Forethoughts and Afterthoughts.
Commentary on the weekly Torah reading.
In memory of Father, Yosef Ben Zelig.
March 25th 1911 - May 2nd 2008
In memory of Mother, Nechama Bas Tzvi Hirsh.
June 9th 1925 - April 16th 2003
In memory of Uncle, Moshe Binyamin Ben Tzvi Hirsh.
December 12 1929 - February 2nd 2010
In Loving Memory of Moreinu Horav Shmuel Yaakov Weinberg, Rosh HaYeshiva Ner Yisroel
Chukas (Numbers 19-22)
Shelach (Numbers 13-15)
14:1 And the entire congregation arose and sounded their voices. And the nation cried on that night.
That night was the ninth of Av.
It has since been declared a solemn fast day because of the many tragedies befell the Jewish people on that day throughout our history.
Of the many, the Mishnah lists the decree of wandering in the desert for 40 years, the destructions of both temples, the capture of the city of Betar, and plowing up the temple grounds (Taanis 26b). We also know that the Spanish Expulsion and World War One occurred on that fateful day.
The Talmud says that G-D remarked, "You cried for no reason. This will become a day of national mourning (Taanis 29a).
14:37 And the men who spoke slanted speech against the land died in a plague before G-D.
The spies died on the seventeenth of the month of Elul. The Shulchan Aruch suggests that we fast on that day (Shulchan Aruch 580:1-2).
Why should we fast for their deaths if we already fast for the tragedy that they caused?
Perhaps this is because we were receptive to their slanted speech. Not only are we forbidden to speak in a slanted manner, we are also forbidden to listen and believe slanted speech.
Also, had we been shown more confidence and respect to Moshe (Moses) all along, they would not have dared to try and discourage us from listening to him.
With great sensitivity we assume some degree of responsibility for their deaths so we fast when they died, also.
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