, 12 individuals, each an outstanding representative of his tribe, were sent
by Moses on a mission to scope the land of Israel as the rest of our ancestors waited on the outskirts, preparing to enter. Forty days later, the spies returned carrying a fig, a pomegranate and a large cluster of grapes (the symbol of today's Israel Ministry of Tourism, shown below). Ten reported that while the land was filled with milk and honey, there were exceedingly great fortresses in Canaan and the inhabitants were giants. Would the Israelites be able to conquer the land? Two of the spies said yes, 10 said no and an intense debate ensued. Even though God had promised the Land to our ancestors from the time of Abraham and Sarah, the people saw themselves as weak, comparing themselves to grasshoppers. They were frightened and cried out that they wanted to return to Egypt, whereby the wandering continued for another 38 years, until
that entire generation had died in the desert. The
concludes with the instruction to place fringes
on the four corners of our garments so that we should remember to fulfill the
. These words are likely familiar to you from the last part of the
section of the
"l'ma'an tizkiru v'aseetem...
that you shall remember and do...").