Shul Bulletin

Shabbos Balak Schedule:

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 7:50 pm
  • Early Minyan Shacharis: 8:20 am
  • Shiur Chassidus with Rabbi Raichik: 9:00 am 
  • Shacharis: 10:00 am
  • Mesibos Shabbos for Girls: 4:00 pm in Shul
  • Shiur in Pirkei Avos with Rabbi Raichik: 7:05 pm 
  • Mincha: 7:50 pm - Pirkei Avos - Perek 6
  • Shabbos Ends: 8:53 pm

Announcements - Balak

  • A big yasher koach to Rabbi & Mrs. Mendel Duchman for all the outstanding work that they do for our children in Kol Yaakov Yehuda. Thank you to all the parents who organized the event this past Tuesday night to show appreciation to Rabbi & Mrs. Mendel Duchman. The event was a great success!
  • This Tuesday, June 29, is Sheva Asar B’Tammuz.
    Fast begins - 4:13 am
    Mincha - 7:30 pm
    Fast ends - 8:43 pm
    For the laws and customs regarding the fast please see the Chabad Chodesh.
  • Please continue to say tehillim for Mordechai ben Simcha Chaya who is in need of a refua shleima - Kapitel 41. 


Kiddush Sponsors - Balak

  • Dr. & Mrs. Ze'ev Rav-Noy for the yahrtzeit of Mrs. Rav-Noy's father Avrohom ben Yitzchak Elimelech. May the neshomo have an aliya.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Danny Rotenberg for the yahrtzeits of Rabbi Rotenberg's father Yaakov Naftoli ben Shlomo Zalmen and Mrs. Rotenberg's brother Leima ben Avrohom Yaakov Halevi. May the neshomos have an aliya.
  • Together with:
    Rabbi & Mrs. Yisroel Bastomski
    for the yahrtzeit of Mrs. Bastomski's father Noson Kalmen ben Tzvi Meir. May the neshomo have an aliya.

Shabbos Shiur and Farbrengen

Shabbos Shiur and Farbrengen
At the home of Mrs. Etty Bastomski 418 N. Fuller Ave.
at 6:30 pm.
Speaker: Rabbi Shaya Berkowitz

Mazal Tov To:

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Eli Vcherashansky and Rabbi & Mrs. Shmuel Fogelman on the marriage of their children Yossi & Estee. Mazal tov to all the grandparents and family members.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Michy Rav-Noy on the birth of their daughter Rosa Devora. Mazal tov to the grandparents Dr. & Mrs. Ze'ev Rav-Noy and Mr. & Mrs. Shimon Benarroch.
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Gershon Schusterman on the birth of their granddaughter Rochel Laya Perman.
  • Rabbi Jonathan Glabman upon receiving his smicha.

Upcoming Birthdays:

  • Moshe Raichik - 14 Tammuz
  • Shmuel Dovid Raichik (B"R Yankee) - 17 Tammuz 

Announcements Chukas:

  • Achdus rally for Sholom Mordechai Halevi Rubashkin, Monday, June 21st, 8:30 pm at Moshe Ganz hall. For more info click here.
  • Yud Beis Tammuz Farbrengen for men Thursday,  June 24, after marive in shul.
  • Please continue to say tehillim for Mordechai ben Simcha Chaya who is in need of a refua shleima - Kapitel 41. 


Shabbos Schedule Chukas:

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 7:49 pm
  • Early Minyan Shacharis: 8:20 am
  • Shiur Chassidus with Rabbi Raichik: 9:00 am 
  • Shacharis: 10:00 am
  • Mesibos Shabbos for Girls: 4:00 pm in Shul
  • Shiur in Pirkei Avos with Rabbi Raichik: 7:05 pm 
  • Mincha: 7:50 pm - Pirkei Avos - Perek 5
  • Shabbos Ends: 8:52 pm

Kiddush Sponsors:


