Shabbat starts- 8:12
Ends- 9:21

In Parshat Shlach, Moshe sends 12 people to scout out the Land of Israel. They return with the conclusion that there’s no way to win a battle against the indigenous Canaanites. Commentators point out that Moshe sent the spies only to answer the question of how to conquer the land – not to decide “whether it’s possible.” What went wrong? To help us unravel this puzzle, let’s ask which of the following two statements is more accurate:

“I can succeed.” Or I can’t succeed.”

At first glance, the statement of “I can’t” sounds more accurate because “I” can’t do anything independently at all. It’s only because of Hashem that I’m even able to wake up in the morning and tie my shoes! However, on a deeper level, the statement of “I can” is more accurate because if we understand that everything is a gift from Hashem, then we know there’s no limit to what we can achieve. The Almighty is all-powerful – Almighty! – and with the understanding that He’s behind us, there is no basis for “I can’t.” The Talmud says: “You are not required to finish the job; you’re just expected to do your best.” It’s that kind of effort that Hashem wanted from the spies. The task seems impossible? You think you can’t do it? That’s because you’re thinking small, thinking finite, thinking on the basis of your own independent power.

Before Moshe sent the 12 spies away, he added the Hebrew letter Yud to Yehoshua’s name. Yud is the first letter of Hashem’s Name. This was meant to be a reminder to the spies – every time they’d mention Yehoshua’s name – that the Almighty is always with you. With that being said, school openings, eradication of COVID19, and organized summer plans are ALL possible. I CAN do it! Because anything and everything is only possible via Hashem and Hashem can do it all. We just have to believe!

Shabbat Shalom
Dr. Chana Uzhansky
Head of School