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Lamentations: Third Kinah – Line 1 Part Three

“They will weep.” Reb Tzadok HaCohen of Lublin, Divrei Sofrim, Yalkut Amarim, Yehoshua: ו “The spies were great souls who had learned much of God’s Torah, (Written Law) and had tasted of the fruits of the land, (Oral Law). They understood with this wisdom that it had been set since the days of creation that there would be destruction and exile, just as the exiles had been revealed to Avraham Avinu. When they cried they were crying over the generations.”

Reb Tzaddok is raising an important issue in Jewish thought: The spies were not supposed to concern themselves with what would happen. They were obligated to do what was immediately correct without considering what would happen. We know that every detail of existence has been known to God since the beginning. There is a plan to creation into which all these details fit like pieces of a puzzle. We know that God knows what is going to happen. Our obligation is not to deal with what God knows but only with what is in front of us at a particular moment.

Ramchal, Commentary on Bamidbar: “Moshe wanted to complete the tikkun of the world at that time. He therefore agreed to take along the Eirev Rah, because he believed that this would be the fixing of the nations of the world. He did not succeed because of all the sins that happened. Kalev also wanted to do this fixing.  Is why he said, “Let us go up…” meaning let us go up to the heights and fix everything. But the people refused to believe and they cried.”

The Ramchal understands their crying as the inability to believe in their own possibilities. Moshe was telling them that it was possible to fix the world. Kalev was pushing them to join in Moshe’s dream. But the people refused to believe that Moshe’s dream was a reality. According to this Ramchal anytime a person refuses to believe in the possibilities of life he is crying over nothing. Such a person is crying tears that can lead to the tragedies of Tisha B’Av.

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