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Are You a Spy?

Friday, 28 June, 2019 - 1:05 pm

Nothing quite hurts a country’s intelligence apparatus more than a double agent.

Although the agent is supposed to be working for you, he is actually working for your enemy.

A similar situation occurs in this week’s parsha Shelach. Moshe send 12 spies to scout out the land. Their mission is meant to help the Jewish people conquer the land promised to them by Almighty G-d.

Most of the spies return with a negative report of the land and its people. They declare, “We are unable to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”

As they say, “You gotta know your enemy.” Yet, the spies made a tremendous mistake. Their job was to ‘know the enemy.’ It was not to decide whether to fight the enemy.


We, too, have a spy within us.

We inhabit a world that is sometimes hostile to our Divine mission. It’s also a world that flashes many shiny objects at us – in an effort o divert our attention from our true goal.

In order for us to fulfill our mandate of transforming this world into a holy home for G-d, we need to ‘know our enemy.’ We need to engage the material world, understand it and navigate its spiritually treacherous roads.


The lesson we can take from the spies’ error is to recognize our own mission as spies. On the one hand we need to engage the world in order to transform it.

Unlike the spies, however, we will remain focused on the mission and not allow ourselves to be swayed by the enemy.

My G-dly mandate is to be involved in the world for the sake of Heaven, not to take the piece of Heaven inside me (my soul) and make it worldly.

So long as we remain faithful to our mission, we are guaranteed that our mission will succeed.

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