As we pray at the Western Wall and gaze up at the Temple Mount, we cannot help but wonder why there is no Holy Temple today. Does it have anything to do with the slanderous report of the spies in the times of Moses?
Although we cannot claim to understand the ways of God or even attempt to do so, we do know that the day set aside for the destruction of both Temples, the 9th of Av, had its roots in the times of the Jewish people’s first journey to the Land of Israel.
Tisha b’Av – the ninth day of Av, the day of destruction of the Holy Temple – was destined for tragedy when the Jewish people accepted the slanderous “report of horrors” from the delegation of spies. But it wasn’t supposed to be that way.
The Torah portion called Shlach (Numbers 13:1 – 15:41), Hebrew for the command to send, tells the story of perhaps the most tragic and failed mission of the Jewish People in their history. Ignoring God’s promise that the Jews would successfully conquer and inherit the Land of Israel, a delegation of 12 dignitaries, representing each of the tribes, was sent out by Moses to see for themselves what Israel was really all about.