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Your enemy is your friend

Thursday, 15 June, 2017 - 10:01 am

When we think of a spy we may think hero or villain – depending if your team is the one spying or being spied on. In this week’s Torah portion we read of the 12 spies going to spy on behalf of the Jewish People in and on the Land of Israel.

These spies (10 of them at least) who left as hero’s (Heads of the Children of Israel the Torah calls them) became villains, meeting their death in the desert.

A spy integrates him or herself into the environment that they are spying on. They live and act as if they belong in that environment all the while collecting valuable information to be used against the very people they are living amongst.

Our soul comes down to this earth and lives among us (actually in us) almost as if it belongs here. After all our first consciousness is of the body and the physical world around us. All the while the soul is collecting information to be used against and for us.

The soul learns about the passions of the animal soul within and tries to outsmart it. Ultimately the soul wants us to use our physical reality in the service of G-d.

The spies who went into the Land of Israel failed in their mission for this very reason. They saw the physical world as the enemy instead of understanding their spying mission.

Their spying mission and ours is not to eliminate the supposed enemy but rather to recruit the enemy onto our team. The spy agencies call it “turning” or in Hebrew – Teshuva.

The spies failed in their mission, let’s learn from their mistake. The physical world is not to be shunned nor embraced. The physical world is to be “turned” into our partner in the service of G-d. We have the soul as our own spy to help us achieve that.

Good Shabbos.

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 


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