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Parashat Sh’lach and Pirkei Avot

“For the exertion of them both makes sin forgotten” – Part 2

The sin of the spies and its rectification

Rav M. Elon

Last week we dealt with the Mishnayot in Pirkei Avot that acclaimed the accompanying of m’lacha – work or vocation - together with Torah. We noted that this did not simply denote knowledge or involvement in labor, but rather the appreciation and cherishing of m’lacha, as the Tanna stated: “Love m’lacha,” (Avot 1:10.) We also mentioned the words of Rabi Tzadok: “Do not make the Torah a crown for self-glorification, nor a spade with which to dig,” (ibid. 4:7,) which are directed directly to those who are involved in Torah study.

We clarified all these issues regarding the previous parasha, Parashat B’ha’alotcha, while in short we may say that the context was the replacement of the B’chorot (the firstborn) by the Levi’m in the sacred duties of the Temple Service, which brought to subliminal anger and frustration in the nation, which burst forth in the sin of the “mit’o’nenim” – “complainers,” which then deteriorated even further to the sin of Korach and his entourage.

In any event, the fundamental concept that we explained was that the status of the firstborn birthright held within it opposing concepts. The B’chorot – even prior to the sin of the Golden Calf – were defined as “kdoshim-p’duyim,” “sanctified then redeemed.” This spiritual definition entails the ability to reveal the spiritual, heavenly content on this material earth.

This Shabbat, as we approach Parashat Sh’lach Lecha, we return to the sin of the spies, to that bitter, hurried night of the ninth of Av, when our ancestors wept for nought, and were thus obliged to weep for generations.

We will focus this week’s shi’ur on understanding the sin of the spies and its relationship to the obligation to be involved in a vocation, which we dealt with in our examination of Pirkei Avot.

There are many difficulties that we encounter as we attempt to understand the unfolding of events.

Firstly, who are these people that Moshe sent to spy out the land?

The verses describe them as follows:

“They were all distinguished men, they were the heads of Bnei Yisra’el.”

(Bamidbar 13:3)

“The heads of Bnei Yisra’el” – in the verse’s description of these spies, this is certainly not a description of political status. For if we were dealing with the tribal hierarchy – those tribal leaders listed in the previous parasha are not those individuals listed here. The people listed here are those distinct from the nation owing to their special status and standing in Torah – two of the most famous among them serving as examples for this fact: Kalev ben Y’funeh, and Yehoshu’a bin Nun.

Therefore we are witness to a collection of great individuals, who we would describe with the contemporary term of “G’dolei ha’Dor” – “(Torah) Giants of the Generation.”

It is specifically this fact that makes it even more difficult to understand the events – if these are truly Torah Giants – how were they able to err in this sin?

There is a statement that many people make, but as we will soon see, that it contains some inaccuracies, which on closer inspection in fact compounds matters more than it simplifies them.

The source of this mistaken perception is in the words of the Zohar – we will examine the Zohar through the words of the “S’fat E’met” on our parasha:

“The Zohar states that the spies thought: ‘Here, (in the desert,) we are Heads (of Bnei Yisra’el;) in the Land (of Israel) we will not merit to be Heads.’”

(S’fat E’met, Sh’lach Lecha, 5739)

Before we move on to the words of the S’fat E’met, let us consider their content on a superficial level. It would seem from the S’fat E’met that the spies were concerned with their status and position within the nation. They were motivated by the understanding – which we do not know where it stemmed from – that here, in the desert, they are the “Heads of Bnei Yisra’el,” yet when they would enter Eretz Yisra’el – they would lose their prominence.

However this approach raises a number of critical difficulties.

Firstly, would one even consider that people of this stature and Torah greatness, who are of the same standing as Kalev ben Y’funeh and Yehoshu’a bin Nun, would involve themselves political manipulations simply in order to maintain their positions of power and authority?

Furthermore, we already mentioned that these individuals held no official political posts, nor were they officially involved in any internal tribal hierarchy. Their eminence was solely a result of their personalities and their excellence in Torah, they were “G’dolei ha’Dor” – The Generation’s Greats – why would questions of honor and authority concern them? Moreover, the rationale that they raise, that “in the Land (of Israel) we will not merit to be Heads,” has no basis, for why would they lose their prominence and honor?

In addition to this, if the sin of the spies was motivated by the quest for honor, what message are we to glean from this incident – for what connection is there between the overwhelming desire for honor and stature and specifically Eretz Yisra’el?

