This week Shlach Lecha is read in Israel and Beha’alotcha is read outside of Israel
At the insistence of Bnei Yisrael, and with
A Nod’s as Good as a Wink to a Blind Man
“They returned from spying out the Land… They went and they came to Moshe and Aharon and to the entire assembly of the Children of Israel… and brought back the report to them and the entire assembly. They reported to him and said…” (13:25-27)
Innuendo is the weapon of choice of the slanderer. Far more vitriol can be implied with a wink or a nudge than with damning words.
“I really can’t tell you anymore…” The ellipsis that leaves a sentence infinitely unfinished is more condemning than mere words can ever be. The rising inflection that never returns downward, or the hanging pause that speaks volumes — “No really, I’ve said too much already!” These are the tools of trade of successful character assassination.
“They returned from spying out the Land… They went and they came to Moshe and Aharon and to the entire assembly of the Children of Israel… and brought back the report to them and the entire assembly. They reported to him and said…”
Notice that in the first sentences the spies addressed the “entire assembly”, and then the Torah says that they reported to “him” — i.e., to Moshe alone.
The spies spoke openly to the assembly the praise of the Land of Israel, and mentioned nothing negative in public. Rather, they behaved as if there were other things about which they would rather not comment on openly.
Treachery motivated their actions. They wanted the Jewish People to be afraid of some unmentioned fear by speaking only to Moshe, unheard by the masses, but in their full view.
- Source: based on M’lo HaOmer in Talelei Orot