April 14, 2024
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Trump, the Miraglim and the Torah’s Relevance to Modern Times

In reading about the story of the miraglim in this week’s parsha, Shelach Lecha, one can only marvel at the Torah’s prescience and relevance to modern times, for example, today’s America.

In the story of the miraglim, one sees a majority of them, as describing the land which they are about to enter, Canaan, through their preconceived notions, as an evil place, inhabited by fierce people who eat up the inhabitants, and not worth fighting for. Only Joshua and Caleb see it as a land of milk and honey, which is worth fighting for, to make it a “greater and mightier” land. Furthermore, the detractors even advocated stoning Joshua and his followers for their contrary views. After a divisive struggle, and with the help of Hashem and Moshe, the Joshua camp prevailed, and indeed made the land greater than before.

This bears an uncanny parallelism with today’s America. In recent years, there are many detractors of America, who in their preconceived notion, see it as an evil land, which oppresses its inhabitants and is not worth supporting, without fundamentally transforming it. Only a minority, Trump and his followers, see America as a great land and feel it could be “made great” again. After a divisive struggle against bitter opposition, they also won the day, and are working to make it a greater nation. While we know the outcome of the miraglim story, today’s struggle still continues.

Although there appears to be a political overtone to this letter, that is not the main purpose. The real purpose is to point up the striking parallelism of episodes described in the Torah with similar events occurring today, to bring home the perpetual relevance of the Torah and it’s teachings to any age, even the most modern of times.

Max Wisotsky

Highland Park

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