So technically, this is last week’s Torah portion but oh well. I like this one. The short version of Sh’lach L’cha is that Moses sends spies to Israel to report on what it is like generally. Two report back favorably but the people are still frightened. As a result, G-d threatens to wipe out our people but Moses intercedes. As punishment, G-d says none of the people that left Egypt would enter Israel except the two that made the positive report.
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I must first dispose of the notion that I believe in a punishing G-d in some real way. There, that is out of the way.
What interests me in this portion mainly is that it is those that are afraid to go into the unknown that are punished. Those that take the apparently safer road of holding back are never to see their homeland, the place they have longed for over forty years of wandering in the desert. Even Moses is not to see Israel despite all he has done as a faithful servant.
It is the risk takers, those who choose the open door into the new and different, into the unknown, who are to be rewarded with a place in Israel. It is the risk takers that will have a vision of the homeland, of the dream. And what does that instruct us in the now?
We always have a choice to allow change to happen. If we remain open minded, open hearted and wide eyed, we may see the door that opens before us on our journey. We also have a choice to remain in place, to resist change. Static feels safe but it may not be so. Fearlessly walking through the open door, G-d has your back; faith will hold you up. Isn’t that what G-d was trying to tell the people all those millenia ago?