Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Shlach

No Pain No Gain

By Rabbi Elly Broch

After more than a year in the wilderness - receiving the Torah, building the Mishkan (Tabernacle), forging the foundation of our nationhood - the Children of Israel were prepared to go into the Promised Land. But the scouts they dispatched to spy the land returned with a damning report that deflated the nation. "The entire assembly raised up and issued its voice; the people wept that night. All the children of Israel murmured against Moshe and Aaron, and the entire assembly said to them, 'If only we had died in the land of Egypt.Why is G-d bringing us to this land to die by the sword?'" (Bamidbar/Numbers 14:1-3)

How could the spies inform them that they would not be able to conquer the land after all the miracles that they had seen in Egypt, when leaving Egypt and at Mount Sinai? It should have been obvious to them that nothing is impossible for the Master of the Universe.

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (1) explains that there is a great difference between individuals who have developed a faith in and loyalty to G-d through labor and toil, and those who experience an epiphany through miracles and wonders. The generation of the wilderness gained their awareness of G-d through the miracles that they witnessed over the prior two years. Although this generation had the greatest awareness of the Creator in the history of the world, they were accustomed to believe only in that which their eyes saw. Since they had only seen supernatural miracles, but had not yet observed G-d's providence manifest in nature, such as His intervention to assure victory in battle and conquest, they could not fathom this type of miracle. Without supernatural intervention, they would have to engage in a war that they could not naturally win. Since their faith was rooted in G-d's obvious wonders they lacked a developed awareness of G-d and the spiritual world, maintaining an attitude of "I'll believe it when I see it". This generation believed because they did actually see wonders, but they had not been trained to use their intellectual faculties and rational thought to have faith even before any sign of assistance or respite were apparent.

Rabbi Avigdor Miller (2) expounds that gaining a strong and authentic trust in G-d takes a lifetime of effort. One must invest much time and effort contemplating the design and complexity evident in Creation, the laws of the Torah and its Prophesies, and accurate historical events on the world level and individual level. Judaism does not embrace blind faith and a mere utterance of "I believe". There must be honest and careful study of the facts that result in an informed decision and a developed understanding of our Creator.

Have a Good Shabbos!

(1) 1895-1986; Rosh Yeshiva/Dean of Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem in New York City; the leading Halachic/Jewish legal decisor of his time and one of the principal leaders of Torah Jewry through much of the last century

(2) 1908-2001; a prolific author and popular speaker who specialized in mussar (introspective Jewish self-improvement) and Jewish history, Rabbi Miller commanded a worldwide following through his books and tapes: of the tens of thousands of Torah lectures he delivered, more than 2,000 were preserved on cassettes


Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Elly Broch and Torah.org.

Kol HaKollel is a publication of The Milwaukee Kollel Center for Jewish Studies 5007 West Keefe Avenue Milwaukee, Wisconsin 414-447-7999


 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

The Roots of Evil
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

The World is a Symphony
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

The Best Policy
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5765

ArtScroll

Out of the Darkness
Shlomo Katz - 5773

In His Generation
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Coming to Terms with the World to Come
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Ark D'triumph
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Sins Committed In Private Ultimately Lead To a Violent Society
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Procreation: Creating Worlds
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Gift of Meat
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

Joint Efforts
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

Home Alone
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

> The Day Falsehood Married Destruction
Shlomo Katz - 5761

Go the Distance!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

The Rainmaker
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

Parshas Noach
Shlomo Katz - 5772



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information