Drash Cards for Shelach Lecha (5764)
by Marc Mangel
• We have the story of the spies, the people wavering, God condemning the older generation to die in the desert, then offerings, challah, the man gathering wood on Shabbat, and tzizit (to remind us of our fate; Ch 15, v 37ff)
• This past week was the 60th anniversary of D-Day. The night before, Eisenhower drafted a note that read something like “Today, an attempt to land allied forces in Europe was repulsed and the forces were withdrawn”. He tore that up and wrote “Today, I ordered allied forces to land in Europe and they were repulsed. I ordered the forces withdrawn”. That is leadership.
• Today, I want to talk about Ch14, involving the people (v 1-4), Moses (v 5) and Joshua and Caleb (v 6-10).
• The people have a plan — to appoint a rule (v 4).
• Moses and Aaron fall on their faces — to beg for their favor, but then God show up (v 11, 12) wanting to destroy the people, but also knows now — as with the Golden Calf — that this will not happen. Rather, the people will wander for 40 years. Why do this?
• To develop Moses as leader (v 13-18) that’s why. Arguing with God builds strength for leading the people and Moses succeeds (v 20-24)
• But he is not yet a complete leader, because in v 39ff the people try to capture the land but fail and Moses cannot stop them.
• The Torah is teaching us that development of leadership is a process, involving training.