With all this as background, we will now begin the wonderful analysis of the S’fat E’met.

“Indeed it seems that certainly everything the spies said was in the interests of all of Bnei Yisra’el. And since they were chosen to be the emissaries of Bnei Yisra’el they would certainly defer (“b’telin”) to the collective unit. How can we say of them that they spoke out their own interests?”


Firstly the S’fat E’met tells us that the words and concerns of the spies that in Eretz Yisra’el they would cease to be the “Heads” does not relate to them on a personal level, for they hold the position of spies as a result of having being appointed the emissaries of Bnei Yisra’el. They would certainly defer, and in fact negate (“batel”) themselves before those under whose charge they assumed their responsibilities as spies – hence their words and claims were as a result of their concern for Am Yisra’el.

“But it would seem (correct) to explain that indeed the generation of the desert in general were (defined as) the aspect of the ‘Head.’ For the generation which left Egypt and heard the (Ten) Commandments at Sinai were the ‘Heads’ of all the generations. The generations then continue as ‘Avot’ (‘Archetypes’) and ‘Toladot’ (‘Derivatives’) from the ‘Heads’ to the ‘Feet,’ as it is stated about our generations (being) ‘Ik’va d’M’shicha’ – ‘the heels of Mashi’ach.’”


The S’fat E’met explains as follows:

In Kabbalistic literature, all the generations are seen to make up the form of a human in motion which is slowly constructed. First the head and its various sections, then the neck, then the torso, etc. Thus each generation embodies a specific aspect of the comprehensive structure – which is shown as the form of a human which contains all the generations.

Our era is termed “Ik’v’ta d’M’shicha” – “The heels of Mashiach” – which basically means that our era is the aspect of the ‘feet’ upon which the previous generations – and the human form – stand.

This generation may be slightly coarse, like feet which have thick, hard skin, but its responsibility is very great – for it carries the entire stature of all the previous generations, and it is the culmination of all the generations.

It is through this metaphor that the S’fat E’met explains that the generation of the desert was the generation which symbolized the head, (which we will further discuss and explain,) in his words:

“Indeed the generation of the desert in general were (defined as) the ‘b’china’ (‘aspect’) of the ‘Head.’”

This means to say that the words of the Zohar which describe the spies as saying “Here, (in the desert,) we are Heads” is in fact intended to include all of Am Yisra’el, and not solely the spies themselves.

However the spies did not err in this conception:

“And this was certainly true, for the entry in the Land was a level subsequent to that level, and they did not want to descend from the level of ‘Heads.’”

In other words, the spies and the nation together were considered as the b’china of the ‘Head,’ and Eretz Yisra’el is by definition about progression from one level to the next, one status to the next, while the material world serves as a commodity for this end. However they did not desire such toil and service. The spies and the nation wanted to remain at the same superior level of existence of the desert, that primary and superior b’china of the ‘Head.’

As the S’fat E’met states:

“And the generation of the desert who experienced the revelation of God’s honor in a superior plane has difficulty falling to a lower plane, just as it is difficult for the soul to descend downwards (to earth.) It is against his will that man is created.”

That is to say that indeed the generation of the desert was a generation that heard and experienced the revelation of God’s Presence. This superior plane is comparable to the soul refusing to enter the body. The generation of the desert, which was similar to this in concept, refused to enter Eretz Yisra’el having then to begin the journey, which slowly would take form, stage after stage, towards the supernal appearance of the soul.

This reminds us of something we studied in the past from the K’li Yakar.

The K’li Yakar comments on the following verse:

“God, our Lord, spoke to us in Chorev, saying: ‘You have remained near this mountain for too long.’”

(D’varim 1:6)

The K’li Yakar explains that this is Moshe’s first reprimand of Am Yisra’el, saying that the nation has settled at Mount Sinai in a permanent fashion and does not desire to travel on to Eretz Yisra’el.

The K’li Yakar himself writes in a very harsh manner regarding this behavior.

It is interesting that this inclination and desire of preventing – or abstaining from – the revelation of Heaven on the earth began to form well before the sin of the spies, when the nation was still at Mount Sinai.

This, then, is the great error of the nation when they cried in the desert after the report of the spies, for:

“But they should have submitted themselves to the will of the Creator.”

Quite obviously, they should not have started with these thoughts and calculations in the first place.