  • Rabbi & Mrs. Eli Vcherashansky in honor of the ufruf of their son Yossi. May he be Zoche to build a binyan aday ad. Mazal Tov to the kallah Estee and the entire Fogelman family.
  • Together with:
    Rabbi & Mrs. Eli Newman
    in honor of R' Eli's birthday. May he have a shnas hatzlacha begashmiyus uberuchniyus.
    Mr. & Mrs. Shimon Benarroch for the yahrtzeits of Mrs. Benarroch's mother Esther bas Mordechai and brother Avrohom ben Moshe. May the neshomos have an aliya.
    Mr. & Mrs. David Peretz for the yahrtzeit of R' David's father Moshe ben Shalom. May the neshoma have an aliya.


Women's Shabbos Shiur/Shabbos Kallah:

Estee Fogelman invites everyone to her Shabbos Kallah
at the Fogelman residence 421 N Martel Ave.
at 6:00 pm.
Speaker: Rebbitzen Rochel Fogelman
Shlucha of the Rebbe for almost 70 years.

Mazal Tov To:

  • Mr. & Mrs Shimon Benarroch on the birth of their granddaughter Shoshana Roza Sperlin.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Yosef Meir on the birth of their daughter Naomi.
  • Habachur Sholom Dov Ber Polityko on his hanochas teffillin, and to the entire Polityko family.

Upcoming Birthdays:

  • Rabbi Eli Newman - 8 Tammuz 
  • Yosef Yitzchak Novack - 12 Tammuz 
  • Rabbi Nachman Kreiman - 13 Tammuz

 Upcoming Anniversaries:

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yrachmiel Wolowik - 8 Tammuz 

Weekly Thought - Chukas

A True Leader

There are various types of people. There are those whose main drive is for the good of the community and they feel that the needs of private individuals must be pushed aside for the needs of the community. There are others who feel that the main focus is the individual: they think about each person and believe that the community should worry about the needs of each unique individual.

There is a constant need to maintain a sense of balance between these two philosophies. One example of this balance is when a Jew gives half a shekel to buy korbonos. The value of that money is thereby transformed from being within the private domain to being within the public domain.

Rashi says in this week's parsha that Moshe is Yisroel and Yisroel is Moshe (Bamidbar 21:21).  Hanassi Hu Hakol - the Nassi is everything. Hence, in one aspect, he is a single individual.  On the other hand, everything he does is connected to Klal Yisroel and he is the Nassi over each individual person. The Nassi Hador combines both attributes.

This is what we find in connection with the Previous Rebbe. The Previous Rebbe accomplished much for the community, first among the Soviets that caused him to be arrested; and then when he left Russia when he was involved in all aspects of Yiddishkeit, building Mikvaos, Yeshivos and Chodorim, appointing shochetim and rabbonim, saving individuals from the Soviet Union and during WWII, as well as expounding Chassidus. The general ruchnius and gashmius of Klal Yisroel were important to him and, at the same time, each individual’s physical and spiritual welfare was equally important.

Likewise, the Rebbe transmitted to us the power to spread Yiddishkeit in a broad, community sense, while at the same time working to help each individual. This avodah affects our work for the redemption of Klal Yisroel in general, as well as for every individual personally. Like the prophet says, “as you will be gathered one by one” (Isaiah 27:12). Rashi explains the possuk to mean that Hashem will grasp each person by the hand, and we will be gathered as one community with Moshiach.

