Thursday, June 14, 2012

Torah Portion Shelach Lecha

In this week's portion, Shelach Lecha, (Numbers 13:1-15:41) Moses sends out twelve spies, one from each tribe, to scout out the land of Canaan.  When they return, the report is at first reasonable – it is a good land but well-defended, and the inhabitants are strong and it will require an effort to overcome them.  But as they speak, ten of the twelve lose faith and begin to exaggerate the situation.  “They were so big, we looked like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and so we must have looked to them”, they report.  The people panic, and the two good spies, Joshua and Caleb, cannot convince them to give up their fear and go about the task that God has given them.   A midrash examines the situation.  God says to the evil spies, “You looked like grasshoppers in your own eyes; that I can forgive.  But how do you know how you looked in their eyes?  Perhaps I made you appear like angels to them!”

Our lives present many challenges, and sometimes we don't feel up to the task.  But don't ever forget that even when you feel small, someone else may be counting on you, and in their eyes, you may appear far greater than you feel.

Shabbat Shalom!

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