The Torah shares a wild story of ten men, all of status, humility, and integrity. These men are respected by all as devout and faithful to God, and are chosen to check out the promised land of Israel and report back on their findings.

Instead of returning and reporting positively or accurately, they report with negativity—slanderous and exaggerated negativity of the land. This forces Moses to never enter the land of his dreams, and results in the Jewish people being stalled in the desert for a considerably longer amount of time.

What happened?! Rabbi Sacks, in the name of the great Sage, The Chabad Rebbe, explains that the Spies, as they were called, were not afraid of failure—which is what is commonly thought—they were afraid of success.

They weren’t afraid that they couldn’t succeed in coming into a land that they couldn’t live and thrive in, they were afraid that spiritually, they would be better off in the desert where all was provided for them. They were afraid that the distractions of success would prevent them from being the best Jews they could be.

This was their great mistake. God doesn’t desire for us to stay in a desert or in a forest and isolate ourselves to serve God.

God wants us to sanctify the mundane, to make our houses peaceful so that the spirit is comfortable, resting there to treat others with love. He wants us to be of service, to be charitable, and to be a beacon of happiness and hope to others. That is spirituality. If we can still be spiritual when we are distracted—now that is the challenge.

Don’t mistake isolation, self-harm, or restriction as a form of spirituality. Spirituality is abundance, it is joy as long as it is shared with others. Spirituality is dependent on me, yet it manifests when I give to you!

This week, let’s practice spirituality by sharing with others, by smiling, welcoming, and uplifting the mundane.

Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love



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