(Numbers: 13:1-15:41)

(Haftara: Yehoshua 2, 1-24)

(Pirkay Avot 3)

1.  [13:27, 28] “…the people who live in the land are fierce…”  The spies visited a place that was wonderful, but seemed too challenging. What life situations does this remind us of? How can we find inspiration for our own lives through this story?

2. [13:30] “Let us go up and inherit it (the land) because we have the ability”.  Calev and Yehoshua were confident that the Israelites could conquer the land. The rest of the spies were frightened and lacked confidence. What causes some people to be frightened while others are confident in a certain situation? Is this a function of different personalities or because of an intellectual process in the people?

3. [Haftara: Yehoshua 2:1] “…and they went and they came to the house of a prostitute and her name was Rachav…”  Rachav’s motivation in helping the Israelites seems to be to save herself and her family in the future. Our tradition appreciates her efforts.  Why should we admire a person who has no loyalty to her own people?

4. [Pirkay Avot 3:2] “Pray for the peace of the government, because without fear of the government, each man would swallow his fellow-man alive.”  We know the excesses of a government which is too strong. Why doesn’t the mishna mention that?

5. [Pirkay Avot 3:14-20] Beloved is man who was created in the image (of God). It is a sign of greater love that he was informed that he was created in the image…”  What does it do for a person and one’s life when one knows that he or she was created in the image of God? 

Commentary

You cannot find peace anywhere except within your self…When one has made peace within himself, he will be able to make peace within the whole world.

R. Simcha Binim, 1765–1827, Przysucha, Poland.

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Rivkah Rochel bat Ya’akov haLevi and Chaya Kornberg, and Yechiel Eliezer ben Yitzchok Meir and Rochel Laya Kornberg

And this study page is also dedicated to the memory cof Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker