Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Parshat Shlach, 2nd Portion (Numbers 13:21-14:7), Monday, 11 Sivan 5774 / June 9, 2014

“The twelve spies went to Hamath to see if the Jews could move to this land. They return and report:

There we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, descended from the giants. In our eyes, we seemed like grasshoppers, and so we were in their eyes.”  —Numbers 13:33

On the other hand:

“6. Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had scouted the land, tore their clothes.

7. They spoke to the entire congregation of the children of Israel, saying, "The land we passed through to scout is an exceedingly good land.” —Numbers 14:6-7

One would think that if you had 12 spies and 10 gave one opinion and 2 the other, that the majority opinion would be correct. But it was not. Do we learn that fear skews our vision?

The idea of having 12 jurors go back 800 years to King Henry. Or do they go back to these times, though in this case the majority was wrong. In the recent election, many claimed that the majority was wrong. How do we determine who has wisdom?

So many lessons here: Don't listen to others. Our perceptions are tainted by our fears. The truth is not always apparent. Often the lessons in the Torah are in showing us the results of poor behavior or advice.

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