In 1976, right after the Entebbe rescue, my brother Yossi and another bochur went to Japan and other nations of the Far East on Merkos Shlichus.  He visited Bangkok, India, Iran, and other neighboring countries. One Friday in Japan, he put tefillin on the Israeli Ambassador and a mezuzah on the door of the embassy. He met a certain man in the embassy and asked him, “Do you want to put on tefillin?” The man responded, “I have a story to tell you. After the Six Day War, I was at the Kotel and I was asked to put on tefillin. I told them that I believe in the country and the history, but I’m not religious and I will not put on tefillin. Later I visited the United States and was on Fifth Avenue in New York City.  A young fellow came out of a van and asked me to put on tefillin. I refused, telling him that if I didn't put it on at the Kotel, do you think I'll put it on in New York? I traveled to Philadelphia and saw the Liberty Bell. While I was there, someone approached me and asked me to put on tefillin. I refused again.  If I didn't put it on at the Kotel, do you think I would do so at the Liberty Bell?” The man then looked Yossi in the eye and said, “If the Lubavitcher Rebbe sent two rabbinical students ten thousand miles away to Japan just to ask me to put on tefillin, could I still refuse? I'll put on tefillin."

When Yossi told this by a farbrengen, he explained that he obviously did not only travel to Japan for this one individual.  He had many opportunities to meet people and do mivtzoim on this trip.  Nevertheless, the person felt as though Yossi’s entire trip was for him.

What do we learn from this? When we do mivtzoim, the Rebbe is sending us personally to fulfill his shlichus.  When it is done in this manner, the person cannot refuse the Ahavas Yisroel of the Rebbe. This man in the Israeli embassy felt how much the Rebbe cared for him as an individual, and was finally willing to put on tefillin.

Achdus Rally


Announcements Parshas Korach


  • This Tuesday Gimmel Tammuz is the 16th Hilula of the Rebbe. Farbrengen for men Monday night in Shul with Rabbi Mendel Schapiro. N'shei Chabad Farbrengen Tuesday night at Bais Chana with Rabbi Zalman Kaplan and Mrs. Fruma Schapiro.  Click here for the Farbrengen info. 
  • Keren Gesher invites all women to the monthly Rosh Chodesh gathering in memory of Rebbetzin Sara Rochel Schochet. Click here for more info.
  • Join the "Global Family of Chassidim" to enhance Ahavas Yisroel as we approach Gimmel Tammuz. This Sunday, Rabbi Shmuel Braun will speak for women at 5:15 PM and Rabbi Moshe New will speak for men at 6:00 PM. Log on to for the streaming video.
  • Please continue to say tehillim for Mordechai ben Simcha Chaya who is in need of a refua shleima - Kapitel 41. 


Shabbos Korach Schedule:

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 7:47 pm
  • Early Minyan Shacharis: 8:15 am
  • Shiur Chassidus with Rabbi Raichik: 9:00 am 
  • It is customary for all men to get an Aliya the Shabbos before Gimmel Tammuz.
  • Minyanim for Kriah will begin at 9:15 am 
  • Shacharis: 10:00 am
  • Kol Yakov Yehuda - final week: 10:15 am 
  • Mesibos Shabbos for Girls: 4:00 pm in Shul
  • Shiur in Pirkei Avos with Rabbi Raichik: 7:00 pm 
  • Mincha: 7:45 pm - Pirkei Avos - Perek 4
  • Shabbos Ends: 8:50 pm

Kiddush Sponsors - Korach

  • Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Glabman in honor of their new baby girl Shira Shulamis. May she grow up L'Torah, L'Chupah Ul'Maasim Tovim.

  • Rabbi and Mrs. Sholom Glick in honor of their new baby girl Yehudis.  May she grow up L'Torah, L'Chupah Ul'Maasim Tovim.

        The Early Minyan Kiddush is sponsored by:

  • Rabbi and Mrs. Yehuda Lerman in honor of his receiving dayanus.  May he continue to grow in his learning and have much success begashmiyus ubruchniyus.

Women's Shabbos Shiur/Farbrengen:

The woman's Shiur/Farbrengen
will be at the Raichik residence 6724 Beverly Blvd.
at 6:30 pm.

Mazal Tov's - Parshas Korach

  • Mr. & Mrs. Reuven Solomon on the birth of their granddaughter.
  • Mrs. Miriam Gluck on the birth of her grandson. 
  • Mr. Joel Yachzel on the birth of his grandson.
  • Rabbi Yehuda Lerman upon receiving his smicha for Dayanus. 
  • All the children in our community graduating from Cheder Menachem, YOEC, The Smicha Program, Bais Chaya Mushka, Bais Rebbe and Bais Chana. May they continue to have success in their learning and give much Nachas to their parents. 

