Roy Neuberger - Jun. 28, 2019

It amazes me how events in each week’s Torah Portion constantly pinpoint our exact situation as we travel through history. Of course, that is our Torah. “Hashem n’chaini … Hashem, guide me in Your righteousness, because of my watchful enemies. Make Your way straight before me.” (Psalm 5:9) I remember, from my early years, blundering with no Guide and no path.


And now, am I better? Only when I remember that the only derech (path) is “derech Hashem.”


It is so easy to forget!


Where better do we see that than in this week’s Torah Portion? The miraglim (spies who went into the Land) are princes of Israel, “every one a leader… All distinguished men!” (Numbers 13:2-3), but their blunders cost us to this very day. That is why we must grip the Torah with all our strength, because the price we pay for mistakes, G-d forbid, is beyond calculation.


Last week, my wife and I drove back after a Shabbos away from home. It was about 1 a.m. Sunday at the approach to the Goethals Bridge. We were driving in the right lane, a barrier ahead on the right. Suddenly, a car crossed through a prohibited area and shot across in front of me at high speed, missing the barrier by inches and grazing the front of my car. If this had been a fraction of a second later, there could have been, G-d forbid, a terrible crash.


Our path in life is filled with danger. We have to appreciate that Hashem sends malachim (angels) to watch over us, but there are terrible dangers on every side and the margin of error is a hairs-breadth. It is so easy to blunder!


Not only did the miraglim blunder terribly, but it is frightening to see the plurality on the side of error, ten out of twelve! It is like Egypt, where at least eighty percent of the Children of Israel chose to disregard Moshe Rabbeinu. As Rashi tells us, they disappeared in the Plague of Darkness.


My friends, did we learn the lesson?


In our own times, when we returned in numbers to the Land of Israel, did we return with trembling and fear? Did we return with a promise to our Father in Heaven that we would never again stray from His Holy Torah?


“Guardian of Israel, protect the remnant of Israel! Let Israel not be destroyed, those who proclaim the Oneness of Your Name … We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You!” (Tachanun Prayer) The Children of Israel and the Land of Israel are surrounded by danger. There is only one hope: “I will prostrate myself toward Your Holy Sanctuary in awe of You.” This attitude represents a lifetime of work, but it is the only thing which will save us.


“All who take refuge in You will rejoice. They will sing joyously forever. You will shelter them [and] You will envelop [them] with favor like a shield.” (Psalm 5) May we learn the lesson and see complete fulfillment soon in our days! 


Recent Posts


patriarchs Lunar eclipse terrorism heaven Mount Hermon keys Canaan Golan Land of Israel Solomon Amram Chanukkah Moshe Torah Red Sea Adam holiday Macabees Gog alone Ishmael Raiders of the Lost Ark Repentence Faith ethics Hasmoneans Children of Israel salvation repent terror Red Heifer Sukkos automobiles King David Master of the Universe fragrance pain holy Final redemption Protective edge Sea of Galilee king Tisha b'Av sanctity Jewish People pray barley Chol haMoed chessed Western Wall kiddush Holiness shmittah Judaism Samuel hubris violence patriarchs'matriarchs heavenly throne Divine presence Moshiach water Jerusalem tears bible creation evil inclination cries plague Parsha Noah Torah portion Solar eclipse Ezekiel siddur tablets mikveh dreams exile spiritual biblical soul Shabbos Chofetz Chaim Leah Achashveirosh Purim danger shofar Tu b'Av 2020 Vision darkness Shushan Golus idolatry Rachel Ishamael missiles Tzuk etan Torah scholars Jeremiah evolution terrorists New Moon Ruth Jewish holidays redeemer matzos Passover enemies Galil Song of Songs tremors synagogue Haman repentance sun judgement murder Esau blessing ancestors Jewish Passover Seder sacrifices secret Laban light Psalms liberation kesuba evil Yerushalayim Jew slaves prayers Sukkah purity Chafetz Chaim Eglon Day of Atonement Prophecy Pinchas Judah India bris milah yarmulke Moshaich Holy land Sabbath Ishmeal world to come Maimonides High Holy Days Rebbe redemption meraglim Yaakov Lot Ammon Greeks Miraglim moon Balak Garden of Eden Second Temple Tallis compassion self-worship Exodus Western World terrorist Mordechai Mount Zion Zion, Angel Blame Terror Attack in Jerusalem David Abraham lights Yom Kippur mitzvos shield of Abraham Holy Temple Sages America culture Europe Rosh Hashanah yeshiva Jews mikveh, Sabbath Father in Heaven incense Rashi Zohar Israel Zion spies Ten Commandments Hagar King Solomon Talmud spirituality deluge song Sephardi Moab Elul three weeks Heavenly Mercy Sefiras haOmer End of Days death eternal Baku miracle Bais Hamikdosh fault Rosh Hashana Holy Ark Bilaam Joseph Dead Sea Isaiah Babylonia heavenly gates rabbi messiah Earth stones Tu b'Shvat rosh chodesh Shechina Magog angel Egypt forefathers Hashem media Sodom trees Geula slavery miracles Jewish festival Shavuos Babylon Beit Hamikdash Pharaoh brotherhood Creator paradise Matisyahu survival cholent High Priest priests fires Golden Calf tabernacle Matriarchs Judgement Day eternity Boaz Nation of Israel war bird Malbim earthquake Psalm idol Rabbis Isaac Abrahem night Hebrew kosher Rome Genesis sin Maccabeans Avraham menorah Miriam Ashkenazi Amalek prophet Samuel Holocaust logic Edom gossip Teshuva Angel of Death Mount Sinai Day of Judgement G-d peace chaos Chanukah resurrection locusts Esther Sarah King of the Universe stars seder Benjamin leprosy rain prophets Aharon prayer prophet Zechariah Tefillin angels kinneret Temple prayer book Eve Rabbi Akiva Samuel the Prophet mitzva Banias Moses materialism minyan Midrash esrog persecution God Temple Mount fear commandment Jacob flood United Nations Rebecca