Divrei Torah

PARSHAS SHELACH 5776

In this week’s Parsha we read that Moshe sent 12 men to report about the Land of Canaan. After 40 days they returned and did not give a very flattering report. They began with some good words about the Land. Rashi comments that their intention was to be critical, however, in order to be believable, there must be some truth intertwined in it. The men reported that the people of the Land were powerful . . . the cities fortified . . . there are giants . . . Amalek is in the south . . . .other nations dwell throughout the country . . . the Land devours its people; they are constantly burying the dead. Calev countered the claims of the ten men. He said, “We will go up and we will conquer the Land because we are able to do it.” 

If we analyze the response of Calev, we will see that Calev did not respond to the claims of the ten men. He just said that we can do it. Rabbi Eli Samber explained that Calev could not argue the facts. His emphasis was that if G-d said “we can do it, we will do it.” If we approach this  task with the proper frame of mind, we can conquer many obstacles. G-d will help us.” As the Rabbis teach us, “in the path that a person wants to go, G-d leads him that way.”

We say “when there’s a will there’s a way.” That was Calev and Yehoshua’s attitude. They knew that in terms of physical strength, the nations of Canaan were imposing. Yet, they felt they could conquer those nations, because G-d told them to go and they will be successful. G-d will help them.

We have several obstacles to conquer. Our personal religious practices, inner fighting, enemies from within and without. But, we can do it. We must believe in G-d and in ourselves. Just look at all of Jewish history, we have done it before, and G-d willing, we will do it again.