Moses then reminds them of the sin of the spies who had returned from the Land of Israel and spoke ill of the land, causing the people to doubt the success of their imminent entry. God’s response, of course, was to punish the people and delay the entry for an additional 38 years. Moses fears that if Reuben and Gad remain in the land east of the Jordan, the rest of the people will refuse to enter. After years of experience with the Children of Israel, Moses is quite aware that the littlest provocation can instill fear and lack of faith in the people.
The people of Israel are the only people in the world who were exiled from their land for 2,000 years and yet remained intact as a people and as a faith. What kept us going all those years was the fact that we had the Torah, the Bible, as a guide through the years of exile, and we had a land to yearn for.
Summer is here and Kaeren is witness to the counselors’ commitment. Night after night, sometimes till early hours of the morning, they meet at one of the kids’ houses, and sit around with blank photocopied calendars of July and August and discuss ideas for filling in those little squares with entertainment.
It is gratifying to read about the prime minister of India visiting Israel and about the enormous naval carrier docking in Haifa. But when young people who are being taught to love Israel from childhood come to Israel to express their love and support, people to people, there is no better gift for Israel.