Sign In Forgot Password

President's Message: 6/24/22

Dear friends,

This week, Parshat Shlach recounts the story of the spies that Moses sent to scout out the land of Canaan. As we all know, the reports from 10 of the 12 spies were very negative, causing the Jewish people to second-guess the plan, resulting in forty years of wandering and death in the desert. Only the following generation merited entry into the Land of Israel.

The quick take on the story is that the spies lied to the Jewish People, but a closer inspection shows that they did, in fact, tell the truth. The problem was in the framing. In his discussion of the Parsha, Rabbi Mordechai Kaminetzsky quotes the Steipler Gaon, who states that poor attitudes help forge opinions that are diametric to the truth. The spies were against going into Israel so they spoke of fruit being so large it couldn’t be carried and of a plague killing off the people. They could have concentrated on the bounty of the land, and the fact that, because of the plague, the spies were able to go about undetected.

We can look at events in an unbiased way and appreciate the benefits, or we can wear blinders, stick to our guns and pout because things are not how we want them to be. Rabbi Kaminetzky concludes with the thought that when people have sour opinions and only want to see doom and gloom, then even a ray of light will blind them. We have to guard ourselves from only seeing one perspective, and always assuming that our own perspective must be the correct one. 

I’ll be traveling for the next few weeks. We’re planning out the events for the rest of the year and once they are firmed up I will report on them here. 

Wishing you all a peaceful and meaningful Shabbat Shalom from Israel,

Steven Inker

Fri, August 12 2022 15 Av 5782