 Upcoming Birthdays:

  • Rabbi Dovid Thaler - 3 Tamuz
  • Dr. Ze'ev Rav-Noy - 4 Tamuz
  • Rabbi Yrachmiel Wolowik - 5 Tamuz

 Upcoming Anniversaries:


  • Rabbi & Mrs. Mendel Labkowsky - 4 Tamuz
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Shmuel Fogelman - 5 Tamuz
  • Rabbi & Mrs. Yehudah Lerman - 6 Tamuz

Weekly Thought - Korach

In this week's parsha, Korach expressed the following complaints to Moshe Rabbenu. Why was Moshe chosen to be the King, and Aaron to be the Kohein Gadol while he had not received any appointment? Why had he not, at very least, been chosen as the head of the family of Kehos? Also, since we are all holy and we all stood at Har Sinai and everyone is equal, why does this nation require a King and Kohein Gadol at all?

The Meforshim explain that what was really at the base of these complaints was anger over the fact that he wasn't appointed to be the head of the family of Kehos. Most specifically, it was the fact that Moshe Rabbenu appointed Elitzafan as the leader in his stead. Korach believed that he was more deserving to serve as the leader. Interestingly however, we find that it was only after the incident of the spies that Korach raised these objections.

Aharon was appointed Kohein Gadol in the beginning of Nissan, and Elitzafan was appointed in Iyar. The spies expressed their opinions about Eretz Canaan on Tisha b'Av. Korach waited quite a few months until he brought these complaints to Moshe Rabbenu. It was not until the spies returned that Korach questioned why Moshe Rabbenu was the King and Aharon was the Kohein Gadol. What is unique about the incident of the spies that sparked his complaints?

We learned last week that one of the arguments of the spies was that the midbar is a more conducive place to be connected to Hashem. The midbar is a place where we can remain very spiritual learning torah and serving Hashem while having all our physical needs fulfilled.  The midbar had no physical distractions. On the other hand, in Eretz Yisroel we would be required to lower ourselves and lessen the spirituality of our service to Hashem. What the spies forgot was that action not intentions is the main thing. If someone learns about tefillin but doesn't wear them, has not accomplished its purpose. The main purpose is the action! On the other hand, if someone puts on tefillin without kevanah he has still fulfilled the mitzvah. The main intention of leaving Egypt was to fight to take Eretz Canaan and convert it to a holy place. The intention was not only to create spirituality and connection through feelings. What kind of holy place does Hashem want us to make? He wants us to create a society where people do the mitzvos with physical objects such as teruma and maaaer, etc.

Until this point, Korach understood and accepted that Moshe Rabbenu was the leader. He was given the Torah and he understands it best. Aharon Ha Kohein, who, second to Moshe, was on a considerably higher level of understanding of the Torah than anyone else. But now, if the main thing is the action, then everyone is equal. The action of putting on tefillin is the same for Moshe Rabbenu as it is for a simple Jew. We are all holy and we all have the power to bring G‑dliness into the world with our physical actions. Therefore, why is Moshe Rabbenu in the position of a King, which is higher than all the rest of Jewish people? He should be more like a teacher who, on one hand is greater than his student in intellect, but who on the other is similar in stature. Therefore his role should be limited to developing the intellect of the student.

Chassidus explains that a King is the head of the nation, and every individual part of the nation including its very essence is connected to the King. This is why all of the Jews physical needs went through Moshe Rabbenu.  This is why Moshe Rabbenu’s involvement was not only in the spiritual realm and the study of Torah, but also in every physical need; the mon, the water, the meat, and the Clouds of Glory; they all came through Moshe Rabbenu. As said above, Korach accepted the fact that concerning the Torah, Moshe was the greatest teacher. On the other hand, he argued that a Jew does not need a connection to Moshe Rabbenu to fulfill a mitzvah. This is because all Jews are holy and each can accomplish these acts independently, without needing the assistance of Moshe Rabbenu.

