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  • Yehuda Pevzner

In His Hands


Moses sends twelve spies (one from each tribe) to the Land of Canaan (the former name of the Land of Israel) to see what the land and its people are like. The spies tour the whole land and when they come back after forty days they tell the people that it is indeed a land "flowing with milk and honey." But, they add, the people in it are very strong and the cities have huge walls like fortresses, and "we even saw giants." And they tell the Jews that the land would be much too difficult to conquer. Even though two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, disagree with the rest, saying that the land is very good and they can surely conquer it, the Jews believe those with the bad report, and they cry out to Moses that they don't want to go.


Although what the spies reported was true, where they went wrong was in the manner of which they brought back their report. True, in the natural way of the world, it would be impossible to conquer the land. The inhabitants were strong and giant. However, after all the miracles that G-d performed for the Jews, did the Jews really doubt His ability to lead them into Israel? The conquering of the land was not to be a natural process! G-d would be fighting the wars for them, in a totally miraculous way! All they needed to do was start. Prepare for war, strategize… The outcome was not supposed to be their concern.


G-d wants us to always do our best, and He does the rest. When one is worried about finding a job, he needs to look at the classifieds, go to interviews, etc. but there’s no need to worry because the outcome is up to G-d.


We may not be perfect, but our imperfection should not stop us from acting. Our job is to do what we can. Perfect is the enemy of good. We are only expected to do what’s in our hands. Beyond that is in G-d hands.


Candle lighting time in NYC is Friday, before 8:13 PM


Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom!