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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 13, v. 1: "Shlach l'cho" - Send for you - Rashi comments, "L'daatcho." The Imrei Shefer explains that Moshe heard from Hashem that some people served a golden calf. Yet, he did not react until he saw with his own eyes that this was so. This was Hashem's response to Moshe here when the issue of sending or not sending a team of spies. Since Moshe had to see the idol worship himself, similarly here, it would be in place for him to send spies.

Ch. 13, v. 16: "Vayikra Moshe l'Hoshei'a ben Noon Yehoshua" - And Moshe called Hoshei'a the son of Noon Yehoshua - Rashi comments that this word contains the message, "Kohein yoshiacho mei'atzas m'raglim." Why did he not also pray for Koleiv? Yehoshua led the war against Amoleik, a most formidable foe. If he were now to be afraid of the inhabitnats of Canaan all would be lost. Even the brave Yehoshua is afraid of entering Eretz Yisroel. (Meshech Chochmoh)

Ch. 13, v. 28: "Efes ki az ho'om" - But the nation is fierce - Abarbanel translates "efes" as "nothing." All the positive attributes the land has are as nothing because the nation that occupies it is fierce and there is no way in which we can conquer it.

Ch. 13, v. 30: "Va'yahaS" - And he stilled - I have seen sifrei Torah in which the letter Samech of "va'yahas" is enlarged. Obviously, there is such a mesorah, albeit this is not the common custom. It would seem that just as the words "achier" and "echoD" have enlarged letters and it is interpreted to make it abundantly clear in the text that these letters not be switched around, a Dalet for a Reish and the reverse as well, because in their respective verses the incorrect reading would be very negative, here too, if we had a regular size Samech and one would read it as a final Mem, we would have "va'yohom," and Koleiv muddled them regarding Moshe, which could be interpreted as "he weakened their trust in Moshe." Notwithstanding that the other verses negate this possibility, we don't even want a short lived doubt in what Koleiv said. (n.l.)

Ch. 13, v. 30: "Va'yahas Koleiv es ho'om el Moshe" - And Koleiv quieted the people regarding Moshe - The gemara explains Koleiv's cunning strategy to still their complaints about Moshe. It seems that Yehoshua took a back seat here and only in chapter 14 do we see his reaction, and that was not on his own, only coupled with Koleiv's. As well in our verse we see Koleiv reacting sharply while Yehoshua only rent his clothes and simply repeated that the land is wonderful and Hashem should be trusted.

The reason he was not as active as Koleiv is that Eldod and Meidod had earlier prophesied that Moshe would die in the desert and Yehoshua would lead them into the Promised Land. Had Yehoshua vociferously attacked them they would have said that he was eager to attain the position of leadership. (Ksav Sofer)

Ch. 13, v. 33: "Vanhi v'eineinu kachagovim v'chein hoyinu v'eineihem" - And we were in our own eyes as grasshoppers and so were we in their eyes - The GR"A explains "v'chein" to mean "in truth." We were in our eyes AS grasshoppers in relation to the giant people we saw, but only AS grasshoppers, since we know that we are people. But in their eyes we TRULY seemed to be grasshoppers, as Rashi says, "We heard them saying there are ants in our vineyards that are in the forms of humans."

Alternatively, the Malbi"m says that "v'chein" means "and lice," similar to "kinoh." We looked upon ourselves as grasshoppers and they thought of us as being even smaller, like lice.

Ch. 14, v. 9: "Ki lachmeinu heim" - Because they are our bread - When a daunting dangerous task stands in front of a person and all he has to gain if he is successful is an expansion of his money or other needs, he will not pursue it as he is managing well without it. However, if he is lacking basic needs, "desperate people do desperate things." Conquering Eretz Yisroel was for the rank and file ben Yisroel a nice add-on to his already comfortable existence, so the bnei Yisroel were exceedingly reluctant to pursue conquering it. However, Yehoshua and Koleiv understood that living in Eretz Yisroel was like basic bread, and pursuit of basic bread pushes aside any overwhelming concerns. (Maharsha"m haKohein of Brezhan) Alternatively, the bread of the bnei Yisroel was manna. It had the nature of "V'cham hashemesh v'nomeis," when the sun warmed it, it would melt. This was Yehoshua and Koleiv's message, as the verse goes on to say, "Ki sor tzilom mei'a'leihem," their shadow has turned away from them. The sun is shining directly upon them with no shadow to protect. They will be like our bread. They will readily melt and present no challenge. (Alshich Hakodosh)

Ch. 14, v. 18: "Erech apayim v'rav chesed" - Slow to anger and profuse in kindness- Note that the attribute of "emes" is omitted here (see parshas Ki Siso). This is because "emes" is an attribute of implementing the promise to bring our Patriarchs' children to Eretz Yisroel. Since the bnei Yisroel at this moment were against entering the land there is no room for this attribute. (Meshech Chochmoh)

Ch. 14, v. 18: "Podeik avone ovos al bonim" - Placing sin of the fathers on sons - "Pokeid" has as its source P-K-D. this can be translated as lacking or missing, "V'lo nifkad mi'menu ish." The punishment of the elders is diminished because of the future good actions of the descendants, as per the dictum "bro m'zakeh abo." (Haksav V'hakaboloh)

Ch. 15, v. 22: "V'chi sishgu" - And if you will unintentionally sin - Rashi explains that the juxtaposition of this parsha of idol worship to the parsha of separating chaloh from dough teaches us that he who separates chaloh from his dough negates idol worship. What is the connection? In a certain aspect, the person who feels that his income and his possessions are totally the result of his own work, cunning, wisdom, etc., is negating that Hashem gives him his income. This is alluded to in the verse in T'hilim 115, "Atza'beihem kesef v'zohov maasei I'dei odom." By separating and giving chaloh (bread represents a person's physical possessions) to the Kohein, Hashem's agent, a person shows that his bounty comes from Hashem, and this is contrary to self-deification. (Avnei O'zel)

Ch. 15, v. 38: "Al kanfei vigdeihem l'dorosom" - On the corners of their garments for their generations - Our Rabbis explain "l'dorosom" to mean "l'dor tam," to a generation that is complete. This most enigmatic "droshoh" is explained by Rabbi Moshe Elchonon Alter as follows: The medrash cited in the Daas Z'keinim regarding the sin of Tzlofchod and the following parsha of tzitzis is well known. Had there been a sign of tefillin on Shabbos it would have served Tzlofchod as a reminder to not desecrate Shabbos. Hashem then gave the mitzvoh of tzitzis, which are also worn on Shabbos. Why is it that the permanent sign of circumcision did not serve this purpose? It is because the bnei Yisroel did not circumcise their children in the desert. The "droshoh" of "dor tam" is saying that we should not mistakenly think that the mitzvoh of tzitzis was given only for the generation of the desert, as they were lacking circumcision. This is not so! Even in a generation that every male is "tam," the word used for one who is circumcised, as we find Hashem commanding Avrohom, "His'ha'leich l'fonai vehe'yei SOMIM," which was the command to circumcise himself, the mitzvoh of attaching tzitzis to our garments applies.



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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