Holding Onto Emunah by Rabbi Benny Berlin

In this week’s Parasha (Shelach), we read about the spies going to scout out Eretz Yisrael. Hashem said to Moshe “Send forth men, if you please, and let them spy out the Land of Canaan that I give to the Children of Israel.” (13:1) The spies are sent and ten of them come back with terrifying reports. “We arrived at the Land to which you sent us, and indeed it flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. But – the people that dwells in the Land is powerful, the cities are fortified and very great, and we also saw there the offspring of the giant.” (13:27-28) The spies also reported, “We cannot ascend to that people for it is too strong for us!” (13:31) What happened here? Hashem literally said that He is giving us this land. Why would they ever look for a reason to challenge Him?

The Parasha mentions that the spies sent were distinguished men. These were not random members of the Jewish people who could not comprehend Hashem’s message. Rather, the spies seem to have gotten caught up in the moment and lost their Emunah (faith) in Hashem. This is not to say they were not faithful people. Rather at that moment in time the situation was so foggy that they lost sight of the bigger picture. Perhaps, in this way, we can relate it to our lives. We already know that Hashem is watching over us and cares for each one of His children. We too might be faithful people. Davening daily, learning Torah and following the Mitzvot. However, a situation arrives and we all of sudden get shook up. We feel alone, afraid and scared that no one
is with us.

It is at that moment that we have a decision to make. Do we turn Heavenwards and ask Hashem for guidance? Or do we try and figure out the situation on our own without a thought of looking towards Hashem? It seems that the spies took a route which carried tremendous consequences. There is nothing but pure Love that Hashem has for each of us (as does any parent for a child.) It is imperative that difficult situations do not remove us from Hashem but rather bring us closer.