The Real Heroism Of Caleb And Joshua

The Lesson Behind Joshua And Caleb's Good Report

Beth Lesch
Beth Lesch
Writer

Description

Do you know the story about the spies?


Moses sends twelve men on a mission to spy out the land of Israel. They come back bearing a bad report. “Scary people live there! The land devours its inhabitants! We’ll never be able to conquer it.” The people overreact, and God decrees that they should wander in the desert for 40 years.


Now, you may remember that not all of the spies were guilty. Two of them – Caleb and Joshua – tried to speak up. They tried to defend the land of Israel, to remind the people that it’s a beautiful land, a land promised to them by God, and that it was within their power to conquer it! 


It must have taken a lot of courage for them to speak up like that, and their little speech was no doubt stirring… but would you say that Caleb and Joshua were heroes? Because – reality check – no one actually listened to them. As soon as they finished talking, the people tried to stone them to death! They didn’t change anybody’s minds. God still punished the people. Their act of courage didn’t have any effect at all.


Or did it? It turns out that Caleb and Joshua did accomplish something on that day. No, they didn’t manage to change the people’s minds, they didn’t manage to forestall God’s punishment… but on that day, they reached back into Israelite history and corrected an egregious sin that hadn’t been spoken about about for hundreds of years.


What was the sin? And how did they correct it?


For Rabbi Fohrman's Pesach course which connects the sale of Joseph to the punishment of exile/slavery in Egypt: "How To Read The Haggadah"


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Spoiler alert!


For more videos that deal with the “redemption” of Judah and Joseph’s mistakes, see: