This Shabbas we read Parshas Shelach and the story of the Meraglim – the spies that Moshe sent to see Eretz Yisroel. This group of 12 of the greatest leaders of the Jewish people, were supposed to come back enthused about entering Eretz yisroel and were supposed to allay the fears of the people. Instead, 10 of them came back speaking negatively about Eretz Yisroel and caused panic and despair among Bnai Yisroel.
It is well known what is explained in Chassidus, that the spies were not inherently bad or evil. They were just afraid to enter the “real world”. In the desert all their physical needs were cared for by Hashem and were taught Torah by Moshe. This would all change if they left the desert and entered Eretz Yisroel. While their intentions may have been spiritual and noble, it contradicted the will of Hashem. Hashem wanted to build himself a home in the physical world. The Jewish people would need to leave the cloud and enter the “real world” to make that happen.
This thought comes to mind as we prepare (next Monday) to celebrate the 75th!! anniversary of the arrival of the Rebbe – and Rebbetzin – to America. For many years, Judaism flourished in Europe and Eastern Europe yet was hopelessly failing in America. No religious Jew wanted to come to America as the spirit of assimilation was so strong. Yet Hashem’s home had to be built. For Moshiach to come, the entire world must be prepared. The Rebbe – left Europe and – came to America, and the American revolution (initiated by the Frierdiker Rebbe arrival the year before on 9 Adar) took root. Seventy Five years later, and the facts speak for themselves: America is a source of Yiddishkeit and the place where the Rebbe’s Shluchim are sent from to all corners of the world, bringing the world closer to Geula.
There is also a very practical lesson for each and every one of us: The Rebbe wants us to get ready to enter “Eretz Yisroel – Bias HaMoshiach”. But after all that has been accomplished in America, many of us have become settled and comfortable. We have Yeshivos, Shuls, Kosher food, Mikvaos etc. We are living “in the cloud” and we are hesitant of any change of direction. We must remember the timeless lesson of the spies, not to be afraid of entering Eretz Yisroel! The entire purpose of creation – and the giving of Torah and Mitzvos – was for us to build a home for Hashem in this physical world and experience the ultimate revelation of G-dliness. This is YeMos HaMoshiach. We are very near, we have a prophecy of the Rebbe, and it is in our hands to make it happen!