Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Shlach

Shelach Lekha / Copy Cat

By Rabbi Raymond Beyda

The story of the spies, whose mission resulted in the tragedy of forty years of wandering through the desert and the death of an entire generation, raises many questions. Rashi explains that the men chosen were righteous individuals who were chosen by Moshe and met with the approval of G-d. How is it that they fell spiritually to the point that they lost their faith in

G-d's ability to bring His people to the Chosen Land?

Messilat Yesharim [chap 11] explains, "It is possible that a person can overcome his inclination for money and other pleasures, yet still be pressed for honor, as he cannot tolerate being on a lower status than his friends...It was this which, according to our Sages [Zohar Bemidbar 3:13], caused the sin of the spies to slander the land and brought death upon them and the entire generation. For they feared lest their honor be diminished when they would enter the land, as they would no longer be princes among Israel and others would serve in their stead."

Rav Yehudah Zev Segal A''H, the late Manchester Rosh Yeshivah, said that as difficult as it is to overcome prejudice, --personal interest--, it would have been possible had the spies learned a lesson from Miriam, who was punished for criticizing Moshe Rabbenu. Rambam

[Maimonedes] said that Miriam's "sin" was well-intentioned criticism, out of love and concern for her younger brother and his wife. It was said to him directly and privately and yet she was still struck with Tzara’at [spiritual leprosy manifest on the skin].

The spies viewed Miriam's affliction as an unfortunate occurrence. They should have given thought to the incident and learned a lesson about negative speech--a lesson to use throughout their mission and their lives. Had they done this, said Rabbi Segal, "They might have had the fortitude to overcome their personal interests and refrain from speaking evil of the Chosen Land that was G-d's gift to His Chosen People."

It is important that one learn meaningful lessons from the things that happen around them and to apply them to one's own life. When a person strikes it rich, when someone achieves financial success, many are quick to inquire, "How did he do it?" They ask for two reasons. First, curiosity. Second, in order to evaluate how they can emulate him and attain success for themselves. This should be our attitude in spiritual matters. When we see someone succeed in learning or grow in Yir'at Shamayim [fear of Heaven], we should analyze their accomplishments and see what we can use from their successful methodology to achieve spiritual gains for ourselves.


A person should involve himself or herself personally in buying and preparing for Shabbat--rather than send someone else to do it. Hakham Obadiah Yosef Shlit"a says that the perspiration that a person perspires in preparation for Shabbat is used by Hashem to erase our sins--like tears that we shed

Shabbat Shalom

Raymond J Beyda

Text Copyright © 2004 by Rabbi Raymond Beyda and



View Complete List

Giving Satan What He Really Wants
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

Confrontation Management
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Be Patient!
Shlomo Katz - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Aroma of Calm
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Living Lessons
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

Our Stronger Than Iron Dome
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Looking for a Chavrusah?

A Few Small Jugs
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

The Strong and the Weak
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

The 4th Strategy
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

> The Master Plan
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5763

A Generous Eye
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

All For The Children
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762


Shedding Light on the Identity Crisis
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759

The War Against Error-ism
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Light Over Darkness
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5768

Yosef and Chanukah
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5757

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information