Parashah of the week: Shelach Lecha

“The people who inhabit the land are mighty, and the cities are extremely huge and fortified” Numbers 13:28


(Wikimedia Commons)

If I heard those words, I’d be worried too. Mighty inhabitants, huge, heavily armoured cities. There’s no way we can conquer this land!

The truth is that the spies didn’t lie when they brought back a report on the land of Israel. They reported what they saw. But we all know that we see what we are looking for.

Have you ever bought a new car? When deciding which car to buy, we tend to notice that particular make driving along the road. Same with our worries.

If we are worried about being abandoned or unloved, we will notice words that seem to imply displeasure with our behaviour and may also interpret random comments in a negative way. Our attitude and outlook towards an experience will colour the lens through which we view them.

Two people will literally assess a situation differently depending on the strength of the prescription of their glasses.

So the question for us is: what glasses do I choose to put on today? We may think that we are seeing reality, but our vision is not always perfect, and perhaps we are looking at wrong side of a tapestry. In fact, this world can be compared to the other side of a tapestry. All those loose threads, a mess of knots and unmatched colours.

Looking at the world situation is so confusing for us. Why are we always wrong? Why do others judge us so harshly and yet mourn the death of murderers?

Only Hashem can see the whole story. We are merely living in chapter 2024 and can’t fast forward to the end of the book. Viewing life through the lens of faith gives us hope during these troubling times. Hope that there will be a positive ending. Hope that our actions can rewrite the next chapter. Hope that the industrial gaslighting we are subjected to are part of a masterplan that we can’t see but know is there.

With these glasses, we can get up each day, despite the news, and continue to hold true to our Torah values. Hashem has promised our people that we will survive, and despite many attempts to dehumanise and delegitimise us, we are still here, standing today.

We look forward to seeing how beautiful the tapestry will be when everything is turned around.

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