Parsha: Sh’lach (2024)

We all try our best but sometimes we make mistakes and realise we can do better next time.

We are meant to learn from our past mistakes.

However it’s one thing to make a mistake and learn from that mistake. But it is entirely different if we keep one repeating the same mistake.

It is often quoted that “the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Rashi opens up his commentary to this weeks Parsha Sh’lach, with a similar message.

The Parsha tells the story of the spies’ failed mission.

The Spies were sent to scout the land of Israel, and find out the nature of the region and how best to go about conquering it.

Unfortunately, instead of coming back with a positive, encouraging message, they spoke ill and negatively about Israel, G-d, and Moses.

Rashi points out that the spies just witnessed an episode of someone speaking negatively (the story of Miriam at the end of last weeks Parsha). Yet they still went out from being bystanders and then commit the very same mistake.

One of the lessons we can learn from the story of the Spies is to realise that past failures and experiences are not meant to just be left as failures and a random occurrences. Rather they are life lessons how to live better, not to make the same mistakes.

When the happened we turn the mistake into a golden opportunity of growth. Eventually becoming part of the story of our future success.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Zalman and Esty