Moshe Rabbenu’s response to Korach was, “Wait until morning and Hashem will make known who is qualified to be his ... in the morning who will be the Kohein.” Why did Moshe Rabbenu push off the answer to Korach until the morning? Rashi gives two answers: (a) Moshe was giving Korach and his followers a chance to do teshuva; (b) He was saying that just as Hashem created the universe with the boundaries of morning and evening, similarly you cannot change the Kohein Gadol to be someone other than Aharon.

According to Rashi’s answers it still remains unclear. Why did Moshe need give them specifically until morning? This question can be asked according to both of Rashi’s answers: (a) Maybe doing teshuva only requires a few hours for some while for others it could require a few days; (b) Moshe Rabbenu could have said that they had until evening, which is also a time when one is able to see the difference between day and night.

The Rebbe explains that Moshe was trying to explain to Korach and his followers that the main purpose of the Torah is in the performance of the mitzvahs. Still, they need to be maasim tovim, good actions. The Alter Rebbe explains that the mitzvos should shine. A person can own diamonds, but if they are filthy, they will not shine. Every mitzvah that a Jew does must affect him to the extent that he feels a connection with Hashem through its accomplishment. The Zohar states that word mitzvah shares the same origin as ‘tzavtza’ which is translated to mean connection. If a person does a mitzvah, especially if it was hard for him to do, and then he boasts of his actions, then that becomes negative because it has brings him to pride. Hashem says about such a person that he and I cannot be share one roof. Ultimately, a person who boasts will do teshuva and change the mitzvos to shining mitzvos. Until that time his mitzvos are like precious stones full of mud.

This is what Moshe Rabbenu was telling Korach: the main thing is action. To make a dwelling place for Hashem to be revealed in the physical world, you also need kevanah, and the purification of the individual. The mitzvah must be done like ‘daylight’, with an ever increasing feeling and understanding of Hashem. This is the reason that Moshe Rabbenu deferred the answer to Korach and his followers until morning: (a) So that they do teshuva not only from fear of punishment, rather in a way that will cause their actions to shine; (b) To remind them that actions have to be like daylight. It is well understood that Moshe Rabbenu's way of doing a mitzvah is greater than Korach's.

Every Jew is holy, and can do mitzvahs and draw Hashem into the world, but for the mitzvos to shine, one must be connected to Moshe Rabbenu and to the extension of Moshe Rabbenu of his generation. This connection will enable each individual to make his mitzvos shine.

This is the lesson of the both parshas of the spies and of Korach, that people need combine both heart and action into our service of Hashem. We accomplish this by connecting ourselves to the Moshe Rabbenu of our generation, the Previous Rebbe and the Rebbe. The Rebbeim demonstrated the combination of these too opposites by encouraging a small child to say aleph beis or give tzedakah, and also by revealing the depths of Chassidus. The Rebbe demanded this of us as well.

There is a known story of the Tzemach Tzedek which was told by the Previous Rebbe in Sefer Hasichos 5696/1936 (p. 25). Once, Harav Hachossid, Harav HaTzadik Reb Hillel of Paritsh was visiting the Tzemach Tzedek in Lubavitch for Yechidus. He cried to the Rebbe about his lengthy travels and how they took away much of the time that he desired to spend on his service of davening and learning. He asked the Rebbe that perhaps he should discontinue his travels to the colonies where the level of understanding of the people is minimal.

Upon hearing this, the Tzemach Tzedek closed his eyes in dveikus. (Reb Hillel later commented that to see such dveikus was worth ten trips on foot to Lubavitch. He said “The Rebbe's dveikus took me to a higher spiritual realm.”) The Rebbe then opened his eyes and said, “We are day-workers; our work is to bring light. You should not, G-d for forbid stop going to the colonies. On the contrary, you must do more to bring the light of Chassidus into those places.”

