1. On the verse: (Num 13:1) "Send out for yourself men” Chazal state: “Send for yourself: According to your own understanding” namely that the sending of the Spies was dependent on the consent of Moshe but “I am not commanding you”
One must understand:
Moshe Rabbeinu was a trustworthy servant of G-d. It is therefore understood that if Moshe’s intent was to send the spies, it was because it also was the intent of his Master (G-d). And as the verse attests: “So Moses sent them etc. by the word of the Lord” – with the permission of G-d. Namely, that the concept of sending of the spies was (in itself) a good and desired thing.
[ And as the Ramban comments, the normal way to overtake a land, is to first send spies to discover the best and easiest way to “conquer the land”. And since we do not rely on miracles and one must prepare for war through natural means – Moshe consented to sending the spies.]
It is not understood:
Why did G-d make the decision [to send the Spies ] dependent upon Moshe’s rationale and not command him, from the outset to do so?
Also one must understand:
Concerning the Spies, Rashi states: (ibid:4) “At that time, they were virtuous”. And as is understood also according to simple logic, if Moshe Rabbeinu personally chose them, they must have been (not just “Kosher” in general , but) the best suited for this specific task.
Therefore, how did this radical change come about in them, from one extreme to the other, that not only did they not complete the mission properly, but they brought on the Jews through this a “Crying for generations”?
2. One can understand by prefacing the explanation, in that which we find, that the mission is (in general) comprised of two aspects:
1) To find the specifics which are relevant to the conquering of the land – “You shall see what [kind of] land it is, and the people who inhabit it; are they strong or weak? Are there few or many?”
2) To find the specifics which are relevant to the land itself – “Is it good or bad? Etc, What is the soil like is it fat or lean?”. And this (second) aspect was so important to their mission that Moshe commanded them: “You shall be courageous and take from the fruit of the land.". Namely, even though they placed themselves in danger ( in that they were recognizable as Spies) , nevertheless, they were to fortify and strengthen themselves and bring “fruit of the land”
It is not clear:
Although it is true that hearing cannot be compared to seeing,
and therefore , not focusing on the statement by G-d that the land is “a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey” and Jews are “believers the children of believers” [n.b. And specifically since one does not need to rely on faith since the “dwellers in Egypt”, knew the situation in Israel]
- [seeing, in general] does not compare to seeing the fruit of the land” which would cause the Jews a great happiness ( “To go up there in happiness”)
Nevertheless, it is that important, to endanger the lives of the Spies?!
3. One of the explanations is:
Even though the foundation of keeping the Torah is the preface of “We will do” to “We will hear”, nevertheless “We will do” is not sufficient and there must also be (after the “We will do”) “We will hear” – meaning understanding (like the verse: “Your servant is listening”)
And this is also relevant to entering Eretz Yisroel. G-d actually did tell the Jews that the land “a good and spacious land etc” . But G-d wants the Jews to see the goodness of Eretz Yisroel with their own intellect.
And therefore Moshe Rabbeinu commanded to bring “fruit of the land” in order that the desire of the Jews to go to Eretz Yisroel should be ( not just because G-d commanded it and they are, therefore, complying with G-d’s command (“We will do”), but) also from themselves. They understand that they must go to Eretz Yisroel because it is the true “good and spacious land”
And the same is regarding the first aspect of their mission - To find the specific way to conquer Eretz Yisroel. The intent is that the Jews should incorporate in their intellect that it is completely possible”.
And this is the reason that G-d did not command the sending of the Spies but rather said: “Send for yourself: According to your own understanding”. Since the intent of the sending of the Spies is to effect the understanding (“We will hear”) regarding entering the land, [so much so] that the sending itself is “According to your own understanding”. - Namely that one is doing this because it logically must be done (and not just because “We will do” (obey) because “I command you”)
4. Through this one can also understand how the Spies, who were “virtuous at that time”, - could fall so low as to say "We are unable to go up”
Because the aspect of the mission was the understanding, to carry out the entry into Eretz Yisroel according to intellect, they therefore were able to err in the thought process.
