Guess who was not involved in the sin of the spies?

When we speak about Chet HaMiraglim, the sin of the spies, we mention that Yehoshua and Calev were the only two of the twelve spies who did not bring a false report and they were therefore not punished as the other ten spies who died in a plague, rather, they were able to enter the Land of Israel.

After the sin of the spies, in Parshat Shlach, the rest of the nation was told (Bamidbar 14:29-31) “In the desert your corpses shall fall, all of you who were counted according to your numbers, from twenty years and above, because you complained against me. Surely you shall not come into the land to which I raised My hand to swear that I would cause you to live in it; except for Calev ben Yefuneh and Yehoshua bin Nun. Your infants, about whom you said that they will be as spoils, I shall bring them there and they will know the land which you despised.”

Note that each time a census was taken the women were not counted.

In Parshat Pinchas, after the census we read (Bamidbar 26:65) “For God said to them, ‘They will surely die in the wilderness,’ and not a man was left of them, except for Calev ben Yefuneh and Yehoshua bin Nun.

It is interesting to note that the women were not mentioned.

Rashi points out that the decree was not issued against the women since they cherished the land. The men said to each other (Bamidbar 14:4), “let us appoint a leader and we will return to Egypt” while the women (the daughters of Tzelophchad) said (Bamidbar 27:4) “give us possession!” According to Sifre, 16, this is why the chapter of the daughters of Tzelophchad is adjacent here.

The men were the ones who said (Bamidbar 14:2-3) “…If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in the wilderness! Why is God bringing us to this Land to die by the sword? Our wives and young children will be taken captive! Is it not better to return to Egypt?”

We see from here, that just like the spies, the men were not interested in inheriting the Land of Israel and therefore they did not merit to live there. The women, who normally would not have inherited their own plots of land were given special permission to inherit in the case where they had no brothers.

We learn from here that none of the women died in the wilderness and even those who were older than sixty entered the land with the younger generation.

 

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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