Published Date: June 22, 2019
This week’s music https://youtu.be/2r1Mc2ysbaM
Again, speaking bad about our Holy Land. Every year this Torah portion of “Shlach L’cha” comes around and it hurts. How can anyone speak bad about our home? We are all so guilty of speaking bad about people whom in reality we don’t really know, and yet we feel compelled to express our important opinion. The same holds true of Eretz Yisrael.
Let’s look at the behavior of the “meraglim,” Jewish spies, in the desert, and use it as a lesson to be sure that we don’t repeat this in our time.
Everyone begs the question, how is it possible that the princes, “the Gedolim,” the great leaders of their generation, as The Slonimer Rebbe describes them, could have possibly returned to the people and spoken bad about “Eretz Yisrael Hakedoshah,” The Holy Land of Israel?
If you look at the words of their description you can see that they were not disgusted by the land itself. On the contrary, The Slonimer continues, they said that we came to a land flowing with milk and honey ( Bamidbar 13.27). We are just afraid of the nation living there( Bamidbar 13.31).
What they didn’t see was that this land is different than any other land. It is a land that constantly has Hashem watching over it ( D’varim 11.12). This ensures that all that happens here is in Hashem’s hands and that the character of Eretz Yisrael is beyond nature, supernatural if you wish.
That is what scared and disgusted them. They didn’t believe in the supernatural qualities of The Land. They were denying the Holiness of The Land. They could not see or accept that Israel is a spiritual Land with supernatural character. They thought it was like any other land. They could not see it’s holiness. The ability to see this , says the Slonimer, only comes through one’s “emunah,” belief. If I don’t believe how can I truly see. When I believe, I can see it all.
The Torah, being alive and everlasting in time, therefore, teaches us that this possibility is available to us in every generation. When we look at the Land we need to believe, see it’s greatness and as a result, truly connect with it’s Kedushah,” holiness. Only in Eretz Yisrael is our nation privy to reach the highest spiritual heights of Torah and worship of Hashem. Only in a place where Godliness is evident and revealed to us all.
Way back in Parshat lech Lcha ( interesting that it’s opening,as in this week’s portion of Shlach, also uses the word “l’cha) we read, “Hashem says to Avram , you go from your land……to the Land which I will show you.” (Bereshit 12.1).
Which land was that? Clearly Hashem does not tell him in that introduction. Only later when Avram arrives to Elon Mo’re, there he sees God and he knows that he has arrived to The Land.
We too, as children of Avraham, are blessed to see that greatness in The Land, by being open to experiencing and seeing all that Hashem reveals to us here every day. And I am sure I am not the first to say, “it ain’t easy!” It takes a lot of commitment and belief to live from day to day. Reality is that all of that difficulty and belief is what opens our eyes to the beauty, greatness and holiness of our Home.
Reb Boruch of Medzibush, the number one student of the Baal ShemTov, Master of the good name, founder of Chassidut, cites our previous “passuk” of “Einei Hashem Elohecha bah,” Hashem’s eyes are always watching over it, from the beginning of the year until the end of the year” ( D’vraim 11.12). We need to live in The Holy Land as if it is Rosh Hashannah every single day.
I bless us all with the clarity for each of us to ask ourselves, whom do I choose to be? Which team do I want to be on? Am I ready to be on the side of Israel, to identify with my true self and not be afraid of that which I don’t understand? My we all stop thinking anything bad about Eretz Yisrael, stop listening to those who still want to speak bad and come to The Land with an open heart that truly wants to see and experience it’s greatness and holiness every day of the year.