Torah Thoughts on Parashat Shlach Lecha 5780
Rabbi Rami Pavolotzky
This week’s parasha narrates the well-known story of the twelve spies or scouts. Moses sends a representative of each tribe to scout the land of Israel to find out about the land and its inhabitants.
Upon their return, two of the twelve spies give a positive report, but the other ten give a very negative report about the inhabitants of the land, adding that there was no way the people of Israel could defeat them in battle. These words demoralize the people, leading to a major crisis.
The Torah relates that when the people heard the ten spies saying they would not be able to conquer the enemy, they wished they had never left Egypt, and they cried bitterly (Numbers 14:1). According to tradition, that day was the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, the same day on which the two Temples of Jerusalem were destroyed many hundreds of years later, the day of national mourning for the Jewish people