The date כג סיון is an important date mentioned in תנ”ך, in the Purim story, when the נהפוך הוא began. This is the date that the second letters went out, allowing the yidden to defend themselves.
The Rokeach says that this is the largest pasuk in תנ”ך, being that the pasuk is a positive one for כלל ישראל. The months of תמוז and אב were originally destined for greatness, and it’s our job to bring them back to that greatness. The Ari says that תמוז is the month of ראובן. Reuvan fell due to his יתר פז, his impetuous act, which resulted in his losing the כהונה and מלכות that was destined for him. This had a negative effect on the month of Tamuz, resulting in the serious and tragic sins of the חטא העגל and the חטא המרגלים. The חטא העגל was clearly also due to the yidden being impetuous, and not waiting just one more day for Moshe to come back with the לוחות. Similarly כלל ישראל also lost its מלכות and כהונה. The חטא עץ הדעת was also the impulsive act of אדם הראשון, where if he would have waited three hours, he would have made קידוש on wine squeezed from the grapes of the עץ הדעת (according to one opinion). The אור החיים says that the birth of Reuvan, had a slight blemish, in that יעקב thought that he was with Rachel that first night, however he was with Leah. Therefore Reuvan was born with a פגם of תמורה, resulting in the חטא העגל also being a פגם in תמורה, by the yidden exchanging Hashem for the עגל.
The ספר יצירה says that the month of Tamuz has the mode of ראיה, and Rav Tzadok who brings this, also says that every month has a specific organ of the body connected to it. Tamuz is connected to the eyes. The Ari says that Tamuz is the right eye and Av is the left eye. Parshas Shelach begins with ראיה, when Moshe sends the מרגלים to check out, and inspect the land -ויתרו את הארץ, and ends with ראיה, as it says והיה לכם לציצת וראיתם אתו …..ולא תתורו אחרי לבבכם ואחרי עיניכם.
Reuvan was called by his name, as it says in בראשית כט:לב – ראה ה” בעניי. The חטא הגל was also a blemish in seeing, as the pasuk says in שמות לב:א –וירא העם כי בשש משה לרדת. Likewise with the חטא עץ הדעת there was a פגם הראיה as we see in בראשית ג:ו-ותרא האשה כי טוב העץ למאכל. In our Parsha, משה tells the מרגלים in pasuk יח –וראיתם את הארץ מה היא, that they should look at the land with the proper perspective that is with the eyes of Torah. Tamuz was supposed to be the ראשית of the months, and if not for the חטא העגל, we would have
received the first לוחות, and would have been זוכה to ראיה בשלמות.
In pasuk ב, Rashi says that the sending of the spies was not Hashem’s command, but the yidden requested this and Hashem gave his permission. The first time that ציצית is mentioned, is in Parshas נח, when Shem and Yefes covered their father Noah, but their brother -חם didn’t, as it says in בראשית ט:כב – וירא חם אבי כנען את ערות אביו ויגד. Cham was not careful in utilizing neither his eyes nor his speech. Shem was the main one who guarded his ראיה, as the next pasuk says ויקח שם ויפת in the singular. Rashi says there that Shem cared for the mitzvos more than Yefes, and so his descendants merited לטלית של ציצית, as ציצית is associated with the tikun of ראיה. The ילקוט ראובני said that the wine needed for the נסכים, mentioned in the Parsha, came from the אשכול ענבים brought back by the מרגלים. Both יהושע and כלב didn’t take any fruits, even though Hashem wanted this, since they saw what the מרגלים were doing with them, in using them to speak bad of the Holy Land. The spies said ארץ אוכלת יושביה- look how this land is full of gashmius in that the grapes are so huge.
By the mitzvah of חלה the pasuk טו:יט says- והיה באכלכם מלחם הארץ, showing that the מרגלים wanted to stay in the מדבר and continue eating לחם מן השמים. Hashem didn’t create this world for the מלאכים, but for the yidden to utilize the gashmius for a higher purpose, and elevate it and not separate from it. Yehoshua and כלב were זוכה that משיח בן יוסף and משיח בן דוד descended from them. יהושע בן נון was on the level of נ – בן נון, the level of the future, where the גמרה says מצוות בטלות לעתיד לבוא. How could the Gemorah say this when one of the שלש עשר עיקרים is זאת התורה לא תהא מחלפת ולא תהא תורה אחרת ? The answer is that there will be no need for the צווים, as the yidden will do them automatically (Toldas Yaakov Yosef). This is the level we were and are supposed to be in the month of Tamuz. In Sivan, when we were in מדבר סיני, we were given commandments what to do, but in Tamuz, when we were in מדבר פארן, we were on our own, with the purpose of connecting to Hashem’s will. We see that all the מצוות mentioned in Parshas שלח are not ציווים.
