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Our Daily Bread

06/15/12 12:14:39


R Pesach Siegel

Our Daily Bread


The Meraglim, upon returning, brought the Bnei Yisroel to tears. They told them of the giants who inhabited the land. They brought back examples of  huge proportions of produce which was needed to sustain the inhabitants.  The giants, who saw them scurrying among the vineyards, thought them to be grasshoppers.

Kalev, the son of Yefunah, stood up against them. “Do not fear the nation that inhabits the land. They are our bread.”  Rashi comments on Kalev’s intention, “We will consume them like bread.”


In what way is this a response to the fears of the Meraglim and the people? If they lacked the faith that with Hashem’s help they can conquer all, even giant men, then how would comparing them to bread counter their fears?

Why compare them to bread at all? Bread is a beneficial substance. It is a source of blessing. Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate to say that with Hashem’s help we will destroy them (or decimate them, pulverize them, whatever your term of choice)?

Background/Deeper Understanding

There is nothing in creation that has no value. Hashem is tov and only tov emanates from Hashem.  Even evil has a value.

For example, Hashem created the Eitz Hadaas and placed it in Gan Eden. Adam was warned not to partake of the fruits of the tree.  Had he not eaten from the tree he would have achieved perfection. The tree was created, not for Adam to partake from it. It was created so that he would resist its allure.

Another example, when a wicked one is granted a measure of mercy and he is spared from immediate retribution, his very existence stands as a lesson to all of Hashem’s compassion and will to allow one of his children the time and the opportunity to return to him.

When a wicked one is punished, that illustrates Hashem’s justice in the world.

Good ultimately comes from evil.

Hashem allows evil to flourish. He allows it to accumulate great power. He allows the evil to harness its accrued power against Him.


He does so, because, ultimately good will come from it.



We should never have to face the sights that greeted the Meraglim upon entering Eretz Canaan. The giants who inhabited the land were the offspring of a union between humans and fallen angels.  Even without going into this in depth, it is evident that the power of these individuals far surpasses anything human. They were capable of subverting the supernatural to their evil wishes.

The Meraglim saw this and understood what it meant. They saw the very elements of creation collaborating with these evil doers. The tremendous bounty of the land was evidence of the collusion of the forces of nature in sustaining and nurturing these giants and their wicked activities. The Canaanites succeeded in removing Eretz Yisroel from under the control of Hashem, chas veshalom. It appeared as if they had conquered and overcome the King of the entire world in his own palace.

And this is all true. It certainly did appear that way. Hashem allowed it to appear that way.

It was a test.

The Meraglim saw through their own eyes. They saw a power successfully freeing itself from Hashem’s dominion. The giants are people. The Bnei Yisroel avdei Hashem, are but powerless grasshoppers.

Kalev was possessed of a higher form of vision. The sights that he was presented with were solely intended for the good. They were totally for the benefit of Klal Yisroel.

There is no independent power, separate from Hashem. Even the ability to do evil is granted by Hashem. Hashem sustains the very ones who battle against him, at the very moment of their rebellion.

The super human abilities of the dwellers of Canaan are granted to them for our sake, and our sake alone. They are there to challenge us, to provide an example of the power of those who oppose Hashem’s kingdom. Hashem has no wish to empower them for their own sake. It is challenging to see behind the veil, and to see that the true source of all the amassed power of evil doers is to be found at the wellspring of the will of G-d.

To those who see this, the enemy presents no threat at all. As long as we remain faithful to the Creator, there is no fear, for He holds the keys to the power of the enemy in His hands.

Thus, our enemies, especially the dwellers of Eretz Canaan, are given strength, but their strength is not their own. It is strength given to them for us to grow from. We don’t defeat them, we uncover that the source of their proposed strength is our very own sustenance.

They are our bread.

Wed, January 22 2020 25 Teves 5780