Posts Tagged 'Parshas Shelach'

Parshas Shelach | The Kollel Connection

Parshas Shelach | The Kollel Connection

Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center

June 12, 2015 – Candle lighting 8:11 pm, Shabbos Ends 9:19 pm

Note: Times are for Bensalem; Check your local calendar for exact times in your area.

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

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This week we read Parshas Shelach. In the Parsha we read of the episode of the spies. Moses sent twelve men to spy the land of Israel before the Jewish people would enter to conquer it. All of these twelve men, the Torah tells us, were great leaders among the Jewish people. Tragically, as the episode unfolded, ten of these men turned against Hashem, and spoke against the land of Israel, discouraging the Jews from going there, and even doubting the ability of Hashem to give them the land.

There were two spies who stood firm in their loyalty to Hashem. They were Joshua and Caleb. When the spies initially came with their bad report to the Jewish people, they gave their damaging report, claiming that the land  could not be conquered by the Jews. After their report, Caleb countered with a claim that the land could be conquered. The Torah tells us that Caleb managed to silence the Jewish people, to listen to Moses. After Caleb did this, the spies countered and managed to frighten the Jewish people to the point where they began to cry and asked to return to Egypt. This tragic episode ended with Hashem’s decree that the Jewish people would spend forty years in the desert before entering the land of Israel.

Later in the Parsha, Hashem promises great reward to Caleb for what he did in opposing the spies (14:24). Rav Moshe Feinstien asks, why is it that Caleb gets this great reward? After all, he didn’t succeed in getting the Jews not to listen to the spies? In the end, the spies carried the day and the Jews did not want to go to Israel? One could say that Caleb gets reward for trying, but Rav Feinstien says that this certainly not the simple understanding of what the Torah is rewarding Caleb for.

Rabbi Feinstein answers with a beautiful and amazing point. Often in life, one manages to make an impact on others, or on oneself, but then later falls again. Did that time that they were uplifted count for anything, or do we say it was worthless since it didn’t last anyway? Rav Feinstien points out that we know that we are obligated to break Shabbos to save a life, even if it is only going to help for a few minutes. This is true in all areas of life. If we lift ourselves or someone else for any amount of time, we have done a great thing. Hashem will reward us for this for eternity.

This is exactly what happened with Caleb. The spies came and gave a terrible report. At that point the Jewish people were siding with them. Caleb came along, and convinced the Jewish people that Moses was right. At that time, the Jews were back on the proper path and siding with Moses. Afterwards, the spies came and convinced the Jews back to rebel against Moses. However, the fact is that Caleb did accomplish a major thing during that time that the Jews returned. For this he gets eternal reward. We must have this inspiration for ourselves. Whenever we do something good, not matter for how long, no matter if it lasts, we must realize that it’s a major accomplishment that will give us eternal reward.

Wishing you and your family a Great Shabbos!!!!!!!! 

Rabbi Moshe Travitsky

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