Only when one donates a קרבן, a נדבה, he has to bring flour and wine- נסכים offerings. The מצוה of taking חלה is only to one that bakes himself, and no one is obligated to eat bread. The מצוה Torah of wearing ציצית is only for those that wear a four corner garment. All this was a tikun of the חטא העגל. Hashem wanted to see if כלל ישראל were
on the level of לעתיד לבוא, the level they should have been on יז בתמוז with the first לוחות- אל תקרא חרת אלה חרות -freedom from the יצה”ר. One would think the way the Parsha begins וידבר יה-וה אל משה לאמר, that it was a command of Hashem to send the מרגלים. However Rashi says לדעתך, that this request came from the yidden. Once they were already going, the test was to do their שליחות, and to be מתכון to Hashem’s will, which was not what happened. The strange thing is that יהושע in the הפטרה, after seeing the disaster that sending spies resulted in, sent his own spies. The spies that יהושע sent, reported back to him only and not the entire כלל ישראל, like with Moshe, which was a mistake. The חידושי הרים explains that these spies were different. The Haftora begins – וישלח יהושע בן נון מן השטים שנים אנשים מרגלים חרש. The פירוש בינת המקראות says on the word חרש that they went stealthily- quietly בחשאי, and continues ד”א ל” חרס הטעינו עצמכם קדרות כדי שתהיו נראין כקדרין. The חידושי הרים elaborates and says that a כלי חרס is unique that it’s מטמאה מאוירו שבתוכו. If something טמא comes in contact with the outside of a כלי הרס, the vessel remains pure, but if a שרץ comes in contact with the inside air, the vessel is impure- why? This is because the earthenware כלי has no intrinsic value on its own, and it’s worth is measured by the contents or liquid that it is holding. Therefore the vessel is מבוטל to the contents inside. This is unlike other vessels of which have their own intrinsic value. The spies that יהושע sent were מבוטל to their שליחות, and did not put their own דעת and opinions while doing their שליחות. This was not so with the spies that Moshe sent, that were not מבוטל to their שליחות, except for יהושע and כלב, and they used their own שכל, returning with a negative report. They had viewed the Holy Land with the wrong perspective.
The month of Tamuz is a month of מדת הדין. Rav Shimshon Astrapoli says on the words והימים ימי בכורי ענבים, representingתמוז , that the letters בכורי- before, ענבם (the י denotes plurality) are סמ-אל, the name of the Satan. In these days the שטן has power, and this is why the yidden had such a difficult time. Wine, having the color of red, represents the מדת הדין. A yid that was born under the מזל מאדים has a tendency leaning toward blood. He could choose to be a murderer, or use his free choice and become a שוחט or מוהל. Esav represents the מדת הדין on the side of טומאה. Reuvan’s stone on the חשן was אדום- the ruby. The מדת הדין is not a negative מדה, as the world was created with מדת הדין and will be in the future when the Halacha will be like בית שמאי. There is an opinion that the עץ הדעת was a grape. After the
חטא עץ הדעת, good and bad were mixed up in the world. One who drinks wine, could sink to the lowest sins, or it could elevate the soul, like when we make קידוש. The Ari HaKadosh says that the Kiddush begins with the name of Hashem –
יום השישי ויכולו השמים ר”ת יה-וה- which equals 26. And יין =70, and so what’s left is 70-26=44=דם. Here we can see with numbers the positive and negative effects of wine. When the מרגלים brought back the cluster of grapes, it affected them in a negative way. Those same grapes that were used for the נסכים, were just like blood poured on the מזבח, which is the מדת הדין used in a proper and holy way. How could the yidden use the אשכול ענבים, which was the instrument through which the מרגלים spoke לשון הרע about the Holy Land, for such קדושה? The answer is ונהפוך הוא – ונהפוך הוא אשר ישלטו היהודים המה=1165=פרשת הנסכים- taking something that was used in a negative way, and using it for a positive use. This is the concept of teshuva, by taking the sin and turning it into מצוה, which is תשובה מאהבה. Reuvan was the first to doמאהבה תשובה, and so the נביא of שובה ישראל –הושע came from him. Others like אדם and קין also did teshuva, but it was תשובה מיראה. In Tamuz, the winds of teshuva begin to blow. The acronym of תמוז is זמני תשובה ממשמשים ובאים. On כ סיון the day of the pogroms in Poland, the Belzer Hasidim have a custom to fast. The Opter Rav says that יד על כס י-ה, the כס is the ר”ת of כ סיון and י-ה of יה”כ, that on כ סיון we are already preparing for יה”כ, the day we say סלחתי כדברך- ר”ת כ סיון. The number ofפסוקים in שלח is 119, where the סימן is דמעה. We could transform these tears into דויד המלך=119.
