Shlach Lecha: Chapter 10

The spies


We are told that Hebron is the Oral Torah because whoever strives in her is referred to as Chaver, or comrade; it emerges from the written Torah, Zeir Anpin. Reference is made to homiletical interpretations and Agadah that surround the Torah like grapes in a cluster. Those who do not study the Torah for its own sake cause a flaw in the faith because they consider the written and oral Torahs to be two rather than one; this leads to the separation of Zeir Anpin and Malchut. People recant from the true path, saying that the world above might indeed be good, as the Torah says, but who could possibly deserve it? It takes too much work. We read of the difficulties of poverty and weakness of body among those who study the Torah, but of the great reward that comes to them and the great connection they make with God. We are told the inner meaning of Joshua and Caleb who carried between them the branch with the cluster of grapes. The rabbis talk about the giants who came against them, and Rabbi Shimon tells of the slanderous spies who told lies about the promised land. It was as if by speaking slanderously about the Holy Land they spoke badly about God, and God later caused the destruction of both temples on the anniversary of that day. Had Moses not prevailed with his prayer the children of Yisrael would have been destroyed from the world.