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Eretz Ocheles Yoshveha

In the Portion of Shelach in the Torah, the spies reported that "eretz ocheles yoshveha", meaning 'the land eats its inhabitants.' This had a deeper meaning. They really meant that in the desert, they had all their needs, and Torah had their undivided attention. They ate the manna from heaven, their clothes were miraculously fresh all the time, and it was a big empty place with no bothers. In Israel, they would have to inhabit a land with many other nationalities, and work the land to get food. The spies were concerned that it was better for the Jewish people in the desert, and urged the Jews to remain there. The lesson was that it really is the purpose of life to bring G-dliness into the mundane areas of life, not just to be involved in spiritual endeavors to the exclusion of worldly things.
- D.L. Stein


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