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Shelach: Implicit Bias

One of the biggest mistakes in Jewish history was made by the Meraglim. The Meraglim tried to convince the people not to enter Eretz Yisroel, eventually even denying Hashem’s ability to conquer the land in their efforts. Thanks to this, the entire generation died in the desert and the Churban of Tisha b’Av was decreed. How did they sink so low?

The Shelah explains, based on the Zohar, that the Meraglim were concerned that when the nation would enter Eretz Yisroel, they would lose their position of authority that they currently held. Therefore, they had their own personal interest in trying to convince the people to stay in the desert, despite the disastrous results that this would have.

The Baalei Mussar point out that each of has our own personal נגיעות that may cause us to make illogical decisions. But often we aren’t even aware of this conflict of interest. Only by searching out what is truly driving us to make our choices can we manage to improve them.

לע״נ דוד חיים בן ישראל דוב הכהן
לע״נ ר׳ חיים דוב בן ר׳ בןציון שלום