Rabbi Dessler writes: G^d’s Name is improving in the world; but will that be because of you or despite of you? The two animals to be sacrificed in the test for G^d or the Baal, they both hallowed G^d’s Name, one by being accepted and one by being rejected. Redemption will come. No one can stop that. But the question is, will it come also because of us or despite of us?
We left Egypt, received the Torah and time had come to enter the Land. But we couldn’t because Miriam spoke negatively, so did the ten Spies, so did Korach and so did the people about the Manna (Numbers 21:5).
What punishment did they get? Each fitting their particular crime.
- Miriam had to wait a week in a pit. She had elevated herself to the level of Moses and had to learn her lower place.
- The believers of the Spies had to dig their own graves and go to sleep in them every 9th of Av and wait if they were among the two-and-a-half percent who would die that night. They kept G^d waiting, now He kept them waiting.
- Korach bit off more than he could chew. Now the earth swallowed him up.
- And the ungrateful Manna-eaters would be bitten by snakes — that we know, eat from the dust of the earth (Genesis 3:14). For their complaint of “unsubstantial” food, they were bitten by creatures that don’t kill for food.
But besides that the punishments were each specific, they also had something in common, besides that they were all for slander. What was that?
The time to enter the Land had come but we couldn’t handle it yet. How can we know that that time had came? Instead, the land entered into the punishments — the pit, sleeping in a grave, the mouth of the earth and the dust of the earth.
G^d’s clock is always right. The question is if we are in sink.