The מכילתא in Parshas יתרו speaks of our Haftora, and says that the same red rope that רחב used to pull up her נואפים, her customers of the lowest depravity, was used to lower פנחס and כלב from her window, to safety. This is written in יהושע ב:טו. Rachav represents the טומאה which the
פגם הראיה is associated with. The Gemmora says that anyone that even said her name, or saw her just once, was affected. She asked that when the yidden will enter א”י and conquer the enemies, that they will save her, the sign being that she would put a red string, a חוט השני, outside her window. This red string was called the תקות חוט השני. The hope- תקוה is that every yid could turn themselves around and alsoחודש תמוז — יתקע בשופר גדול ובאו האובדים=1294=תקות חוט השני. On יה”כ, the red thread would turn white, showing that the sins of the yidden were forgiven. There is a difference here, in that that here the מדת הדין of
טומאה is transformed into the מדת הדין of קדושה, with no change in the colour red. The מדת הדין of קדושה is greater than רחמים, as this is the way it will be in לעתיד לבוא. Another example of this complete turnaround is רחב herself, who after being a זונה for forty years, ended up marrying יהושע, the leader of the entire כלל ישראל, and from them came eight נביאים including ירמיהו הנביא.
Had there not been a חטא המרגלים, Tamuz would have been the ראשית of the months, the completion of מתן תורה. As we said in the month of Tamuz, we are on our own- the מדבר פארן of time. פאר is the root of תפארת, the message being that we have to build up the glory of Hashem, the תפארת while we’re in גלות, and turn אפר into פאר. The מרגלים were sent out on their שליחות on כט סיון and returned on ח באב, and so תמוז is the month of both the חטא העגל and חטא המרגלים. The fate of the yidden was sealed- לא נחתם גזר הדין with the חטא המרגלים, the tenth test of the yidden to Hashem. The ten tests are parallel to the עשרה הדברות, to the עשרה מאמרות the ten ספירות and to the ten מכות. For example, the מאמר בראשית is כנגד כתר which is כנגד אנכי יה-וה and כנגד מכת בכורות where the yidden were coined בני בכורי ישראל. The חטא המרגלים corresponded to בראשית, חלה is called ראשית, the yidden are called ראשית, and א”י is the ראשית. Also א”י is the שבת of the world
שבת=702=דבת הארץ. When the spies disobeyed Moshe, and gave bad report on א”י, they were פוגם in the ראשית and the כתר.
By the חטא העגל, the בכורות lost the עבודה, which was transferred to the כהנים. The Leviim had participated in neither the חטא העגל nor the חטא המרגלים. If the spies would have returned with a positive report, כלל ישראל would have entered א”י on ט באב, even after they sinned with the העגל. The חטא המרגלים was for דורות, and the בעל התניא says שלח=338 – the חורבן בהמ”ק took place in the year 3338- ג-שלח. The Parsha begins with the חטא and ends with the mitzvos, especially יציאת מצרים. כלל ישראל said “let’s return to מצרים “, showing that the yidden hadn’t really left מצרים, and מצרים hadn’t left them. Therefore they needed a כפרה for wanting to go back to Egypt – סלחתי כדברך=754=ונשובה מצרימה
Many ask the question of why משה only prayed for יהושע and not also כלב. The רוקח says that by יוסף it says למטה יוסף למטא מנשה גדי בן סוסי, and the חידא says that both יוסף and מנשה (that is the בני צלפחד),
loved ארץ ישראל. So the question is how did גדי בן סוסי join in the לשון הרע against א”י ? The Rokeach continues and says that because of the דבתם רעה of יוסף, one of his descendants would be destined to be part of the חטא המרגלים, (ויציאו דבת הארץ) which was גדי בן סוסי. This could be detected in his name, in that the brothers slaughtered a גדי, when יוסף was 17= גדיyears old, and they sold him to מצרים who are compared to סוסים. Like מצרים, the סוסים are most steeped in זימה, whereas the holy city of י”ם is not the place for סוסים, at least in a spiritual sense. As a result of the חטא המרגלים, the yidden had to endure all the גלויות – בבל מדי יון אדום =205= גדי בן סוסי. Moshe knew that יוסף had to be punished due to the דבתם רעה, and that one of his descendants was destined in becoming a spy. Moshe knew that if he didn’t daven for יהושע, he would have fallen prey to the other מרגלים. This is because of Yehoshua’s humble nature, and that he lived a completely Torah life- לא ימוש similar to his Rebbi Moshe, who did separate himself. The spies were lacking in אמונה, since they still had this attachment to מצרים, the land of לצנים, the opposite of אמונה. A yid with אמונה believes in that which he doesn’t see, whereas a לץ scoffs even at that which he sees with his eyes – ירושלם=586=ליצנות=586=ויאמינו ביה-וה ובמשה עבדו. The only way to enter י”ם is to leave מצרים. This was the last test for the yidden, similar to the עקידה which made absolutely no sense toאברהם , and so the mode of אמונה had to be applied. In pasuk יד:כד it says ועבדי כלב עקב היתה where כלב paved the way for the עקב, for the עקבתא דמשיחא, similar to Avraham of whom it says עקב אשר שמעת בקולי. This gave us the ability to pass this test of אמונה even today.
