Category Archives: Shelach

Parshas Shelach

And Moshe called (changed the name of) Hoshaiya ben Nun (to) Yehoshua

On this possuk Rashi comments ‘Yud– “Hay” (the first two letter of Hashem’s name are “yud” and “hay“) should save you from taking part in the evil plans of the Spies.” 

On the surface it appears that Moshe davvened that Hashem (Yud Kay Vuv Kay) should save Yehoshua from the bad influence of the other spies. Even though that according to Rashi, Moshe only mentioned the first two letters of Hashem’s name he really davvened to and concentrated on the full Name of Hashem.

Zera Shimshon asks that if this was the case why wasn’t it enough to write only the first letter, “Yud” instead of the first two letters. And even more difficult, in actuality Moshe only added one letter- “yud” to his name and not “Yud Hay“! 

Another question; why didn’t Moshe Rabeinu davven that Kalev will also be saved?

He answers that the the letters “Yud” and “Hay” that Rashi mentions are not an abbreviation of Hashem’s whole name. Rather “Yud” and “Hay” is one of Hashem’s names (we mention this Name of Hashem in the Shabbos Zemiros– “Kah Ribon Olam). 

He explains that Moshe chose specifically this name to refer to Hashem for the following reason. The Zohar explains that the spies were really very righteous people. The reason, though, that they spoke bad about Eretz Yisroel and persuaded all of Clal Yisroel not to want to enter Eretz Yisorel was because they suffered from  haughtiness and a craving to feel superior. The Zohar explains that  even though they were the heads of their respective tribes in the Desert, they were afraid that when they would enter Eretz Yisroel, Moshe would appoint others to take over their positions and that they would lose their special status. To keep their special status they tried their best to stay in the Desert as long as possible!

Moshe Rabeinu, who was the most humble of all people, was sure that his closest student, Yehoshua, learned from him and internalized the trait of humility. He wasn’t sure though that the others, including Kalev were truly humble.

The Kabbalists point out that the gematria of Hashem’s Name “Yud Hay” is fifteen which is the same gematria of the Hebrew word for haughtiness- “ga’avah“. This teaches us, they explain, that this Name of Hashem doesn’t rest on, stay with, and protect haughty people.

According to this, explains Zera Shimshon, Moshe didn’t actually davven to Hashem (through H.s manifestation in the name “YudHay“) to save Yehushua. Rather Moshe added the “Yud” to his name just to mention  that since Yehoshua was humble then it logically follows that Hashem (through H.s manifestation in the name “YudHay“) should be with him  and that H. should save him!

Therefore there was no need to add both letters to Yehoshua’s name. Since the “Yud Kay” was only to allude to Yehoshua’s humbleness  it was enough to add only the “Yud” since his name begins with a “Hay“. 

This is also why Moshe didn’t add any letter to the name of Kalev. Moshe didn’t know if Kalev was truly humble or not, since he wasn’t a very close student. 
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