Rabbi's Message

  • June 12, 2015


                In his opening comments on this week’s parsha, Rashi asks why the Torah deemed it necessary to put the story of the spies back-to-back with the episode of Miriam’s tzara’as. The answer, reflecting his explanation of the connection between the sections of the Sotah and the Nazir (Bamidbar 6:12), is that the Miriam narrative, her being punished with tzara’as because she spoke ill of her brother Moshe, should have been a lesson that the Meraglim, spies, were to have heeded and learned from. Unfortunately they did not. They fell prey to the same mistake that Miriam did: they were not careful with what they spoke about and how they expressed their feelings. The difference being that this time it was not only one person who was punished, but rather the entire generation that left Egypt suffered. 

    The challenge of the Meraglim remains to this very day: have we heeded the lesson of Miriam? As we begin the month of Tammuz, and head towards the Three Weeks which culminates with the observance of Tisha B’Av, we must contemplate the significance of our words and our treatment of others. In this way we can make sure that history is learned from, and not ignored.

    Have a great Shabbos and a Chodesh Tov.