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Parshot Festivals

Despair is the most powerful weapon of evil

  • RabbiLandau
Parshas Shelach tells the tragic account of the Sin of the Spies.
by Rabbi Yonatan Landau, Ohr Somayach Savoy | Jun 07, 2018

Hashem was about to bless us with miracles like those which we experienced in Egypt. He was ready to shower upon us all the bountifulness of the land where His Presence can be perceived the most, and all without the need for a single weapon.

Then, the people requested a pilot mission to investigate the land. Their report back was disastrous, causing panic. That night, the nation erupted in a torrent of tears as a result of fear at the probability of mass slaughter by native peoples living on the land.

Our Rabbis call this “a crying for nothing”.

I ask, what went wrong?

Rabbi Asher Zelig Rubenstein zt”l, the Great Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Toras Simcha, explains that the root cause was a terrible malady that has the power to destroy. That malady is called despair.

In fact, many great rabbis teach that despair is the most powerful weapon of the evil inclination.

When there is hope, there can be new beginnings.

When there is despair, the white flag is raised.

With belief, there is progress.

With despair, there is stagnation.

When there is determination, there is energy and success.

When there is despair, there is defeat.

That night of despair was Tisha B’av, the day of mourning for all our suffering, primarily the loss of our Temple.

This Tisha B’av, let us not cry out in despair, let us never do that.

Rather, cry out of longing and hope.

Hashem should bless us with courage and hope!

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