Please learn the following Devar Torah for the ilui Neshamah of Shemuel ben Daniel. Tehei Nishmato Serurah beSeror HaHayim.
Parashat Shelah-He Who Puts You To It Will Pull You Through It
ח. אִם חָפֵץ בָּנוּ ה' וְהֵבִיא אֹתָנוּ אֶל הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת וּנְתָנָהּ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ אֲשֶׁר הִוא זָבַת חָלָב וּדְבָשׁ:
In an interview with ‘G’, one of the soldiers of Commando 13- not only the best soldiers in the country, but the best soldiers in the universe- he was asked about a certain mission that ended with a big loss.
‘Tell me, isn’t this an embarrassment to soldiers such as you?’ the interviewer asked. ‘G’ answered in a serious tone. ‘You’re asking at a command level,’ he said. ‘They told me to go, and I went. And if tomorrow they tell me to go again, I’ll go and get hit again.’
When a person is on a mission, there is nothing stopping them. They do what they have to do because they know that a higher, more intelligent authority is guiding them. Even though the mission seems scary, and even though we don’t know what we are getting ourselves into, and even if it may seem pointless or harmful to us, we do it. Why? Because we know that there is obviously a reason why we are being asked to do such a thing. I’m sure ‘G’ did not know what was awaiting him when he was asked to go on his mission, but he got up and went. He had to fulfill his mission.
Parashat Shelah (pronounced ‘Shlach’ by some) is spelled שלח. It means ‘to send’; ‘Send for yourself spies’. These spies were sent on a mission, just like we are in life. When they get back and start discouraging Benei Yisrael from entering Eress Yisrael, Calev jumps right in and reassures them ‘If HaShem desires us, He will bring us to this land and give it to us, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ He tells them, I know you are scared, I know you don’t know what to expect, I know you think that you have it better now, but trust me, if HaKadosh Barukh Hu wants something for you, He will set it up for you. You’re on His mission. Not only will He put you to it, but He will pull you through it.
Sometimes we are put in a situation, but we don’t know why we are placed there. Sometimes we think to ourselves that no good can come from it….so we are reluctant to take action. Even more, has ve’Shalom we start to despair. Sometimes we think there is no way out. This is when שלח turns to חלש, weak.
But we must remember, we are messengers. We are sent on a mission and we must fulfill it.
If you ever find yourself in a situation, know that HaKadosh Barukh Hu put you there. Ask yourself,
‘Whose messenger am I right now? What does HaShem want from me right now?’ You will find great answers. You will find direction. You will find strength.
You will complete your mission.
The entire thing is not to be afraid. We see in the Parashah what happens to someone who is afraid. Selaphehad is killed because he cuts down wood on Shabbat. He was mehalel Shabbat; he aborted his mission. His own name indicates his fear. ‘Sel Pahad’- afraid of his own shadow. Don’t be afraid. Just do your mission. HaShem will surely lead the way, He will take you to a land of milk and honey.
Be strong. If you can’t be strong for yourself, be strong because people look up to you, be strong because your strength will be passed down to your descendants. The strength you draw will reach farther than you think. When HaKadosh Barukh Hu changes Sarai Imenu’s name to Sarah, Sarah objects, HaShem! I worked so hard for this yod in my name, I passed ten trials for this yod- I was dragged in to G’rar, I was given to Pharaoh, I was barren for decades, I’m not prepared to let go of the yod. I suffered for it! How can I replace a yod, which equals 10, with a heh, that equals 5?
Not to worry, says HaShem. All that ability to withstand trials I’ll pass on to your descendant who wil need it one day; I will pass it on to Yehoshuah bin Nuun. And this is exactly why in this Parashah, HaKadosh Barukh Hu adds a yod to Hosheah’s name, to make it Yehoshuah. HaShem transfers this strength of Sarah Imenu to Yehoshuah, so that when he does enter Eress Yisrael, he will have the ability to withstand any trials there.
We must understand that HaKadosh Barukh Hu was going to give Benei Yisrael the land of Eress Yisrael anyways, THEY asked to place spies for themselves, THEY created their own worries and problems. HaKadosh Barukh Hu already had the best set for them, they just were unsure and afraid and thought by taking matters into their own hands they could calm themselves down. All they really had to do was wait; they would get there shortly. But by pushing it, not only did they become more afraid and discouraged, but they made their wait even longer- 40 years!
Sometimes, while waiting for things, we become impatient. This impatience leads to anxiety. We start doubting, start asking too many question, start going around in circles, but all we have to do is just WAIT. It’s that simple. You’re on a mission, realize that. Fulfill it.
When a baby is hungry, he begins to cry and cry. He doesn’t stop until the baby bottle reaches his sweet little mouth. But all until this point, even when his mother is preparing his milk for him, he continues to cry. He doesn’t realize that this whole time his mother is preparing food for him. He only stops once he directly gets what he has been crying for. We are the same, we cry and cry, even when HaKadosh Barukh Hu is preparing our yeshuah (deliverance) for us, we don’t realize that all along He is in the midst of preparing it for us. We only stop when we get what we haveve been asking for. And then we start crying again for something else….
Be patient. Be strong. If HaKadosh Barukh Hu wants something for you, don’t worry, He will help you get it. We might not understand the process while we get there, but know that anything you face, you’re a soldier of HaShem, you’re on His mission.
May we all gather the koah, the strength, to withstand our trials and grow from them. May we realize Who our Commander is. May we fulfill our missions to the best of our ability. Be strong!
Wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom uMevorakh!
Based on the teachings of HaRabbanit Yemimah Mizrahi