This is the Parsha of נסכים, the same letters as מכניס, where the next generation was זוכה to enter א”י. The same Parsha that has the חתימה of the ten tests of the yidden to Hashem, which sealed their fate, also has יה”כ which is also the tenth, the חתימה of the ten days of teshuva. The pasuk we quoted ועבדי כלב עקב היתה….והביאתיו אל הארץ, has the word והביאתיו written with an extra י, representing the ten levels of קדושה of א”י – משיח בן דויד=434=והביאתי – both with the extra י.
The Parsha speaks of the mitzvos of נסכים, חלהand ציצית, which are all תקונים for the חטא המרגלים. For example, the Parsha of ציצית says והיה לכם לציצית וראיתם אתו that we have to look at them, which is a tikun for the wrong looking of the מרגלים.
There is a major question here. How did such holy and spiritual heads
of the שבטי י-ה, in a generation called the דור הדעה, fall into such a drastic sin, that we’re affected till today? The real answer is in the question. Because they were on such a spiritual level, learning Torah with the leader of כלל ישראל, and eating the totally spiritual Mann every day, they- simply put, were afraid to fall into the gashmius world. When they said ארץ אוכלת יושביה, the deeper כוונה that they had, was that the ארציות is totally consuming the inhabitants. They brought up the נפילים, who descend from the giants that were originally מלאכים, sent to this world as a test if they could elevate the world. Instead they fell, and brought the world down with them. The מרגלים did not want to go into the עולם העשיה, but wanted to remain in the עולם המחשבה ודיבור. They believed that this was רצון יה-וה.
It’s funny that their punishment was exactly what they wanted, to stay in the מדבר, however once they realized that this was not the רצון יה-וה, they were very distressed, and it was too late. In pasuk טו:יט it says והיה באכלכם מלחם הארץ…. Why stress the bread is from the ground? Where else does bread come from? Hashem’s desire is that the yidden should enter א”י, eat the לחם הארץand deal with the ארציות in order to elevate it- תרימו. On the word והיה, there is a זקיף גדול (the trup), a message that the only way a yid could have a זקיפה גדולה, a big elevation in life, is to deal with the לחם הארץ, the גשמיות, and elevate it to רוחניות. In the Parsha of ציצית, it says וזכרתם את כל מצות יה-וה ועשיתם אתם, meaning that it’s not enough to remember the mitzvos, but we must keep them by doing them, which can only be done in a gashmios world.
Once we’re on the topic of ציצית, there is a nice vort from the Kotzker Rebbi. In the Pasuk, it says לא תתורו אחרי לבבכם ואחרי עיניכם where Rashi comments on the word לבבכם- העין רואה והלב חומד והגוף עושה את העבירות. The Kotzker notes that Rashi is saying that the eyes come before the heart, whereas in the Pasuk, the heart precedes the eyes. So which is it? The עיקר is what’s written in the Pasuk, that the heart comes first. If a yid’s heart is in the right place, then his eyes will not wonder to a place it shouldn’t. At the beginning of Parshas שלח, the Torah uses the same word as at the end of the Parsha with the mitzva of ציצית – the word תתורו or ויתרו. Connecting this to the Kotzker’s vort, the heart of the מרגלים was not in א”י, even before they left on their שליחות, and thus their eyes saw what they wanted them to see, that is, the wrong perspective.
