פרשת שלח

This week's Parsha has the tragic story of the spies and their bad mouthing the Land of Israel. They complained that the land devours its inhabitants. The Alshich says that they blamed the destructive nature of the land on its climate. Only the supermen who lived there could handle the challenges presented by the land. They cut clusters of grapes to show how massive the fruits were in Canaan. The report of the spies demoralized the people and they cried bitterly on the ninth of Av. Hashem said that because they cried for nothing, this would be a day of crying for generations. Kalev was particularly effective in silencing the spies. He insisted that they no longer had any protection and they were לחמינו, like bread. The Alshich says that they were like the Manna, which was the bread of the day. Just as the Manna melted after no use, the inhabitants of the land would also melt. The sin of the spies was one of the most grievous in our history. One needs to be very careful before ever speaking badly about Israel in any way. Shabbat Shalom