- Because everything the Spies said about Eretz Yisroel and its inhabitants: - “The people who inhabit the land are mighty, etc., and there we saw even the offspring of the giant” was true. And even their conclusion: "We are unable to go up” (i.e. we cannot conquer Eretz Yisroel through natural means) had a place in logic.
Therefore, the Spies actually (According to their view) fulfilled the mission for which they were sent.
Their mistake lied (in general) in the fact that they added a conclusion: "We are unable to go up”
Moshe Rabbeinu from the onset never questioned them whether or not it was possible to conquer Eretz Yisroel. He just sent them to find out how easier it is to conquer it.
And on the contrary, the fact that Moshe sent them to spy the land, to find out how to conquer Eretz Yisroel, is proof that that “it is completely possible”, even through natural means.
[Because if the entry into the land is through miracles, there is no reason to send Spies]
Therefore, their statement that : "We are unable to go up” is not only an addition to their mission but, more so, the opposite of their mission.
5. Torah comes from the word "hora'ah" – instruction. It is therefore understood that in Torah there is also a lesson how to prevent the mistake of the Spies.
What is the advice?
The name of the Sidra (According to Jewish custom) is “Shlach” from the word “Shlichus” (mission).
A Jew must know, that even when one is occupied with the Avodah of “We will hear” , understanding with one’s intellect - “According to your own understanding” – he must constantly remember that he is doing this as a shliach (messenger) of Moshe – not because he [ his own ego] needs to understand the thing, but rather because it is the Supernal will .
And then one is protected not only from the “We will do” but also from the “We will hear” – and assures that the logic will be a true logic (sound) and that it comes to a true conclusion.
The point of intellect is – to find how [if] the thought is true. [To do that] one must nullify all individual inclinations (biases) etc, and delve into the subject one wants to understand.
When one pursues an idea because of his own enjoyment etc, it is certain, that he will inject his own inclinations etc, until he proves that the reality “fits” his view.
This is one of the explanations on the concept of bribery, as the Torah states: “bribery blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the just” For seemingly:
Since the truth of Torah (Torat Emet ) attests that we are dealing with “wise” and “just” people, they must truly be wise” and “just”. How then, could they from the outset, take a bribe?
Rather – it is because the concept of bribery is (not just that one takes money (etc.) and therefore will say an open lie, rather) – that one does not think about the subject (metziut) the way it is, but rather thinks about himself and his own existence (metziut). One therefore cannot have a true understanding of the concept, the way it truly is.
And this was the reason for the (mistake and) fall of the Spies: Until they lacked the Bittul (nullification) to Moshe Rabbeinu in a manner that it should be felt also when they were occupied with the aspect of “We will hear”, to spy the land.
And since they “lacked” their own selfdom (metziut), therefore the sight of the”giants, the sons of Anak” giant” caused them such fear that “In our eyes, we seemed like grasshoppers”. And this was an aspect of bribery that turned their intellect until they said: “"We are unable to go up”.
However, when one remembers that he is a “shliach” (“Shlach”), and that "Shlucho shel adam k'moso" (The messenger of a person is just like himself (the sender)) – a shliach does not have an individual selfdom (metziut). Rather his entire existence is that of the sender.
And in this specifically he is a messenger of Moshe, where Moshe Rabbeinu is the middah (character) of Truth. One remains bound to Moshe Rabbeinu (the character of Truth) and one is never removed from him; One thinks the entire time ( not about himself but) that one goes on Moshe Rabbeinu’s shlichut (mission).
Accordingly one does not become bribed, and consequently accomplishes the mission to spy the land (which requires a true intellect and understanding) completely. And one says: "The land we passed through to scout is an exceedingly good land.”
And this brings afterwards the conquering of the land to its borders, until the realization of the prophecy that “G-d will increase your borders”
With the coming of our righteous Moshiach, speedily and in our days, Mamosh.