A Shabbat Nugget: Parashat Shelach

In this week’s Torah portion we read the story of the Spies that Moses sent to check out the land of Israel.  The spies came back with a good report regarding how good the land of Israel is but, they came to the conclusion that the inhabitants of the land were too strong for the Jews to conquer.  The Jewish people accepted the report of the Spies and cried about their misfortune.  This lack of faith demonstrated by the Jewish people was considered a cardinal sin and G-d decreed that all the Jews that had reached the age of twenty would die in the desert and not enter the land of Israel.

When the Spies were describing the strength of the inhabitants of Israel they said, “We saw in Israel giants who originated from the fallen angels in the days of Enosh.”We are taught that these fallen angels who assumed material form had  become more corrupt then the humans of their generation.

The commentators tell us that the spies had a specific reason for mentioning the fallen angels.  This was an additional argument why the Jews should not enter Israel.  They claimed that while we are separated from society, but if we enter civilization and we become surrounded by nations who do not follow a moral path, we will become enticed to follow their lifestyle.  The bolstered their argument by mentioning the fallen angel who were G-d’s messengers yet they became corrupt when they began living on earth.

In truth, their argument was a faulty since the Jews soul has much greater strength than even the strength of angels.  Indeed over the history of the Jewish people for the most part we have not fallen into the decadents? (Sp)of society but, have been a light to the nations and taught others the proper way in which G-d wants us to live.

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About Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner is the Rabbi of Boulder County Center for Judaism. In addition, he teaches extensively throughout Boulder County and is the author of "Finding the Joy in Everyday Living," a book of short chapters explaining the ways to access happiness through appreciation, gratitude, and a sense of purpose.

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