The S’fat E’met then concludes with a statement that contains within it everything that has been said thus far:

“(And they should have) understood the saying of our Sages: ‘Better one hour of repentance and good deeds in this world than the entire life of the World to Come…’ as is stated in this regard in Pirkei Avot.”

The S’fat E’met refers to a statement in Pirkei Avot in the name of Rabi Ya’akov:

“Rabi Ya’akov says: ‘This world is like a lobby before the world to come; prepare yourself in the lobby so that you may enter the banquet hall.’”

(Avot 4:16)

From this statement we understand the superiority of the World to Come over this world, however immediately afterward the Mishna states as follows:

“He used to say: ‘Better one hour of repentance and good deeds in this world than the entire life of the World to Come…’”

(ibid. 4:17)

How do these two seeming contradicting statements exist in unison with each other? If this world is simply a “lobby,” a ‘waiting room’ prior to entering the World to Come, how then can one hour of repentance and good deeds in this world be preferable to the entire life of the World to Come?

The explanation of this is as follows: in this World to Come there are no hours, minutes, nor seconds – there is the flow of eternity. As opposed to this, in this world we have the concept of time - hours, minutes, and seconds, and in this world the ability to inject those units of time with the manifestation of eternity is present. There is no pleasure greater than experiencing the appearance of eternity in one’s life and actions, (as the S’fat E’met explains elsewhere.)

Therefore, we now understand that the sin of the spies was not an action on their part motivated by the personal, private interests of the individuals involved, but rather the sin was of the significant majority of the nation. The entire generation said: “We are all “Heads,” why should we get involved with wars, and a land? Why should we lose our superior spiritual plane?”

It is now on the basis of this and against the background of all of Sefer Bamidbar that we now understand the sin of the spies. As we will recall from last week’s shi’ur, we learned that Am Yisra’el underwent a very difficult experience when the unique status of the firstborn’s birthright was removed. We learned that it was these firstborn, who in being “k’doshim-p’duyim” were the ideal manifestation of the amalgamation and merging of Heaven and earth.

Now, once this harmonious sanctity is taken from the nation, Am Yisra’el moves from one extreme to another, at one stage they desire sanctity that is entirely removed from anything mundane (the sin of the spies,) and at another stage they cleave to the mundane, physical reality, and defiantly march forward in war in an attempt to enter Eretz Yisra’el, (the “ma’apilim,”) without the Ark of the Covenant among them.

However neither of these two events are to succeed, for the true way forward is by combining the two extremes.

This, then, is the significance of Rabban Gamli’el’s words in the Mishna in Pirkei Avot:

“All Torah study that is not joined with m’lacha will ultimately become void, (“b’teila”) and it leads to sin.”

(ibid. 2:2)

What does it mean the Mishna mean in saying it will “become void?” Certainly one acquires the Torah that he has studied, he understands it, and knows it. Why is it, then, that Torah that is not combined with m’lacha becomes void?

In truth this question only arises as a result of a lack of understanding of the term at the root of the word “b’teila” – “bittul,” “annulment.”

We can learn the meaning of this term from the world of Halacha, through the concept of “Bittul Chametz” – “Annulment of Chametz.”

What, then, is Bittul Chametz? More so, what significance does one’s proclamation that all chametz should be “k’afra d’ar’a” – “as the dust of the earth,” for ultimately the chametz still exists and may even be present before one’s very eyes?

The concept of Bittul is thus entirely different from what we have understood it to be until now.

Therefore, Bittul does not mean that in reality the object no longer exists. It most certainly exists, but Bittul establishes that the chametz before me is no longer relevant to me, it simply does not pertain to me. Therefore my connection and relationship to the chametz is voided, not its physical existence!

This applies also to the concept of “Bittul Torah” – “Annulling Torah.” This does not really mean that one who is able to learn X hours of Torah chooses not to learn Torah, and thus he has been involved in “Bittul Torah.” This is not “Bittul Torah,” but rather “Bittul Talmud Torah” – “Annulling the study of Torah.”

“Bittul Torah” is when Torah exists, but it is not relevant, it has no pertinence in reality.

This is also the meaning of our Sages’ saying that “from the day Yisra’el was exiled from their land there was no greater Bittul Torah than this.”

One may ask – how is it possible that there is Bittul Torah, there have been generations of Sages, Tanna’im, Amora’im, Ge’onim, Rishonim, and Acharonim who wrote and taught countless quantities of Torah, sanctifying God?

