by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS SHLACH 5767 BS"DCh. 13, v. 2: "Shlach l'cho" - Send for yourself - Rashi comments: "L'daatcho, Ani eini m'tza'veh l'cho." Send someone who is of your outlook, a humble person only, as he will only see the good of the land. "Ani," a person who is consumed with himself and is inflated, "eini m'tzav'cho," I do not command you to send. He will surely concentrate on flaws. (Maada'nei Melech)
Ch. 13, v. 2: "Shlach l'cho anoshim" - Send for yourself men - M.R. 16:4 applies the verse, "K'chometz l'shinayim uch'oshon l'einayim kein he'otzeil l'sholchov" (Mishlei 10:26) to our verse. What is the comparison? When one sees a person drinking vinegar, he does not feel the effects, and he might even think that the person is drinking water. But when one sees smoke enveloping another's eyes, the onlooker is clearly aware of the negativity of the situation. So too, when the spies were sent, they were thought of as upright people. It was only when they came back with their negative report that the truth came out. (Ohel Yaakov Dubner Magid)
Ch. 13, v. 7: "Yigol ben Yoseif" - The gemara Y'vomos 62a says that Moshiach will not come until all the souls in the storage house called Guf are born. This is alluded to here. Yigol, He will redeem us, when "ben Yosif," another child is added (born). (Ben Poras Yoseif)
Alternatively, Moshiach the son of Yoseif will bring the redemption. (Rabbeinu Yoel)
Ch. 13, v. 16: "Vayikra Moshe l'Hoshei'a bin Nun Yehoshua" - And Moshe called Hoshei'a the son of Nun Yehoshua - Rabbi Yoseif B'chor Shor and Rabbeinu Myuchos say that Moshe gave him this name change at Har Sinai or when he became Moshe's attendant.
Indeed, we find him being called Yehoshua earlier, "Umshorso Yehoshua, Vayaan Yehoshua, Va'yaas Yehoshua, V'sim b'oznei Yehoshua."
Rabbi Shmuel says that he had both names earlier and they were used interchangeably, and now Moshe established that he be only called Yehoshua.
Ch. 13, v. 16: "Yehoshua" - Rashi comments that Moshe prayed for Hashem (Y-H) to save him from the machinations of the other spies. Targum Yonoson ben Uziel says that Moshe prayed for him when he saw that he was humble. This can be explained as follows: Yehoshua was 40 years old at this point in time. The median age for a person to live is 70 years. If so, it is likely that Yehoshua has lived past the halfway point in his life. Once a person has been righteous for the majority of his years it is very unlikely for him to sour. However, since Yehoshua was humble, and the gemara Chagigoh 5a says that a person who always yields to another, a sure sign of humility, has years added to his life, Moshe felt that Yehoshua had lived less than half his years. (Indeed, he lived for 110 years, and had he not drawn out the conquest of Canaan he would have lived for 120 years.) He then prayed for Yehoshua to not be swept up in the other spies' opinion. (Sifsei Vinoh)
Ch. 13, v. 17: "Alu zeh ba'negev vaali'sem es hohor" - Ascend this way through the south and alight the mountain - The gemara Kidushin 30b says that Hashem relates that He created the evil inclination and also the Torah, which is its antidote. The gemara B.B. 25b says that one who wants to become wise in Torah should pray facing slightly southward. The gemara Sukoh 52b says that the evil inclination appears to the righteous as a mountain.
These points of information are alluded to in these words of our verse. Go to the south, i.e. amass Torah knowledge, and through it you will be able to ascend, i.e. overpower, the mountain, i.e. the evil inclination. (Mahari"tz)
Ch. 13, v. 18: "Hechozok hu haro'feh hamat hu im rov" - "Is it strong or weak is it few or many" - In the next two verses Moshe continues to list his questions, "Is the land good or bad, Are the cities open of fortified, Is the land robust or lean." In all of these choices, the positive precedes the negative (Open cities indicates that they are courageous and assured of their strength, so they don't bother walling in their cities.), save "hamat hu im rov," where the order is reversed. Perhaps the intention of these words is "Are they unified and a small number of groups, or are they many, splintered?" Any help would be appreciated.
Ch. 13, v. 20: "Ha'yeish boh eitz" - Does it have a tree - Rashi explains Moshe's intention in this question. Is there an "odom kosher," a great personage, in whose merit the populace would be protected? If so, why did Moshe tell them to tour the land, seeing if there are fortified cities, the agricultural aspects, etc.? This teaches us a great lesson. For a great person's merit to protect the broad populace requires that he impacts upon them, in the fields and so on. (Par'p'ro'os laTorah)
Ch. 14, v. 7: "Tovoh ho'oretz m'ode m'ode" - The land is exceedingly good - The land is exceedingly good in the eyes of the person who is "m'ode m'ode he'vei shfal ruach," be exceedingly of a humble spirit. (Admor Rabbi Moshe of Lelov)
Ch. 14, v. 9: "Ki lachmeinu heim" - Because they are our bread - What is the intention of this comparison?
1) Just as when one eats bread the bread offers no resistance, we will easily overpower them. (Sforno)
2) Just as when bread is consumed there is no trace of it left, so too, we will vanquish them to the point of there being nothing left of them. (Medrash Habiur)
3) Bread here means the manna, the staple food of the bnei Yisroel at this time. Just as when the sun shines on the manna it dissolves, they too will be as if their shade is removed, "sor tzilom mei'a'leihem," and they will easily dissolve. (Abarbanel)
4) As above, b read here means the manna. Just as the manna looks like white coriander seed, but has the taste of almost every imaginable food, so too, the inhabitants of the land, on the surface, look like powerful invincible warriors. "Sor tzilom mei'alei'hem," if you remove their veneer, you will see that they are a push-over. (Dvash V'cholov)
5) Just as when one eats bread he not only removes it from existence, but also is nourished, so too, we will vanquish the inhabitants of the land and have at our disposal their crops, property, etc. (Nirreh li)
Ch. 14, v. 35: "Bamidbor ha'zeh yitamu v'shom yomusu" - In this desert they will come to their end and there they will die - Read these words, "Bimda'beir ha'zeh yitamu," with this power of speech they will become complete, "v'shom yomusu," and there is also the possibility that they will die there, through their speech, a fulfillment of "hachaim v'hamo'ves b'yad haloshon." (Rabbi Mayer of Shipitivka)
Ch. 14, v. 35: "V'shom yomusu" - And there they will die - Why did Hashem forgive the sin of the golden calf, but here by the spies, He had the whole generation die in the desert? Rabbi Yechezkeil of Kuzhmir answers that by the golden calf, once they realized that they sinned and did not know that repentance is accepted, they had a truly broken spirit, the main component of contrition and repentance. Here, where they had already experienced the acceptance of repentance by the incident of the golden calf, they assumed that they would readily be forgiven, as indicated by their immediate response of, "Hi'nenu v'olinu el hamokome asher omar Hashem." This shallow repentance was not accepted.
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