The Headline is in Your Hand

And here are this morning’s headlines:

Millions of happy families woke up to a new week. Millions of Israelis who are not unemployed or poor went out to school or work, and reached their destination without an accident. 1.5 million non-hungry children went to schools that are not on strike, and were received by devoted, caring teachers.

All of this indeed happened, but the question is what we choose to focus on. This week’s Portion talks about the sin of the spies, a sin that is considered to be one of the gravest in our history. Twelve spies went out of the desert with a mission that they received: to report on the situation of the Land of Israel. Ten of them returned from the Land with pessimistic, dark and scary headlines and suggested that the People go back to Egypt, and only two of them told the People about the Promised Land, a beautiful, blessed Land, that awaits us only if we continue on our journey.

Our commentators explain that the sin of the spies is considered to be so grave, because it accompanies us till this day at every given moment:

What do we focus on in our life: The difficulties and hardships or the blessings and successes? And are we part of a great, meaningful story, in which there are also challenges, or is there no point at all to what we do, therefore there is no reason to make an effort?

For some reason, optimism is considered to be an escape from reality, and pessimism is considered to be realistic, but this is not so. The decision of how to interpret things – from the desert to Sunday morning – is ours.

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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