The Rebbe explained that Reb Hillel's davening and doing mitzvahs itself brings light, but the Tzemach Tzedek wanted Reb Hillel to bring light by traveling to those places that are normally be not lit by the light of Chassidus.

Likutei Sichos, vol. 4, Shabbos Korach, 5723 (1963) See also HaYom Yom, 29 Teves

Gimmel Tammuz

3 tamuz.jpg

Keren Gesher



  • Join the "Global Family of Chassidim" to enhance Ahavas Yisroel as we approach Gimmel Tammuz. This Sunday, Rabbi Menachem Gluckowsky will speak for women at 5:15 PM and Rabbi Yossi Chazan will speak for men at 6:00 PM. Log on to for the streaming video.

Shabbos Shelach Schedule:

  • Shabbos Candle Lighting: 7:43 pm
  • Shabbos Mevarchim Tehillim: 8:20 am
  • Followed by a Shiur Chassidus with Rabbi Raichik
  • Shacharis: 10:15 am
  • Mesibos Shabbos for Girls: 4:00 pm in Shul
  • Shiur in Pirkei Avos with Rabbi Raichik: 6:55 pm 
  • Mincha: 7:40 pm - Pirkei Avos - Perek 3
  • Shabbos Ends: 8:46 pm
  • Molad of Tammuz - Shabbos -30 Sivan/June 12
    5:23 am + 16 Chalakim
  • Rosh Chodesh Tammuz - Shabbos & Sunday June 12-13

Kiddush - Bar Mitzva:

  • Mr. & Mrs. Asher Bastomski invite the entire community to join the celebration of the Bar Mitzvah of their son Yona after davening in the Moshe Ganz hall.
    May he grow up to be a true Chossid of the Rebbe and may they have much Yiddishe Chassidishe Nachas.

Women's Shabbos Shiur/Farbrengen:

The Shiur/Shabbos Mevarchim Farbrengen
will be at the Rav-Noy residence 428 N Martel Ave.
at 6:30 pm
Speaker: Rabbi Moshe Levin

Mazal Tov To:

  • Rabbi & Mrs. Shmuel Stroll on the marriage of their daughter Chaya Rochel to Yitzchok Kolodny.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Asher Bastomski on the Bar Mitzvah of their son Yona
  • Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Glabman on the birth of their daughter.

Upcoming Birthdays:

  • Rabbi Menachem Mendel Labkowsky - 23 Sivan
  • Avinoam Rav-Noy - 25 Sivan
  • Mr. Aaron Leib Brenner - 26 Sivan
  • Saadia Leib Davidoff - 27 Sivan
  • Rabbi Nootie Gross - 28 Sivan


Weekly Thought - Shelach

This week's parsha discusses the twelve spies sent by Moshe Rabbenu to survey Eretz Yisroel. Unfortunately, they returned with an unfavorable report. As a result, Hashem decreed that Bnei Yisroel would remain in the midbar for forty years, and the entire generation that left Mitzrayim would die there.

The following questions arise while learning this parsha.

1.What was Moshe Rabbenu’s intention in sending spies? Hashem had already told him that Eretz Yisroel is good land.

2.Why do we blame the spies for giving a bad report? They were merely reporting their perspective about what they had witnessed. Blaming them would be similar to going to an accountant for a financial review of a business, then firing the accountant if he reports that the business is losing money! It is not the accountant’s fault that the business is failing!?

3.When the spies reported that it was impossible to conquer Eretz Yisroel, why did Bnei Yisroel believe them? Throughout their journeys in the midbar, Bnei Yisroel lived with daily miracles. If you were to ask them about their breakfast, they would speak of the mon. If you asked about drinking water, they would tell you that it was provided by Miriam's well. They didn’t need new clothes or shoes, or even laundry! The Clouds of Glory continuously protected them from the burning heat of the desert. With all these miracles, how could they possibly think that Hashem could not take them to Eretz Yisroel? What went wrong? Why did they weep?

