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  • Tamir Cohen

Parshat Shelach

In this week’s Parsha, Parshat Shelach, Hashem instructs Moshe to send spies to scout out the land of Canaan and it’s people. After the spies are chosen, Moshe gives them instructions on specific criteria to look for in the land. Here, Rashi comments that Moshe instructed the spies to see if there were any righteous people there whose merit would protect the dwellers of the land. In that case, the simple question is: If Moshe was looking for righteous people, why didn’t he just instruct the spies to search the synagogues and places of worship, rather than asking them to search the fields? On top of that, how can one determine who is righteous and who is not just by their outward appearance. One possible answer is that Moshe was incidentally conveying a message to K’lal Yisrael concerning the intrinsic qualities of a truly righteous person. He is not one who goes into seclusion and locks himself up in the synagogue or Beit Hamidrash for twenty-four hours a day. While learning Torah should be a priority for everyone, a truly righteous person is compared to a tree; he is out among the people producing fruit (good deeds). Similar to the tree which casts a protective shade on its surroundings, the righteous person should endeavor that his influence be felt throughout his entire city. B'ezrat Hashem, we should all merit to not only learn Torah, but also to put this knowledge into action each and every day. Shabbat Shalom!

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