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Parshas Shelach (Printed Shiur)
By: Rabbi YM Kagan   Jun 16, 2011

This Shiur is About: Meraglim

This week’s parsha retells the unfortunate events that transpired on the outskirts of Eretz Yisroel just before Klal Yisroel were to enter in. Klal Yisroel requested that Moshe send spies into Eretz Yisroel to better understand what they were up against. Hashem consented and they decided to go ahead with the plan.


They entered in and happened upon giants, observed the many nations and their respective regions, witnessed multiple funeral processions and eventually returned to report their findings. The narrative sounds like an innocent one. Yet, not only were the Miraglim put to death, Klal Yisroel had to turn around and wander through the desert, a journey still unfinished. What was their error? These people were the greatest of their generation, a generation that stood by Har Sinai?


The Gemarah states, a person’s Yetzer HaRah grows with him everyday and without Hashem’s help he cannot overcome it. R’ Chaim Volozhiner writes, many things people do are based on emotions existing inside of them from past experiences. We understand this to be our sub-conscious; that which we have seen, experienced and heard. All of these things drive us in ways we don’t even know. A person could be great, however if his roots are decayed, he is susceptible to wrongdoing.


The question begs, how is it possible to correct these things if we unaware of them? He explains, as long as we try and improve the areas we are aware and in control of, Hashem will take care of the sub-conscience for us. This is the special Siyata D’Shmaya the Gemarah refers to. However, if we fall short in these areas, we will be left alone to deal with the repercussions of our sub-consciousness - allowing the Yetzer HaRah to eventually overpower us.


With this we can understand what occurred to the Meraglim. Hashem promised to bring them into a land good for them. Despite this promise, they made a decision to send in spies, revealing a small hole in their Bitachon which had not been thoroughly worked through. Once the Yidden decided they wanted to spy, as Rashi says, Hashem promised they would fail. The failure on a conscious level forced Hashem to withdraw His aid in the realm of the subconscious, subsequently allowing the subconscious free reign. Although outwardly they relied upon their good intentions (as many Meforshim explain), they were being driven by subconscious motives. This is precisely why Kalev and Yehoshua required additional Siyata D’Shmaya, because without Hashem’s help they would have faltered as well.


We are complicated beings and need Hashem’s assistance throughout our life. Working on the shortcomings we are aware of will provoke the Rebono Shel Olam to help us with the grime we are unaware of.

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