Israel Forever

For the week ending 9 June 2007 / 23 Sivan 5767

The Blinding Effect

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
One of the great tragedies of Jewish history was the condemnation of an entire generation to miss out on living in Eretz Yisrael.

The Torah portion that will be read this week teaches us that this was the result of virtually an entire nation giving credence to the slanderous report about the Promised Land that was delivered by the tribal leaders sent by Moshe as spies.

But was the motive of these spies, described by the Torah as highly ranked figures in their respective tribes, to discourage their people from inheriting the Land promised to them by G-d?

The answer given by our Sages is that they feared entering the Land might bring about a reorganization of authority, which would cause them to lose their positions.

When we sadly view politicians in the Israel of today who are accused of placing their interest in holding on to their seats of power above the national interest, we cannot help wondering if this is not a repetition of an old tragedy.

What is desperately needed is leadership — not blinded by self-interest. Only then can we protect Israel forever.

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