Parsha Schlach : It’s a Little Something Called Chutzpah, Babe! (Num.13:1 – 15:41)
Twelve spies, one representative from each Tribe, are sent into the Promised Land to size up the real estate and its inhabitants in hopes of ending the ancient Hebrew’s desert Diaspora. The spies return with tales of a land flowing with milk and honey; providing proof for this claim they reveal to the people grapes so large two men must carry them. All but two of the spies lament of giants inhabiting the land and how a Hebrew presence there is impossible. The dissenting two, Aaron and Caleb, come down with a big case of the Chutzpah.
What is Chutzpah and how do we know Aaron and Caleb had it in Schlach? The answer to that is in two parts. First, Chutzpah is Yiddish for audacity (sometimes good, sometimes bad), and second Aaron and Caleb had the audacity to say to Moses “We can do this!” Despite what their pleas may have seemed outwardly in their hearts Aaron and Caleb never really become angry nor do they truly berate their fellow spies and cite the first hand proof of Hashem’s awesome power they have all witnessed. Instead they have the audacity of faith in their place within the Promised Land to openly dissent and proclaim a sure victory for the ancient Hebrews.
Hashem on the other hand does not display Chutzpah His frustration with the ancient Hebrew’s fear and lack of faith in Him leads to chastisement. His anger results in the ancient Hebrews being forced to live a desert nomadic life for forty years, this means their children will know the peace and tranquility of being a settled people but those liberated from the yoke of slavery will never know that sense of security. Honestly, I feel that is a fair punishment.
Good Chutzpah is the audacity to have faith and confidence in yourself and your community without the seasoning of arrogance. It is the contentment with what you have and the clear vision to see what is needed to improve your life and your communities health without the stench of any “ism.” It is using the tool of remembrance as a reference for faith while navigating life’s path.
A Dvar for Schlach is only one word . . . Chutzpah.
Comment below or send me a message: Jeremiah@punktorah.org Twitter: @circlepitbimah