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26/27 JUNE: PARSHA CHUKAT

Shabbat comes in at 9.08 pm and goes out at 10.28 pm
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In Parsha Chukat, we read: “And the Canaanite King of Arad who lived in the Negev heard that the B’nai Yisrael had come by the route of Atarim, he fought against Yisrael and took some of them as prisoners.”
Why weren’t the Canaanites afraid to attack the Israelites, knowing that God had rescued them from Egypt and split the Red Sea for them?
According to modern commentator Nehama Leibowitz, the Canaanites knew  what God had done for the Israelites, but they were emboldened because the Israelites showed their lack of confidence in themselves and in God by sending the spies.
It’s hard to fault the Israelites for wanting to know what they would encounter in the Land, but I agree that confidence is so important a factor that it can, at times, even trump actual ability.   A teacher, lawyer, parent, doctor, or advisor who speaks with assuredness inspires trust.   The children of Israel lacked confidence, so despite their abilities and their alliance with God, they were defeated.
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Paul Arberman
June 25, 2015