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"The people who spread the evil report about the Land died in a plague before Hashem. But Yehoshua son of Nun and Calev son of Yefuneh lived from among those men who were going to spy out the Land" (Bemidbar 14:37-38).

Rashi explains that Yehoshua and Calev received the portion of the Land which had been designated for the other spies who died. They had obeyed Hashem and had done what was right and they, themselves, benefited from it.

This is often the case. For example, the Torah teaches us that it is very important to help others; especially in life threatening situations. When we do assist them, our intentions should be pure; to fulfill the desire of our Father in Heaven. However, often we will find that Hashem arranges things in a way that the favor we did for the other person actually turns out to be beneficial for ourselves as well.

The following story, recounted by Rabbi Zilberstein shlita in Aleynu Leshabeach, should give us food for thought.

About 60 years ago, there lived a family in Yerushalayim who lost their babies several days after they were born R.l. After this happened about 4 or 5 times, they were at their wits end. The local doctors did not know much then and they had no idea how to solve the problem. Finally, a professor from America visited Israel, and when he heard about this family, he went to visit them to try to help.

After interviews and examinations, the doctor concluded that the next child to be born must be dealt with immediately. Upon determining what its blood type would be, someone with the same type would have to be found who would donate some of his blood to save the child's life. Then, the doctors would have to drain the baby of its own blood and replace it with the new supply. Hopefully, the child would then survive.

When the next baby was born, it was not easy in primitive Israel to find someone quickly who had the same blood type and was willing to donate some of it for the child. However, Rabbi Pinchas Brandwein zt"l fit the bill and was more than happy to try to save a Jew's life. The doctors switched the baby's blood and, baruch Hashem, he survived.

Rabbi Brandwein surely performed a great mitzvah. But, amazingly, as it turned out, this child eventually became his very own son in law when he married Rabbi Brandwein's daughter.

Mazel tov.

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel