top of page

Shelach: Perception is Everything

The sin of the spies is, perhaps, one of the most troubling and terrible events in Jewish history, with far-reaching consequences. As a result of the spies’ slander about the Land of Israel, the Jewish people were punished severely - the entire generation received the death penalty, the whole nation was sentenced to wander for forty years in the dessert, and calamities continue to befall our people for generations on the day the spies came back with their report, including the destruction of both Batei Mikdash. Furthermore, and even more disconcerting, the twelve men that Moshe sent were the princes of the tribes, who had only recently brought special sacrifices to inaugurate the Mishkan! These were not “Average Joe” Jews; these twelve men were the cream of the crop! How could they have erred so grievously and fallen so far?

Regarding the second verse of the Parsha, “shelach li