץ בנו השם - Hashem wants us to fulfill his inner purpose of creation, which is to make this world a dwelling place for Hashem. Therefore, והשם אתנו אל תראום - we should not be affected or have any fear from the world. לחמנו הם! - Even though the world runs in a natural way, Hashem is always with the Yidden and Hashem places in nature a Hatzlocho that is higher than nature, which makes this world “our food” part if the Yids body, which becomes a dwelling place for HASHEM :)
The truth is that; the miracles which come hidden in the ways of nature are greater than the miracles which openly Violate the rules of nature, because the miracles which comes clothed in nature express such a high level of G-dliness that it is not challenged by the limitations of nature and doesn’t need to violate them - nature simply adjusts and does Hashem’s will which is higher than nature. :)
We can see this in our own world in the workplace.
Question; Which is a more impressive display of what it means to be the boss, - the boss who can coerce the employee to do their jobs correctly or the boss whose employees are willing to put aside their own limited view of things and go along with their bosses unlimited vision and act accordingly?
This Type of miracles is connected with Toiroh learning. :)
The Holy Oroin into which the two Luchois were placed had a defined size of 2.5 by 1.5 by 1.5 Amois. Yet when it was placed into the Koidesh HaKodoshim it did not take up any space!! If you measured the floor space from the sides of the Oroin to each wall, you would get the same measurement as if you measured from wall to wall.
The Oroin did not transcend space because it maintained its natural measurement. Yet, simultaneously Hashem made the miracle that it did not take up any space even though it had measurable dimension! This is a combination of polar opposites, limitation and beyond limitation, through the power of Toiroh - the two Luchois! The power of Toirah reveals HASHEMS infinite power into our world.
Jewish Positioning System
Because this is a fundamental and eternal lesson in our approach to all the Mitzvois of the Toirah, the Toirah expresses this lesson in connection with the Yidden going into Eretz Yisroel. Going into Eretz Yisroel, as opposed to staying in the desert, is all about making the world a dwelling place for Hashem, which is the same thing we do when we fulfill all the Mitzvois of Hashem! :)
We need to know and always remember that we have Koichiois which are Higher than nature. Yes, we are in a world that works in the ways of nature, but we are not governed by the limitations of nature.
When we need to serve Hashem and there are challenges in our way, we need to know that we are Yidden, we have a G-dly Neshomoh and the Torah is the only true guide capable of giving us true directions to reach our goal and also gives us the power to reach our goal! :)
Advice from the world is ignorant of the fact that we are yidden, but any command and all advice from the Toirah includes with it all the Brochois and power we need to, and alway takes into account the specific circumstances we are in, who we are, and what we truly need to accomplish!
This is precisely why Hashem commands us to do these Mitzvois, because only through Toiroh and Mitzvois do we merit to enter the land we were promised in a “natural’ way, and whenever it is needed, Hashem makes miracles for us within the confines of nature, so we always succeed in our mission to make this world a dwelling place for Hashem, May it be TODAY! :)
YEHEE ROTZOIN FROM HASHEM YISBORAICH TO GIVE EVERY YID HIS AND HER GEULOH PROTI WITH OUR GEULOH KLOLI NOW WITH MOSHIACH TZIDKAINU :)
A GUTENN FRAILICHEN SHABBOS MEVORCHIM CHOIDESH TAMUZ :)
PODOH BESHOLOM NAFSHI :)
BESUROIS TOIVOIS DIDAN NOTZACH :)
UZI AILECHO AZAMAIROH, KEE ELOIKIM MISGABI, ELOIKAI CHASDI :)
Sholom Mordechai Ben Avrohom Aharoin HaLevi Sheyichye:)