The Story of the Spies
The Rebbe has said many times – and all Jewish religious leaders of today agree – that this is the long-awaited time of our Redemption.
(Shaar HaGilgulim, Introduction 20) explains that the souls of the generation that left Egypt will be reincarnated in the generation before Moshiach comes. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that many of the challenges we face today are simply extensions of the challenges we faced – sometimes unsuccessfully – then.
Today, at the climax of history, by making the correct choices, we have the opportunity to rectify the errors that our forefathers made long ago.
When Moses was about to usher the Jewish people into the Promised Land for the first time, the seven Canaanite nations were already well-established there. Moses nevertheless sent spies into Israel to ascertain how best to conquer the Land.
But, although the spies were princes of the Jewish nation, all but two of them returned reporting that the land could not be conquered! According to these spies, the inhabitants of the land were simply too big, too strong and too many for the Jews. The spies failed to understand or trust that regardless of the military might of the Canaanite nations, G-d could and would fulfill His promise and bring the Jewish people into full possession of the Land of Israel.
This lack of trust in G-d’s promise was considered a grave sin. Everyone from that generation, because they were unable to see themselves as ‘G-d’s people’, had to wander in the desert for 40 years, until they passed away. Eventually their children inherited the land.
Today, thousands of years later, by no accident, the Jewish people find themselves in a strikingly similar position again. The choice is now ours. We can repeat the mistakes of the past - or put our trust in G-d, stand strong and proud, and allow Him to fulfill His eternal promise to the Jewish people.