Rabbi Eli's Blog

What were you thinking!

 When the spies went into the land of Israel Hashem preformed a miracle that anyone who was meant to die around that time passed away while the spies were there so they wouldn’t be noticed.

When they came back they complained:

הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר עָבַרְנוּ בָהּ לָתוּר אֹתָהּ אֶרֶץ אֹכֶלֶת יוֹשְׁבֶיהָ הִוא וגו':(במדבר יג:לב)

[The spies said,] “The land we traveled through to inspect is a land that consumes its inhabitants.” Numbers 13:32

What went wrong? How is it that the greatest leaders of each tribe (all except Calev ben Yefune and Yehoshu bin Nun) didn’t want to go into Israel??

The truth is it was the spies’ heightened spiritual orientation that led them astray. The spies wanted to experience life and pursue G‑dliness unencumbered by the distractions of materiality. In the desert, the Jewish people were protected by the Clouds of Glory, sustained by the manna and the well of Miriam, and all their physical needs were fully attended to. All of their time was spent in the study of the Torah, in meditation, and in davening. The spies were repulsed by the notion of entering the real world, where we have to waste time plowing and planting, working for our daily bread. They felt that “The land we traveled through to inspect is a land that consumes its inhabitants”  the “land” would “consume” them.


Where did they go wrong?

The vision of a life devoted to expanding our Divine consciousness unburdened by material distractions is of course praiseworthy.

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Nonetheless, this yearning must be balanced with humble submission to G‑d’s plan. The purpose of life is to live within mundane reality, revealing the G‑dliness concealed within it. Only by entering the material world can G‑d’s essence be found, through fulfilling His commandments on this physical plane.

I remember learning in Yeshiva were all my needs where taken care of. I was able to just sit and learn Torah day and night. I didn’t want to leave. At a certain point in time however my personal spiritual mentor advised me to move forward. Today I have the merit to be the rebbe’s emissary here in Humboldt and I’m humbled by the precious neshamos, the wonderful Jewish souls, I have the honor of working with.


34346589754_2eb7712bbe_c.jpgSometimes we would rather remain in our spiritual ivory tower removed from all the problems of the world, but it’s specifically when we enter the “land” when we go out of our comfort zone to help another that real growth can happen. When we muster up the strength to have Kabbolos ol (submission to the Divine Master plan) we’ll bring about a day where the materiality of the world will no longer distort our spiritual focus, a day when the knowledge of Hashem will fill the world as water covers oceans, with the coming of Moshiach NOW! 

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