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"Be Mine," Said the Sun to the Moon

31/05/13 07:27:30


R Pesach Siegel

“Be Mine,” Said the Sun to the Moon


Parshas Shlach

The greatest tragedy to befall the Jewish nation is contained in the parshah of Shlach.

The Bnei Yisroel stood poised to enter Eretz Yisroel, the land of their destiny. It was for this very moment that the world was created for.


They committed a sin. It was a breach of trust. They chose to rely on their own judgment whether to enter the land or not. They wanted to see for themselves.


They saw, and they chose wrong.


We suffer from their ill-made decision to this very day.


It was decreed upon them that they would perish in the desert. Over a forty year period the entire generation would die out.


The Torah says, “Their children’s entrance will be delayed. They will wander in the desert for forty years. They will carry the sin of their adultery until all their corpses fall in the desert.”[1]


Yehoshua and Kalev were spared from this fate. Upon entering the land, Kalev prayed at the grave of his ancestors buried in the Me’aras HaMachpela to be saved from the evil counsel of the meraglim.[2]


Moshe Rabeinu prayed for Yehoshua. He changed his name from Hoshea to Yehoshua. The name Yehoshua means, “May G-d save you (from the counsel of the meraglim).”[3]



The medrash tells us that Moshe Rabeinu added the letter yud to Yehoshua’s name. Rabi Shimon bar Yochai says that a yud was removed from Sarah Imeinu’s name when it was changed from Sarai to Sarah, The yud was flying in front of the royal throne of HaKodesh Baruch Hu. The yud said to Hashem, “Master of the Universe, is it because I am the smallest of letters that you removed me from the end of the tzadekes Sarah’s name?”  Hashem appeased the yud and responded, “I will insert you at the very beginning of Yehoshua’s name.”[4]




Why is the sin of the meraglim referred to as adultery?


What is it about adding a letter to one’s name that affords protection from sin?


Why did the yud have to come from Sarah’s name?


Why couldn’t Moshe Rabeinu have just added a yud without taking it from someone else’s name?




A name is not just a convenient way of distinguishing one person from another.

When parents give a Jewish child a name, they are invested with a spirit of prophecy. The child is imbued with the qualities of what the name represents. The name means something.[5] The name Aryeh denotes a lion-like nature. The name Yaffa represents a fine, delicate nature.

What was the nature of Sarah Imeinu?


Sarah Imeinu was likened to the moon. She possessed an inner splendor. She was modest to the extreme. Sarah is to be found "in the tent", but she reflected Avrohom Avenu's light to all of creation. From her tent, she illuminated the entire world. She was the moon to Avrohom's sun.[6]


The daughters of Klal Yisroel inherited this trait.


Chazal tell us that although the entire Klal Yisroel was punished for accepting the words of the meraglim, not a single woman was punished. They were not deterred by the evil slander and were quite ready to enter Eretz Yisroel.[7]


Just as the moon relies on the sun for its light, a daughter of Sarah Imeinu relies on the
Sun for wisdom and guidance.

The gemara describes the relationship between Moshe Rabeinu and his pupil Yehoshua in the exact same terms. Moshe is the brilliant sun giving off the brilliant rays of the wisdom of the Torah. Yehoshua, as the moon, receives the light and reflects it to the denizens of the earth.[8]

The connection between Yehoshua and Sarah is evident. By adding the yud taken from Sarah Imeinu's name to Yehoshua, Moshe is connecting Yehoshua to the essence of Sarah Imeinu.



The meraglim saw terrifying things, giants, fortified cities, people dying before their very eyes. There was no feasible way to enter and conquer the land. The land was a veritable death trap in their eyes.[9]


They were looking from the outside in. They were possessed of pre-conceived notions and agendas of their own.

A Bas Sarah puts her trust in the luminary we call Hashem and in his emissaries. She sees with her heart and mind and not with her eyes.

This was what Moshe wished for his talmid Yehoshua.

A true marriage is one where trust exists between one another. The husband sees his wife as the only source of his completeness. The wife sees her husband as the wisdom that she reflects.

The sin of the meraglim was none other than adultery. Klal Yisroel was led astray. They lost their trust in Hashem and exchanged Him for other sources of completion.

[1] Parshas Shlach, perek 14, posuk 33

[2] Meseches Sotah, daf 34b

[3] Parshas Shlach, perek 13, posuk 16

[4] Medrash Rabbah, parsha 47, piska 1

[5] Ari, z”l

[6] Maharal, Gur Aryeh, perek 17, posuk 5

[7] Kli Yakar, perek 26, posuk 64

[8] Meseches Baba Basra, daf 75a

[9] Parshas Shlach, perek 13,  posuk 32

Sun, September 20 2020 2 Tishrei 5781