Divrei Torah - Moses did this with the wish that “May G-d save you from the counsel of the other spies” (Midrash Tanchuma 6; Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 34b)

Power of a Woman



Administrator and Rabbinical Advisor of B'Ahavat Yisrael

In the beginning of the Torah section of Shlach, Moses changes the name of his faithful student, destined to bring the People of Israel into the Land of Israel, Hoshea Bin Nun to Yehoshua (Bamidbar 13:16).  Our Sages explain that Moses did this with the wish that “May G-d save you from the counsel of the other spies” (Midrash Tanchuma 6; Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 34b).  Moses, ostensibly, had a premonition that Yehoshua would have to stand up to the other spies who went to investigate the land and, therefore, offered him this blessing.

As regards this point, R. Yissocher Frand cited, in one of his talks on this Torah portion, a short and intriguing thought expressed by the famous latter day Torah giant R. Yaakov Kamenetsky (1891 – 1986).

The question is asked why Moses was only concerned about Yehoshua.  Why did Moses not also feel it incumbent to bless Kalev, his brother-in-law, with extra fortitude to stand up to the bad counsel of the other spies?

To answer this question, R. Yaakov Kamenetsky suggests something quite intriguing.  Kalev was married to Moses’ sister Miriam, who was a righteous woman.  Knowing that Kalev had a righteous wife, Moses was confident that Kalev would be safe from bad influences.  Yehoshua, on the other hand, as far as we know, was not married at that time.  He only at a later date married Rachav.  Currently, though, to the best of our knowledge, Yehoshua was still single.  Since Yehoshua did not have a wife to back him up, it was he, rather than Kalev, who needed the blessing of “May G-d save you from the counsel of the other spies”.

The power of a woman – the right woman – at one’s side can be phenomenal.  This is something not to be discounted.  According to R. Yaakov, Moses thought so.  The rest of us should too.


On Key

Related Posts

Living in Isolation

The Torah portion of Tazria begins with a small section on the procedure to be followed pursuant to the birth of a child: “When a

Dvar Torah-G-d asked Noah to occupy his time for 120 years to build an ark in order that anyone who would see him should wonder and ask about it

Late to Base

A story is told of a group of soldiers who were on leave from the Israeli Army.  This group was given a number of hours, perhaps

Divrei Torah-The reason Yishmael was saved was not only as a result of being judged based on his present status

Beginning of a Rivalry

The Torah section of Lekh Lekha marks the beginning of a rivalry – a long standing rivalry that continues to this day.  We read in

Divrei Torah “By the sweat of your brow shall you eat bread”

Appreciating the Simple Life

 On Pesach, we celebrate G-d’s forging us into a free and independent nation with no one to answer to except for Him.  A couple months