This is the point, then. The moment that you have such a vast quantity of Torah which is not revealed and manifest in the material world, which does not appear in the field, for it is the non-Jewish nobleman’s field, which does not materialize in the state or kingdom, for the ruler is not a Jew – there is no greater Bittul Torah than this.

Torah exists, but it is b’teila, void, for it is irrelevant.

Therefore the sin of the spies is in fact due to their desire to separate between the heavens and the earth.

As a result of this understanding, the mitzvot commanded to the Jews following the sin of the spies are better understood. As we will see these mitzvot seek to reassure the Jews that those same virtues that they experienced in the desert will also exist in Eretz Yisra’el, only in an entirely different manifestation.

The Manna which descend from the heaven will be replaced by the mitzvah of separating the Challa tithe from all dough. The well which accompanied them throughout their travels will be replaced by the mitzvah of N’sachim (libations) upon the altar – which teach that even the earthly water and wine have a bond with the soul. And finally the Ananei ha’Kavod (Clouds of Glory) that surrounded them almost as completely as clothing, will be replaced by the commandment of Tzitzit.

The innovation of the S’fat E’met is wondrous while at the same time simple. He explains how ten people were able to capture an entire nation, drawing the nation after them. He also strengthens and expands our understanding of the sin, which was certainly far more than the personal interests of the spies themselves. (For if this was the sole motivation – we would surely have some indication of this from the Torah.”

With this new understanding we may return to the topic with which we began in last week’s shi’ur. Let us focus on Rabi Tzadok’s statement:

“Do not make the Torah a crown for self-glorification, nor a spade with which to dig.”

(ibid. 4:7)

The Mishna continues:

“So too Hillel used to say: He who exploits the crown (of Torah for personal benefit) shall fade away.”


This Mishna does not discuss the general imperative to combine Torah study with m’lacha, but is rather specifically directed at those who are involved in Torah study.

We are not going to deal with the complicated Halachic discussion as to whether it is permitted to receive remuneration for the instruction of Torah, for this is an intricate topic which requires attention that we are unable to give it now. However we would like to understand the conceptual idea which lies at the base of these issues.

In his commentary to this Mishna, the Rambam writes that at first he thought refraining from commenting on this Mishna. He writes:

“After I originally decided not to discuss this imperative, for it is clearly explained,”

In other words the issues are straightforward and clearly understandable. Yet there is another reason why the Rambam considered omitting this Mishna’s commentary from is commentary on the Mishna:

“And in my opinion, my dealing with this Mishna may not be acceptable to the great Torah Sages.”

In other words, the Rambam’s explanation will not be accepted by everyone…

In any event the Rambam states that he is not afraid to discuss this issue:

“I have reneged on my decision, and I will discuss this issue without concerning myself with those who precede me or those who are currently alive.”

The Rambam then establishes unequivocally:

“Know, that which it states that one should not make the Torah a spade to dig with – meaning do not consider it a means to live by, and (the Mishna) clarified and said that whoever gains benefit from the honor of Torah in this world removes his life from the world; means from the World to Come.”

However, says the Rambam, there are those who distorted the meaning of the scriptures thus arriving at mistaken conclusions.

“And people have being distorted by this unmistakable language, and have cast it behind their backs, depending on explanations which they do not understand, and I will explain them, and they established laws for themselves, incorporating individuals and communities. And they have led people to think with complete stupidity that it is essential and worthy that Sages, Talmidim (Torah Scholars), and those who are involved in Torah study, and Torah is their calling be supported (by others) – and all this is in error, and not to be found in the Torah, nor in the words of our Sages anything that corroborates this, nor anything that forms a basis for this.”

Thus the words of the Rambam are clear enough. According to the Rambam it is forbidden to manipulate the literal meaning of the Scriptures, thereby deducing inaccurate deductions.

A number of generations later, the Maharal also wrote very clearly regarding the Torah and m’lacha.

The Maharal writes:

“The Mishna stating ‘love m’lacha and despise ‘Rabbanut’’ means positions of power and authority. That which is honor to the Torah, is honor to God, and when a Talmid Chacham (Torah Scholar) does not require others in order to subsist – it causes (others) to love God…”

(Derech Chaim, 1:10)

The Maharal says that a Talmid Chacham who does not rely on his fellows for his livelihood, he thus causes others to love God. The Maharal then elaborates why a Talmid Chacham who requires the assistance of the community in order to survive causes harm.

