Camp YavnehCamp Yavneh
June 16, 2017

Dvar Torah – Parshat Shelach by Helen Berman (K’11, N’12), Maalot Rosh Aydah

Author - Camp Yavneh

Shabbat Shalom,  Machaneh Yavneh!

As we are currently preparing for the best summer of our lives at Machaneh Yavneh, Klal Israel is preparing to enter the Land of Israel.  In Parshat Shelach, Moshe sent twelve spies, or meraglim for forty days to arouse excitement and hope among the people before entering the land.  However, the spies returned doleful, fearing the dominant inhabitants. The meraglim noted, “We saw ourselves as grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought of us, too” (Number 13:33).  We do not see any encounter with the Canaanite people, so why did the spies assume this assertion?  Furthermore, how could they know what the locals were thinking?  

If we take a closer look at their words, we notice that the spies first believed themselves to be inferior, so they assumed that others did too. The spies seemed to have projected their low self-worth on to the Canaanites, and subsequently lost hope in their ability to access Eretz Yisrael.  The Canaanites may not have considered the Israelites menial – rather the opposite as the Israelites were renowned for having recently decimated the Egyptians! Yet, because the spies did not realize their own significance, they did not create space for the Canaanites to either.  

This applies to all of us. Our personal concepts often shape our reality. If we believe ourselves to be worthy, we welcome the notion for others to as well. Yet, if we view ourselves as inferior, then how could how others view as us positively? At Machaneh Yavneh, we need to believe in the power of our potential. If we realize that the way we perceive ourselves shapes our reality then we can accomplish anything! We believe in the massive power of all of you, and are looking forward to a transformative kayitz 2017!

– Helen Berman (K’11, N’12), Maalot Rosh Aydah

With ideas from