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What Happens Whern We Don't Have Faith

Posted on 05/31/2013 @ 11:02 AM

In this week’s parsha, Shelach Lecha, Moses sends twelve “spies” out on a journey to survey the land of Canaan, which God ultimately wants the Jews to inhabit. All but two come back with news that, as promised, the land is filled with milk and honey, but inhabited by giants. They say “WE cannot overcome them” and in doing so spread fear throughout the rest of the Jews.

When the Jews cry out that they, as a group, cannot overcome the might of Canaan’s inhabitants, what are they saying? They are questioning their abilities to inhabit the land promised to them by God. They do not have faith that God can help lead them through times of challenge, to overcome the giants and take control of the land promised to them. As a result they are punished for their questioning, forbidden to enter the land, doomed to wander the desert for 40 years until everyone who lost faith has died.

How much do we miss out on when we question our own or others’ abilities? Sometimes in life we have to take a leap of faith, or put our trust in others. As BBYO staff we give our teens the tools to plan and implement great programs, but at the end of the day they have to be the ones to make things happen. We work with our advisors to ensure they feel confident leading their chapters to greatness, but we are not always there when chapter programs happen. Having faith and relinquishing control are hard things to do.

Of course, it’s impossible to really know how much I have missed out on, but I’d imagine that if I made a list of all the time I didn’t have faith in myself, or those around me, I’d be faced with a long line of opportunities lost – from first dates to job opportunities to empowering athletic accomplishments. The ancient Israelites missed out on the promised land. While hopefully we haven’t missed anything quite that dramatic, surely our lives have been altered by lost faith. I challenge you to take the next opportunity to have faith in yourself, or in someone else, and see what happens.

This Shabbat Message was faithfully crafted by Aleeza Lubin, Director of Jewish Enrichment, Midwest Hub

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