Kenneth Cohen

Caleb-The First Aliya Shaliach

In the story of the spies, many see Calev as the hero. He was the one who had to speak out, as the people knew that Joshua would be loyal to Moshe.

The Torah tells us that Calev silenced the people from their complaining. He simply told that “We will go up and inherit the land, because we are able to do so.”

The Keli Yakar tells us that he needed to combat all of the negativity of the spies who doubted that they would receive Hashem’s protection.

In essence, Calev was the first Shaliach for making Aliya.

It was as if he foresaw the struggles that his descendants would go through when they would want to move to Israel.

Many people have to go through this same negativity. Often there are family members that discourage their idealistic relatives.

They tell them of the insurmountable struggles they wlll have to through. Making a living will be nearly impossible, not to mention the issues of security.

Making Aliya is the most worthwhile venture a Jew can do. I often said that if one truly loves his children, he would not raise them in America.

It is true that making Aliya is not the easiest Mitzva. But this is what makes its reward so great. We are simply coming home to the only place on earth where are welcome.

We must silence the negative voices of today’s Meraglim. And just like Calev, let everyone know that we will inherit the land and we will succeed!

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at