- Why Moshe Rabbeinu should have sent female spies
- How Hashem wants us to be in a state of love and joy all the time
- The life-transforming power of tzitzit
We'll just look at two of them.
He notes that it specifies anashim—"men."
(And yes, anashim can also mean "people." But technically, anashim is the plural of ish—man. "People" can be referred to as bnei Adam.)
Furthermore, the sending of the Spies is written immediately after Miriam was struck with tzarat from her well-intentioned albeit wrong lashon hara.
The Kli Yakar starts off by saying:
....the text is telling you that lashon hara is more common among women than among men because "ten parts of speech descended into the world; women took nine" (Kiddushin 49b). And because women engage in copious idle conversation [stam nashim patpaniot dabraniot], therefore the speech depended on Miriam because she started this [spiritual] breakdown and Aharon was superfluous to her [in his participation with Miriam's sin].
Therefore, He said, "Send out for yourself men" who don't possess the way of women and won't be like Miriam who spoke lashon hara, but actual men who aren't habituated to speaking lashon hara.
(As it says in Pirkei Avot 2 that the words of the wise men can be like burning coals, the sting of a scorpion, and the bite of a fox, etc.)
But then the Kli Yakar "flames" men:
Another reason why He specified men is because Chazal said ( ילקוט רמז תשעג):
The men hated the Land and said, "We’ll appoint a leader and return to Egypt"
But the women cherished the Land and said, "Give us a possession!" (Bamidbar 27:4).
And therefore, the Holy One Blessed Be He said, "In My Opinion, being that I see the future, it would have been better to send women who cherish the Land because they won't speak in condemnation of it.
"But to you, in your opinion, being that you held that they [the men] were kosher and you held that the Land was beloved to them, you sent men.
"And that's it: 'Send out for yourself'—for in your opinion—men [שלח לך לדעתך אנשים].
But according to My Opinion, it would have been better to send women...."
(Also, "hate" is such a strong word. But that is the word used by the Yalkut and the Kli Yakar: שונאים.)
Especially today, we see Jewish males sacrificing, undergoing imprisonment and torture, and even dying in order to hold on to Eretz Yisrael.
Yet the Kli Yakar brings it up again in Parshat Pinchas and apparently it is in the Yalkut (which I don't have access to). Those are pretty solid sources.
Is Hashem giving today's men a second chance to rectify their original "hatred" in much the same way He gives women the chance to rectify Chava's sin by candle-lighting?
Of course, I don't know. But how else to explain the dichotomy between what the sources said about Jewish men then and the tremendous self-sacrifice on behalf of Jewish men today for Eretz Yisrael?
This is just an assumption and I'm definitely open to being corrected. So feel free....
This verse is famous for appearing in the third paragraph of the Kriyat Shema, a prayer said several times a day.
Minimally, Kriyat Shema should be said twice:
- once in the morning
- once right before going to sleep, as part of the Bedtime Prayer
Here, the Kli Yakar discusses how doing a mitzvah with technical perfection isn't the end of it:
....because one who acts out of love and serves Hashem in a state of joy is greater than he who fears God because he enjoys from the toil of his hands in Torah as Chazal said (Brachot 8a): "For he who acts with joy out of love enjoys from the actual toil."
The Kli Yakar repeats a lot of what he already said about tzitzit in Parshat Titzaveh and adds even more beautiful thoughts:
....from amidst the love, one will come to profound intimacy [deveikut] with the Shechinah, the place of the sculpting of the soul, because each person who fears [automatically] distances from that which he fears.
But one who loves always strives to become intimate [l'dabek] with that which is beloved to him because in that way, he will come to his reward. It is apparent that this love is the purpose of success because through that, one merits intimacy with the Throne of Glory [Kisei Hakavod]. By peering and gazing at the sky, he will recall the Kisei Hakavod via the similarity in colors [i.e., the thread of techeilet].
And what is the significance regarding the number of knots and strings in tzitzit?
And that is the reason for 8 strings and 5 knots; it all adds up to 13 which is the gematria of LOVE - אהבה.
And to continue on this theme of love, the Kli Yakar explains:
And there is one more mitzvah that recalls all the mitzvot.
And that is: "You shall love to your neighbor as yourself" (Vayikra 19:18).
And if so, one thread can bring a person to his ultimate purpose, as is instructed by the term "techeilet."
And this is a secret from the secrets of the Torah.
Tzitzit can seem like just part of "the uniform."
But really, it has an incredible power all its own.
He served as rabbi and dayan and wrote several books, the most well-known being his commentary on the Chumash known as the Kli Yakar.
This is my own translation and any errors are also mine.