From the Desk of Loren Abraham
Parashat Shelach, usually translated “Send thou,” but perhaps a better translation might be “Send for yourself.” Here we encounter one of the most egregious failures of the Israelites … failure to go in and take the Land promised by God to their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
So, why were they not willing to have faith in Him when it had always been clear, from the first time that God called Abram out of Mesopotamia, that they were destined to enter and take possession of the Land? And, whose idea was it anyway to reconnoiter Canaan? Was this God’s plan? Was this Moses’ project? Was it the request of the elders of Israel? Since it was a foregone conclusion that they were going to go in and conquer the Canaanites, what was really the purpose of this mission? What was to be gained? In fact, the Torah text is rather vague about all of this. But as usual, if we dig a little, we may find some clues that help to explain these things. What is often overlooked is that as a result of this failure, God tells Moses that He is going to send pestilence among the people because of their disobedience and lack of faith … a plague.
The Israelites did not have faith in God, and this did not please Him. We can all learn from their lessons.
Blessings and Shalom,