Sharona Margolin Halickman

Don’t Make the Same Mistake Twice!

Parshat Devarim opens with the story of the Meraglim (spies). Why do we need to review the story of the spies? After all, we just read about it a few weeks ago in Parshat Shlach.

The review of the story of the spies reminds the new generation that is about to enter the Land of Israel about the mistakes that their parents made and the reason that B’nai Yisrael had to wander in the desert for forty years. Their parents didn’t trust in God and were afraid to enter the land. Their punishment was that they in fact would not enter the land and only their children would enter the land after the older generation passed away.

Why is this so important that it has to be emphasized twice, both in Parsha Shlach and in the beginning of Parshat Devarim?

This story teaches us that there is a real problem with the concept of the Jewish people rejecting the Land of Israel.

Today, there are about 6,135,00 Jews living in Israel, almost half of the Jewish population of the world.

Aside from those living in Israel, many of the Jews who live outside of Israel support the Jewish state in some way. They understand that even if they are unable to move to Israel at this time they are willing to do what they can to help out. We have seen this the past few weeks with Jews from abroad making donations to help the soldiers in the IDF, sending toys to children who are spending most of their summer in the bomb shelters, participating in rallies throughout the world in support of Israel as well as those who are getting on the plane to Israel to be part of solidarity missions.

Jews from all over the world are showing that they care about the Land of Israel and they will not reject it the way that the spies and their generation rejected the land.

The date that the spies gave their evil report was on the Ninth of Av (Tisha B’Av), the first tragedy of many which occurred on that date, including the destruction of both the First and Second Temples.

As Tisha B’Av approaches we must remember that in order to hold on to the Land of Israel, Jews from throughout the world must embrace it.

About the Author
Sharona holds a BA in Judaic Studies from Stern College and an MS in Jewish Education from Azrieli Graduate School, Yeshiva University. Sharona was the first Congregational Intern and Madricha Ruchanit at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, NY. After making aliya in 2004, Sharona founded Torat Reva Yerushalayim, a non profit organization based in Jerusalem which provides Torah study groups for students of all ages and backgrounds.
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