The Sin of the Spies Year 9 Iyun

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Doniel Karp

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11 Questions

What did Rashi explain is meant by 'Send for yourself'?

Rashi explains that what is meant is that Hashem was not commanding Moshe to send spies, but rather giving him the option to do so based on his own understanding and the request of the Jewish people.

According to Rashi, why did Hashem allow the opportunity for the Jewish people to make an error through the words of the spies?

Rashi explains that Hashem allowed the opportunity for the Jewish people to make an error through the words of the spies because they did not trust Him, and He wanted to prevent them from inheriting Eretz Yisrael.

According to Rashi, what was the difference in intentions between Hashem and the Bnei Yisrael when suggesting to send spies?

The Bnei Yisrael wanted the spies to report back to them as they were anxious about conquering the land, while Hashem had different intentions, wanting to test the Bnei Yisrael's faith and trust in Him.

According to Rav Yehuda Henkin, how can we understand why such a negative report was brought back by the spies?

Rav Yehuda Henkin suggests that such a negative report was brought back by the spies because they didn't first go to Moshe to raise their concerns who had sent them. Had they done this it could have been presented to the Bnei Yisrael in a much better way.

What instructions did Hashem give to Moshe regarding the sending of spies, and how did the spies ultimately act in contradiction to those instructions?

Hashem instructed Moshe to send spies and report back directly to him and Aharon, but the spies ultimately reported not only to Moshe and Aharon, but also to the entire congregation, following the people's instructions and agenda, not Moshe’s.

According to Rashi's commentary, what was the significance of the word in the Torah 'the spies went and came back'?

Rashi suggested that their departure as well as their return had evil intent, indicating that their mission was tainted from the start.

What did the spies mean when they said, 'For they are too strong for us' according to Rav Chanina ben Papa in the Gemara?

Rav Chanina ben Papa interpreted this statement as the spies expressing doubt in Hashem's ability to help them conquer the Canaanites, suggesting a lack of faith - 'they are too strong for Him'.

How did the Ramban explain the spies' words in relation to the questions Moshe had asked them to address and what they said that was wrong and wicked?

The Ramban explained that the spies spoke the truth and answered as they were commanded, but their wickedness lay in the word 'efes,' indicating something that is impossible for a person.

What were the positive and negative aspects of the land reported by the spies, according to the Ramban?

The positive aspect was that the land was fertile and flowing with milk and honey, while the negative aspect was the strength of the inhabitants and the fortified cities, which they deemed impossible to conquer.

What was the reason the spies showed the fruit of the land, according to the Ramban?

The spies showed the fruit of the land in response to Moshe's command to find out if there were trees in it or not, fulfilling their duty to show him as they were commanded.

What does Rav Henkin suggest about the importance of private assessment versus public disclosure of information?

He explains that not everything should be made public and certain information must be assessed in private rather than in the media and public eye.

Test your knowledge of the Torah and commentaries with this quiz on the verses that seem to contradict each other in the book of Numbers. Explore the nuances and deeper meanings behind the conflicting instructions given to Moses regarding spying out the land of Canaan.

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