8/9 June: Shabbat Shelach Lecha comes in 9:01 pm, ends 10:21 pm
The episode of the spies in this week’s Parashat, shows that the challenges facing the Israelites after we left Egypt were not merely a temporary phase. Remember as we left Egypt, we complained that we lacked food and water. Even after we received the Ten Commandments, we built the golden calf at Sinai. The story of the spies and the punishment of the people to wander the desert for forty years is not an exception to the behaviour of the people, it rather fits the pattern of a people constantly struggling to believe in God..
There is a Hebrew saying that “Kol Hatchalot Kashot” – literally, “all beginnings are difficult.” One wonders why we say “beginnings” in the plural, why not “every beginning is difficult.” You could say that it relates to many ventures. However, the late Dr Samuel Belkin taught that the reality is, that often when we begin even a single venture, there are many beginnings. You start, you fail, you start again, and you fall “but to succeed, one must be tenacious and never give up.”
Written by Rabbi Paul Arberman