Without Chassidus and the Rebbe's Sichos, it is difficult to grasp the true meaning of  this parsha. The Rebbe explains that Moshe Rabbenu had no doubt that Bnei Yisroel could conquer Eretz Yisroel. Moshe Rabbenu sent people to scout, not to spy, the land. The difference between a scout and a spy is that a scout reports solely what they see and no more. The generals, in turn, use that information to make decisions on how to proceed. On the other hand, a spy not only gathers information, but also evaluates and analyzes what he sees. He then presents his opinion on whether or not the conquest would be successful.

Moshe Rabbenu was not concerned about whether Bnei Yisroel would conquer it was how they would conquer Eretz Yisroel. Bnei Yisroel were destined to fight to occupy Eretz Yisroel. The reason this is because a person appreciates something for which he has toiled far more than if it was presented on a silver platter. Therefore, they were required to fight for it. The manner that they needed take action was according to nature. At the same time it was with the knowledge that the Aron HaKodesh would go before them, Hashem would be with them and show them miracles throughout. This conquest contrasts Yetzias Mitzrayim and Krias Yam Suf, where Hashem made miracles and took Bnei Yisroel out Himself, without natural involvement.

The question was only how to proceed with the war, not to analyze whether the war could be won. When given their task by Moshe Rabbenu, all ten spies had the same question. What is the purpose in going to see Eretz Yisroel? If the conquest is going to be in the same miraculous manner as they have lived with until now, they don't have to scout out anything. In the desert, until they crossed the Jordan river, Bnei Yisroel lived with a pattern of open miracles. Once they entered Eretz Yisroel everything would revert to a natural pattern. It would be a natural war. Therefore, they concluded that their mission was to serve as spies, and that they must analyze and decide whether they could win a natural war.

Their critical mistake was not in giving a report, it was their mistaken analysis that they could not conquer Eretz Yisroel. They could have simply reported that they saw immense fruit and impressive giants, and then turn to Moshe Rabbenu and ask him how they were to proceed. Instead they made themselves into spies and concluded that Bnei Yisroel  did not have the power to conquer the land. With this, they overstepped their assignment.

Although while in the midbar, Bnei Yisroel had become accustomed to daily miracles, in Eretz Yisroel they needed to return to a natural way of life. To change Eretz Canaan in a spiritual realm and make it a holy land was impossible in the spies opinion. It was a land that will “eat up all the inhabitants”. The materialistic environment was so strong it would consume their spiritual advances. Therefore, the best thing to do was for Bnei Yisroel to stay in the desert where all their physical needs were met supernaturally. That way, they concluded, they could connect with Hashem without distractions of the materialistic world.  In the desert they had everything they needed spiritually and physically and there was no need to fight any wars. What Bnei Yisroel forgot, is that the reason they left Mitzrayim was not to remain in the desert, rather it was to conquer Eretz Yisroel and make it a holy land for Hashem. Hashem would surely will not let them fail in the physical realm or in the spiritual realm.

This is the answer that Calev gave to Bnei Yisroel. He said that even if Moshe Rabbenu tells us the make a ladder to go up to heaven we will succeed. What did he mean? Everyone understands it is physically impossible for a latter to reach heaven, because a ladder goes has limited height. What this metaphor teaches us is that we have act naturally to conquer Eretz Yisroel, but we can rely on the strength of Moshe Rabbenu that will enable us to ‘reach the heavens’. With the physical war we will have Hashem with us and be able to overcome our enemies and go beyond nature.

It is true that we have to lower ourselves spiritually to enter Eretz Yisroel. Nevertheless it is the purpose of our existence to enter the land and create this connection with Hashem. This is the true spiritual advance – to fulfill what Hashem wants us to do – not what we as individuals feel what is best for ourselves in our service to Hashem.

Based on Sichos of the Rebbe

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