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Browse Torah Articles: Sefer Bemidbar: Parashat Shelah: Moshe & Yehoshua

Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi

Among the twelve Meraglim (Spies) was Yehoshua bin Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim. Before the Meraglim's departure, Moshe blessed him and changed his name officially Hoshea to Yehoshua. The meaning of as this new name is "Hashem should help". Why this sudden change?

Moshe knew that the venture of the Meraglim would be a dangerous one and that Bnei Yisrael might react negatively to their report. He also knew Yehoshua to be a quiet, humble individual. Moshe was, therefore, afraid that if the people did rise in rebellion, Yehoshua might say little. He might feel powerless to lead the people away from mistaken opinions. Consequently,

Moshe asked that Hashem should help Yehoshua in gaining the strength to be a powerful leader. After all, if Yehoshua was to succeed Moshe in guiding the people he had to exhibit the qualities that make a leader effective. Fortunately, Moshe's prayers were answered and Yehoshua became the forceful leader of Yisrael that led the nation into Israel.

Today, we are also on a dangerous journey and require Hashem's help. We are choosing to live outside of Israel. We are taking a big risk with our future and the future of our children. We must pray that Hashem will strengthen us as He strengthened Yehoshua, so that we can survive living outside of Israel, and eventually reach the conclusion that our only secure future is in Israel.

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