Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Shlach: part of the group

Parshat Shlach

In 14:6 it says, "ויהושע בן נון וכלב בן יפנה מן התרים את הארץ קרעו בגדיהם" - and Yehoshua and Calev, of those having spied out the land, tore their garments.

Don't we know they were 2 of the 12 spies already? Why does it have to tell us that they were of the spies?

Their report and whole attitude was completely different than that of the other 10 spies. One could be surprised to learn they were part of the same group of people. One could be shocked to see the differences between these two and the other 10. Maybe they were not really doing their job. Maybe they were just crazy right-wing fanatics with their own agenda to influence the decision to go into Israel.

The Torah reminds us that, no, they were not just trying to put on a good show on behalf of their friend Moshe. They were part of the group of spies. Everything the others saw and experienced, they also saw and experienced. They are tearing their garments because they know there is nothing wrong with the Land of Israel - they were the spies, so nobody knows it better than them.