The ערבי נחל says that ארץ ישראל is divided into 613 parts, where each city corresponds to a different Mitzva. כלב בן יפנה said to the yidden that whoever could conquer קרית ספר, would be rewarded with his daughter as a wife. What would happen if a powerful עם הארץ would take the city. Kalev knew that קרית ספר corresponded to the three thousand הלכות that were forgotten with the פטירה of משה, and so only one that could retrieve theseהלכות , is the one who could conquer the city. His step brother Oznial Ben Knaz was the צדיק that did the job. The מלחמה against א”י, is one against the תרי”ג מצוות, and so the Parsha has the mizvos that encompass all mitzvos-ציצית , שבת and ע”ז. By disobeying Moshe, and by speaking against the Holy Land, the spies were rebelling against the mitzvos- משה רבינו =613.
The ילקוט ראבני and the חידה say that each one of the מרגלים received an עיבור נשמה from one of twelve tribes. For example ראובן entered into שמוע בן זכור, the head of his tribe. Yosef was only written in connection to Menashe, but not Efraim. Therefore Moshe davened for יהושע, that לוי, the head of his own שבט should be מתעבר into יהושע. Levi had no part in the חטא העגל and the חטא המרגלים, and this would save יהושע. Kalev, who on the outside joined the מרגלים, needed to beseech the אבות in חברון, which is the spiritual opposite (חבור נ) of מצרים, in order to be saved from the עצת המרגלים. For this, he was זוכה to the city of חברון, where the firstברית took place, and the promise by Hashem that א”י will belong to the yidden- – ממ שין יוד חת=868=חברון וירושלים
In Parshas מקץ, Yosef says to his brothers מרגלים אתם לראות ערות הארץ. The words of a Tzadik never go lost, and were fulfilled when the brothers were מתעבר into the מרגלים and looked at the ארץ in a negative way- ערות הארץ. The פגם then was that they looked at their brother יוסף with the wrong perspective -ויראו אתו מרחוק, and Yosef was saying that if they don’t recognize the Tzadik, then they wouldn’t see א”י properly. If the מרגלים would have come back with a positive report of א”י, they would have rectified the חטא of מכירת יוסף. The brothers wanted to kill or sell Yosef, since they saw that ירבעם בן נבט would descend from him, who will serve and cause others to serve ע”ז. Now the חטא העגל brought a קטרוג to the שבטים, since this חטא is itself ע”ז, and therefore brought the sin of מכירת יוסף to the surface. The עגל was the צורה of a שור and יוסף is the שור.
In Tehillim טז is the famous phrase שויתי יה-וה לנגדי תמיד, meaning that a yid must always keep his mind on Hashem. The main problem which causes a yid to stray, is forgetfulness. This שכחה came about due to the שבירת הלוחות which took place on יז בתמוז. If not for the שבירת הלוחות the Torah would never be forgotten. The מרגלים were affected by this שכחה and thus forgot what the רצון יה-וה was, and the main reason Moshe sent them on their שליחות to “spy” out the land השכחה=338=שלח. The קריאה that we read on ט באב from פרשת ואתחנן is כי תוליד בנים ובני בנים ונושנתם
meaning that when we get older, we will get old in our ways with no enthusiasm in our service to Hashem. The word ונושנתם also means to forget, as we see in the naming of מנשה it says כי נשני אל-הים את כל עמלי meaning that all Yosef’s past troubles were forgotten –
שין למד חית=852=ונושנתם, the מילוי of שלח. We see something very interesting in that most of the mitzvos written in שלח are a tikun for this forgetfulness. 1) The נסכים that were brought with שמן, where the Gemorra says that שמן helps in memory 2) The mitzvah of Shabbos- the מקשש עצים where it says זכר את יום השבת לקדשו 3) The mitzvah of ציצית where it says וזכרתם את כל מצות יה-וה.
Parshas שלח is the 37th Parsha in חומש -37=הבל. The main מחלקת between קין and הבל is that קין thought that if הבל doesn’t involve himself in the גשמיות, he doesn’t belong in the world. The Ari HaKodesh says that the צירוף for the month of תמוז, are the last letters of זה אננו שוה לי, the only combination that was said by a רשע.
This combination spells out Hashem’s name backwards denoting מדת הדין. Tamuz is such a tragic time and has its צירוף, combination of Hashem’s name- in מגילת אסתר? On Purim we were זוכה to ונהפוך הוא beginning on כג סיון. We are all שלוחים, sent to this world in bodies in order to elevate it. We could turn תמוז around from ימי יגון into ימי שמחה, ונהפוך הוא, with the coming of תמוז=453=מלך המשיח.