Sunday, June 18, 2006

What was the חטא of the meraglim?

One approach is as follows. The leaders made the following calculation. Things were good in the midbar. They had a spiritual life with no effort. Manna came down from heaven every morning. If they had a question they asked Moshe who asked Hashem. In short, spirituality was handed to them on a silver platter. On the other hand they realized that in Israel life would change radically. They would not live a life of nissim, manna would not fall from heaven. They would have to work hard to retain their spiritually. If they had a question in Torah they would have to figure out the answer.

Based on the above, the meraglim decided life was better in the midbar and therefore did what they did.

What was their sin? They didn't want to work hard at their spirituality. They wanted everything handed to them on a silver platter.

The medrash quoted by Rashi in Parshas Shelach states on the pasuk ויבכו העם בלילה ההוא that it was the night of Tisha B'av and Hashem said that you cried for no reason, I will give you a reson to cry on the future. In other words, the חטא of the meraglim is the source of the Aveilus of Tisha B'av. Now we need to understand how does the חטא of the meraglim relate to the punishment? Where is the midda kneged midda?

Given the above we can understand the midda kneged midda. They wanted to have a life of miracles and easy spiritually. Hashem said, I am going to destroy the Beis Hamikdash on this day and go into hester panim. In other words, just the reverse of what the meraglim wanted. To be spiritual in Golus without the Beis Hamikdash takes even harder work. The Beis Hamikdash was a mini midbar. People could come and be spiritually recharged by the Nisim and the giluy hashechina in the Beis Hamikdash. Therefore Hashem says I am going to take even that away and send you into Golus so that you can fix the Aveira.


daat y said...

well said.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe in the english chumash sichos by R.Sacks adds also that conquering eretz yisroel was to be naturally and not by open miracles.This was too much for them.

Chaim B. said...

This approach is a favorite in chassidus, but where is the evidence for it either in th text or midrash?

Ari Kahn said...

see the introduction of the NETZIV to Bamidbar

Ari Kahn said...

Rabbenu Bacha Bishalach
Eitz Hadaas Parshat Shlach
Shalah Hakodesh Shelach
Kedushat Levi Shlach
Arvie nachal Shlach
Neziv Vayikra 27:2
Bamidbar 13:2
Devarim 1:9, 1:37 9:23,29:3

and many more sources

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Bluke: There are many possible explantions of what was the sin.

Textually, one couls easily say that Hashem commanded Moshe that the people should be sent "לתור" to tour the land. Hashem wanted them to see what a wonderful land it is. Instead, they went with a different intent...of "spying" out the land. (Meaning, the onus could partially be on Moshe as well).

Or perhaps - they were sent to see tactically what needed to be done to counquer the land. Instead they decided their mission was not "how to conquer" but, "can we conquer."