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Daily Aliya for Shelach, Sheni (2nd Aliya)

Aliya Summary: The scouts spent forty days reconnoitering the land. They returned to the Israelite encampment with specimens of Canaan’s produce, and with an ominous report. They conceded that the land flowed with milk and honey, but they warned that its population was mighty and the cities well fortified and impossible to conquer. Only Caleb and Joshua, the scouts representing the tribes of Judah and Ephraim, dissented. They argued that the land was magnificent, and there was no reason for concern because G‑d could surely bring the Israelites victory in battle. The Jewish people spent that entire night wailing, expressing their preference to return to Egypt rather than be defeated in battle by the Canaanites.

The Kotzker Rebbe and others define two components of the Sin of the Spies from this part of the passuk. First, that we saw ourselves as small and insignificant. Second, that we were concerned about how others perceived us. With G-d obviously on our side (we know what happened to Egypt and we witnessed so many miracles performed on our behalf), we should not have viewed ourselves that way. And, how others perceive us is their problem, not ours.

Shlomo Ressler