In whom do you trust?
26 Sivan 5776
I have been in Montreal since 1992 through highs and lows, having been attacked on all sides but the worst thing I experienced is “lashon hara” – לשון הרע – the evil tongue. Rashi explained that lashon hara was the reason that the chieftains that Moshe sent to scout out the land were punished because they doubted the Creator. . These men had strong leadership qualities and were not cowards. What happened to them and what can we learn from this for our lives today? Until that point, Israel had done absolutely nothing to get where they were. They had been carried by our Creator under the leadership of Moshe Rabeinu but were still holding on to slave mentality where they were not capable to doing anything on their own. Of the twelve men only two returned with a different perspective, Joshua and Caleb. They all did what they were asked to do so what was the problem? Instead of taking their report in private to Moshe and the elders, they poured out their fears in public infecting the entire camp of Israel. This was lashon harah and the consequences were grave. It’s true that they acknowledged that this was indeed the land of milk and honey but they described the walled cities with giant of men who they could never conquer. They didn’t believe that the Creator could help them even after all He had done. The ten scouts allowed their imagination to run away with them; they believed their own lies and spread their fears to the rest. Phobias can become an obstacle in our lives even when they no longer have a basis in reality.
I have been told on more than one occasion that we would not last more than one year yet here we are 24 years later in spite of everything. Many people have come and gone — some supporters and some detractors. In Zechariah 4:6 it is written “not by might nor by power but by my spirit, said the L-RD of hosts”. Everyone speaks about emunah – faith. It is easy to say “oh I have faith” however many fail when it comes to putting their faith into action – “bitachon” or trust. Without the Creator we could never have done it but with Him anything is possible. That is today’s message in a nutshell. Our trust is not in ourselves but in what God is doing in and through us. If this place is not from Him, then what is the purpose of our even being here; we are wasting our time? Rabbi Shaul said “If the Creator is with us, who can be against us?
Each of us is called for a purpose but most of us have a selfish attitude. We are not an island — we live in community where we need to help each other. When we isolate ourselves we die. The word “caret”, cut off was a very frightening term in the Torah for if someone was cut off from the community of Israel there was no chance of survival in the desert. They would be cut from all the benefits that they would receive from being part of the community – growth and nurturing, the protection and family relationships. When anyone leaves the community I always recommend that they find another place to attend. Do not be on your own or you will shrivel up spiritually. That is why the scouts failed. They were regular people like you and me, led by a glorious Creator. We don’t need to be an extraordinary person to be called and used by Him. Do you trust in yourself and others or in the Creator? Are you walking on your own or with Him by your side? By his example, this is what our Messiah Yeshua came to show us how to do.