“And in our sins, this causes Bittul Kavod ha’Torah, (Annulment of the honor of Torah,) for if those who study (Torah) would not receive their livelihood from them (the members of the community,) the Torah would rise up and be elevated. They (those who study Torah) would also reproach the community, for the culpability of the community rests on their shoulders, and they (the Torah scholars) would not show bias, but now, since they require them (in order to subsist,) every Rabbi acquires a master for himself.”

The Maharal encapsulates the basic content of his words with the metaphor - “every Rabbi acquires a master for himself.” For Torah which is not independent but rather dependent on the goodwill or charity of various philanthropists is in a matter of speaking subservient to him, and thus unable to fully admonish him.

One certainly may claim that it is beneath the dignity of a Talmid Chacham to involve himself in certain vocations or certain spheres of m’lacha – however the Maharal states:

“And it is for this reason that Sh’maya said: ‘Love m’lacha and despise Rabbanut,’ for it distances m’lacha from one. And do not think that m’lacha is beneath his dignity, to the contrary – m’lacha gives man honor!”

There is even proof of this:

“They stated in the Chapter ‘One who swears not to benefit from cooked foods:’ When Rabi Yehuda would go to the Bet Midrash he would take a wooden beam with him on his shoulder, and say: ‘M’lacha is great for it gives honor to he who is involved in it.’”

The Maharal explains Rabi Yehuda’s actions as follows:

“In other words, when involved in m’lacha one must not think that this discredits him, for instance, having to carry a wooden beam on his shoulder, for this is untrue. Rather m’lacha is great for it gives honor to he who is involved in it, for then one will not have the disgrace and shame of having to rely on others. And therefore, when he carries the beam on his shoulder in order to be able to sit on it in the Bet Midrash, this is not a disgrace, for one who does m’lacha involves himself in his honor. Therefore the Mishna stated ‘Love m’lacha and despise Rabbanut’ for one may say that m’lacha is a degrading for him, but this is untrue, for to the contrary, m’lacha more than anything saves one from many sins, and for al this it gives him honor. Also understand how the Sages overly praised the love of m’lacha, especially when one loves performing m’lacha, as it states ‘Love m’lacha,’ meaning the true virtue is when one loves m’lacha, as it does not state ‘Choose m’lacha, vocation.’”

We must consider the emphasis the Maharal places on the loving of m’lacha, the loving of work, rather than simply choosing to work out of necessity.

The Maharal concludes as follows:

“Therefore the Mishnah warns that one must love m’lacha for it is a great ideal on which much is dependent – especially for Torah Sages. Not only does one’s perfection result from m’lacha, but furthermore it is in God’s honor – for it is worthy that God’s name become beloved in the world through the Torah Sages.”

Therefore, the love of m’lacha contains an aspect of the desire to elevate the earth and inject it with power from above.

M’lacha which accompanies Torah uncovers the fact that Torah has earthly conduits of revelation within reality. This is the nature and definition of the B’chorot prior to the sin of the Golden Calf – the B’chorot who hold within their identity both the holy and the mundane, a healthy mundane that forms the basis for the holy.

This is also the character of Eretz Yisra’el which is only ever mentioned in the Torah as “Eretz K’na’an” – “The Land of Canaan,” for the objective of Am Yisra’el is to transform the Land from Eretz K’na’an to Eretz Yisra’el.

In conclusion, we will bring a document upon which the Torah Greats of the previous generation are the signatories, the dating of the document is from the year 5662, approximately one-hundred and two years ago.

Among those Sages who are found to have signed the document are Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank, the Chief Rabi of Jerusalem; and Rabbi Yechiel Michel Tukachinsky, one of the leading Sages of Eretz Yisra’el. The title of the document is “L’chametz dodi neitze ha’sa’deh” – “Let us go, my beloved one, out to the field.”

The document opens as follows:

“The Congregation of Israel said before God: ‘Master of the Universe, do not judge me as the city-dwellers who have amongst them theft, sexual licentiousness, and false oaths. Let us go out to the field, come and I will show you Talmidei Chachamim (Torah Sages) who dwell in the fields, and workers of the land who involve themselves in Torah in poverty.’”

This title, “workers of the land who involve themselves in Torah” is the motif that imbues their words.

