Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Spies, the Jews and the Ge’ulah

 Seen in Jerusalem

Photo: Miriam Woelke

This week’s Torah Parasha is called SHLACH LECHA (literally: send to you). G – d didn’t command Moshe sending out spies to Eretz Israel but the people wanted to know where they are going to. In the end, Moshe made up his mind and sent out the spies turning out to be a big mistake. 

The Sefat Emet (Rabbi Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter, a former Gerrer Rebbe who lived from 1847–1905) brings up an interesting thought in his commentary on the Parasha. He says that the Jews were not ready yet entering the land. For whatever reason but it just wasn’t their time. 

The same happens with our present exile (Galut): If the Jews really desire to return to G – d, He would bring us a speedy and immediate redemption (Ge’ulah). At first, things may seem to move slowly. Just like the Jews in the desert wandering around for 40 years. However, suddenly there could be a fast change and G – d just causes things to happen within a second. The same with Meshiach: First nothing seems to happen and suddenly everything goes so fast we would have never dreamt of. 

This is just a brief idea but I would like to mention another thought: The question is whether the Jews used their G – dgiven FREE WILL by asking to send out the spies. So, did Moshe use his FREE WILL by giving in. The spies, on the other hand, where also using their FREE WILL. Did everything just depend on the FREE WILL or was it all G – d’s plan ? Nevertheless, when using our FREE WILL we should do this with using our Chochmah (Wisdom) and not by following our own preferences in life, as this may have caused the spies to give a negative report.

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