Overcoming the giants

Parhsa Points- Shlach 5777

Overcoming the giants

In Parshat Shlach, Bamidbar 13:21-22, we read the story of the scouts and the places and people that they encountered when they arrived in the Land of Israel: “They went up and they scouted the land from the desert of Tzin until Rechov at the entrance of Chamat. They went up into the southern part of the land and came to Chevron; and there were Achiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the offspring of HaAnak (the giant).”

The ten scouts who returned with pessimistic news reported in Bamidbar 13:28: “…and we also saw the offspring of HaAnak.”

Ramban explains that HaAnak, the giant was named Arba and he was the father of Achiman, Sheshai and Talmai. He was called Arba (four) because there were altogether four giants (the father and his three sons).

The tens scouts who brought the pessimistic report along with their whole generation were barred from entering the Land of Israel. Only Yehoshua and Calev, who gave an optimistic report, were allowed to enter the land and conquer it.

Right before B’nei Yisrael arrived in the Land of Israel, they were told (Devarim 9:1-3):  “Listen Yisrael, You are today crossing the Jordan to come inherit nations greater and more powerful than you; cities great and fortified to the sky. A great and powerful people, descendents of the Anakim  about whom you have heard, ‘who can stand up to the descendent of Anak?’ You know today that your God is the One crossing before you, a consuming fire, He will destroy them and He will subdue them before you; you will expel them and destroy them quickly as God promised for you.”

All of the facts were put on the table: the offspring of the giant are there but God will help you fight them.

Moshe’s prophecy does in fact come true. The Book of Yehoshua 10:36-37 describes Yehoshua’s victory over the city of Chevron: “Yehoshua and all of Israel went up from Eglon to Chevron and waged war against it. They conquered it and struck it by the edge of the sword- its king and its villages and every soul that was in it; he did not leave a remnant, like all that he had done to Eglon. He destroyed it and every soul that was in it.”

In Yehoshua 14:15, the story continues: “The name of Chevron was formerly Kiryat Arba, who was the biggest man among the Anakim (giants). Then the land had rest from war.”

In Yehoshua 15:13-14 we learn about Calev’s inheritance: “To Calev the son of Yefuneh he gave a portion among the children of Yehuda in accordance with God’s word to Yehoshua- Kiryat Arba, the father of the giants, which is Chevron. Calev drove out the three sons of HaAnak from there- Sheshai, Achiman and Talmai, the offspring of HaAnak.

The Land of Israel has many enemies- yet with God on our side we can and will overcome all obstacles.

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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