Then they describe the situation of the Torah Jews in Jerusalem during that period:

“When we consider the situation of those who study Torah in the Holy Land, the hair on our necks stands up, and every heart melts, for all the days of their youth they toil in Torah, suffering poverty and afflictions, living a life of need and anguish; to the point that God has merited the Congregation of Israel to raise sons, then seeing that the stipends (they receive from the Yeshivot) cannot satiate even a meager existence. This his soul wanders in the search of bread, having to search here and there in order to bring the necessities home, and where is place for his Torah? When can one toil in Torah as he did the choicest years of his life? After many years pass, he will descend low, will regress ten levels, will remain in poverty and disgrace, (causing others to) remark about God’s nation: ‘Lazy, they are lazy, only desiring to take funds from charity, had they toiled in another (field of) wisdom or vocation, even a tenth (of their time) they would exist with honor – obviously (they must deserve it) as an eye for an eye.’”

The summation of this being:

“Woe to us this great Desecration of God’s name!”

Then the signatories of this declaration suggest the following:

“After we have considered all this, we found a wondrous and honest way to combine Torah, Mitzva (fulfilling the commandments,) and Derech Eretz, (literally “The way of the land,” ie. vocation, work) in a manner that they go together, combined with ties of love, in the Holy Land, for the Torah and the Mitzva have always been bound together as our Sages stated that just one most exert tremendous effort to rise through the levels of perfection in Torah – so too must one exert himself to found (this Torah) on the correct basis.”

They go on to emphasize that:

“As well as many adages (of our Sages) that not only indicate that Derech Eretz does not contradict the study of Torah, but if one listens to them (he will understand that) it is to the contrary, they assist one another, as the Sages stated: ‘Torah is good with Derech Eretz.’”

Then they apply what they have said in the pragmatic plane:

“And the appropriate manner for us (to implement this) is to establish a settled colony in our Holy Land, a Kibbutz (gathering) that we are certain the Land itself will rejoice therein [Cf. Maharsha, Sanhedrin 92, on the verse mi’Kanaf ha’Aretz,] and they will work our Holy Land, with a desire for simple lives, desiring to eat from the toil of our hands, desiring the resurrection of our Holy soil, and the blossoming of the settlement, and to redeem the desolation of our most valuable land, with the desire to anticipate the Mitzvot dependant on the Land of Israel, in order to fulfill them, with God’s help, as they occur, with strong desire, with happy hearts – both materialistically and spiritually. In short: a settlement that will be a shining example for the masses, that demonstrates the connection of the Torah, the Yir’ah (Fear of God,) and Derech Eretz, which benefits them and benefits others.”

It is astonishing that this declaration – desiring to establish a settlement based on the concepts of Torah and toil of the land - is dated ten years prior to the establishment of Deganiah, the first kibbutz. Here we see the conceptualizing of the first kibbutz…

They then conclude their words as follows:

“This is our advice, with the help of God, to join together in one group, that the members should obey those conditions clarified on the other side of this page, and to call aloud before those philanthropists among our brothers in the Diaspora, that they should gain strength and lend a hand to us in order to implement this idea taking it from potential to action, as will be explained in the plan. And our hope is strong, that if we join together to implement this, our words will be accepted positively by our brothers, and this living spirit will blow over the holy sparks that smolder in the hearts of they who fear God, and hold dear His name, and His righteousness will burn as a torch, and sparks of the flame will spread out. Good deeds will grow up to the heavens, and the name of Heaven will be sanctified in public, and then we will be content to live lives of pleasure, lives of honor, serving our Creator with warm service, and our service will be splendor to those who serve Him, and glory to all mean, and God’s name will become beloved through our action, and our souls will rejoice when we say to Zion: ‘Your King has ruled,’ Amen.”

Hence in a society like his which combines the holy and the world, which sees the secular and mundane, not as separate and distanced from the holy, but rather a vessel through which the holy many become manifest – this is the society for which we all strive.

The spies wanted to cleave to the holy and the sanctity which does not appear in the world, that holy which is like the ‘Head,’ (as they said: “Now we are Heads.”) In response to this, the ma’apilim appear as the opposite extreme, cleaving to the secular and mundane, negating the holy.

Only through the true fusion and amalgamation of these properties will we and our nation’s resurrection become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, Amen.


Translated by Sholem Hurwitz.

Copyright Keren Yishai/Rav M. Elon


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