Skip to main content

So lay off… thoughts for Shlach

From Rabbi Phil Chernofsky, director of the OU Israel Centre, who has a parsha radio show I have listened to off and on for over 10 years:

What is the sin of the spies?

3300+ years later, people are still saying the same thing in our own time!

When somebody says in public that he is of the opinion that it’s easier to raise a child to be a good Orthodox Jew in New York than it is in Israel, this is the sin of the spies – alive and well in our time.

When someone says “it’s a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there” – THAT is cheit hameraglim, the sin of the spies.

When people say to the person who does make aliyah, “What, are you out of your mind?” – this is a perpetuation of the sin of the spies.

Listen online or download the full parsha audio as an MP3 here.

It constantly amazes me that people feel they have to POINT THINGS OUT about moving to Israel, as if we haven’t thought of them:

“What will your mother do without you?”

“What about the situation over there?”

“That’s very far away.”

“Won’t you miss your family?”

My mother is 65 years old – not exactly elderly.  I hope she can come and visit.  Maybe she can come and live.  And the SITUATION is no worse and probably much better than at most other times in the history of that little patch of land.  Yes, it is very far away.  Yes, we are moderately comfortable here.  Yes, this will be very hard.

At shul a couple of weeks ago, a woman came over who was in Ted’s Conversational Hebrew class over the winter (as usual, the ladies all loved him!).  She’s an older woman I’ve seen there but never spoken with. 

She told me she’s going in August and don’t let anything anybody says discourage us, because it’s the right thing to do.  Two sentences, maybe a bit more… but it was the very, VERY most helpful thing anybody has ever said since this plan was hatched.

If you think of something bad about moving to Israel, well, we’ve thought of it, thousands of Jews who plan to live their entire Jewish lives here in Toronto have thought of it… the meraglim have thought of it.  Those thoughts are old news.

Try thinking something new and wonderful, and then tell me all about it.

(cross-posted to the still-empty aliyah blog I created last summer)


  1. Don't worry, because the land is very, very good.

    Just think of being able to grow your own avocados, olives, and pomegranates!

    Think of warm enough weather on sukkot to actually sleep in the sukkah!

    Municipal program registration will not fall on Shabbat.

    Kosher food is plentiful and readily available.

    Everywhere you drive, names on road signs will remind you that you're in the exact same place where our ancestors walked and lived.

    You won't have to buy head coverings online because pretty much every accessory store sells them.

    Everyone, and I mean everyone, will wish you a Shabbat Shalom starting on Thursday afternoon.

    The government will always work to protect your right to live as a Jew in peace and security.

    Israeli comedy shows, particularly political satire, are wickedly funny.

    See? "Ki tov ha'aretz me'od me'od"


Post a Comment

I love your comments!

Popular posts from this blog

לימודי קודש/Limudei Kodesh Copywork & Activity Printables

Welcome to my Limudei Kodesh / Jewish Studies copywork and activity printables page.  As of June 2013, I am slowly but surely moving all my printables over to 4shared because Google Docs / Drive is just too flaky for me. What you’ll find here: Weekly Parsha Copywork More Parsha Activities More Chumash / Tanach Activities Yom Tov Copywork & Activities Tefillah Copywork Pirkei Avos / Pirkei Avot Jewish Preschool Resources Other printables! For General Studies printables and activities, including Hebrew-English science resources and more, click here . For Miscellaneous homeschool helps and printables, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you just want to say Thank You, here’s a

Hebrew/ עברית & English General Studies Printables

For Jewish Studies, including weekly parsha resources and copywork, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you enjoy these resources, please consider buying my weekly parsha book, The Family Torah :  the story of the Torah, written to be read aloud – or any of my other wonderful Jewish books for kids and families . English Worksheets & Printables: (For Hebrew, click here ) Science :  Plants, Animals, Human Body Math   Ambleside :  Composers, Artists History Geography Language & Literature     Science General Poems for Elemental Science .  Original Poems written by ME, because the ones that came with Elemental Science were so awful.  Three pages are included:  one page with two po

What do we tell our kids about Chabad and “Yechi”?

If I start by saying I really like Chabad, and adore the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, z"l, well... maybe you already know where I'm headed. Naomi Rivka has been asking lately what I think about Chabad.  She asks, in part, because she already knows how I feel.  She already knows I’m bothered, though to her, it’s mostly about “liking” and “not liking.”  I wish things were that simple. Our little neighbourhood in Israel has a significant Chabad presence, and Chabad conducts fairly significant outreach within the community.  Which sounds nice until you realize that this is a religious neighbourhood, closed on Shabbos, where some huge percentage of people are shomer mitzvos.  Sure, it’s mostly religious Zionist, and there are a range of observances, for sure, but we’re pretty much all religious here in some way or another. So at that point, this isn’t outreach but inreach .  Convincing people who are religious to be… what? A lot of Chabad’s efforts here are focused on kids, including a