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