Sh'Lach

Torah Message from Rabbi Moldovan

The Jewish people send spies into the land of Israel to evaluate the strength of the Canaanites living in the land. As we all know, the spies return with a negative report about the land and claim that the people are too strong to overcome. The Jewish people give up hope of entering the land and ask Moshe for an alternative destination. The commentaries ask that these Jewish people had witnessed ten miraculous plagues wrought on the Egyptian people by Hashem, the miraculous splitting of the Red Sea by Hashem, and all had the experienced prophecy when the Torah was given on Mount Sinai. How can they doubt that Hashem would help them conquer the land of Canaan? Rav Moshe Feinstein explains that the belief that the Jewish people had in Hashem at that point was not based on their effort to develop a strong faith. In Egypt, they had been entrenched in idol worship. Their belief in Hashem came to them without any exertion on their part and was entirely based on the supernatural phenomenon that they witnessed. This type of faith may appear to be strong, but in reality, it can dissipate just as quickly as it came. We live in a world where we can get almost anything without so much as pushing a button. We may feel frustrated with the effort that we need to expend in building a relationship with Hashem and understanding His will through the study of Torah. But in order for us to really internalize the message of Hashem, we must exert effort and work to build our character and our love of Hashem.

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