Immediately following the sin of the spies, the Torah gives details of the drink and the flour offerings. It is difficult to perceive at first, the connection between these two Parshiyos and that of the spies. Rashi does connect them, but his explanation appears to be inadequate,as we shall now see. Commenting on the phrase "when you come into the land", Rashi explains that, although the sin of the spies had barred them from entering Eretz Yisroel, Hashem hastened to reassure them that this was only a temporary measure, and that their children were destined to enter the Promised Land and to bring the drink and the flour offerings there. However, that will only suffice to explain the phrase "when you come into the land", but not the connection between the two offerings and the spies. Moreover, what has all this to do with the mitzvah of "challah" which follows?
For that, let us turn to the Seforno (see also Ba'al ha'Turim) who gives the following explanation: Up to the time of the golden calf, all sacrifices were acceptable in the eyes of G-d, without drink or flour offerings, as we find with Hevel, No'ach and Avrohom Ovinu, all of whom sacrificed animals to Hashem, but not drink or flour offerings. Even at Har Sinai, prior to the giving of the Torah, the first-born sacrificed burnt-offerings exclusively. It was only after they had sinned by the Eigel, that drink and flour offerings were added to all communal sacrifices in order to render them worthy of acceptance.
And it was only following the sin of the spies that they were commanded, for the first time, to bring flour and wine even with their private korbonos, to render them acceptable in the eyes of Hashem. In addition, the mitzvah of 'challah' was introduced, in order to effect a blessing on the food in one's home, whereas prior to that, this had not been necessary: the brochoh could have been attained through the media of tefillah and good deeds.
In last week's Parshah, Beha'aloscho, we were given the mitzvah of Pesach Sheini one month after Pesach, for someone who was unable to bring it in its correct time. This mitzvah, the Medrash tells us, was instigated in reply to the justified complaints of people who were 'tomei meis' (impure through physical contact with dead people), and who were worried at their inability to participate in the Korban Pesach. Hashem responded by introducing this new mitzvah on their behalf. In contrast, this week's Parshah deals with the introduction of new mitzvos to offset the unjustified grumblings which, in turn, brought on a decline in their spiritual level. This decline could only be remedied by additional mitzvos, which would help the people to regain their former level.
Evidently, the lower one's spiritual level and the weaker one's faith, the more it becomes necessary to balance this with an increase in Torah and mitzvos. A case in point is Yom Kippur, where we spend the entire day in Shul in prayer, whereas in biblical times this was clearly not done, as is evident from the Gemoro's account of the girls, who would dance in the vineyards on Yom Kippur and on the 15th of Av.
Much in the same vein, our forefathers (Avrohom, Yitzchok and Ya'akov), the epitome of righteousness, attained their incredibly high levels of spirituality and fear of G-d, in spite of their seemingly 'mundane' life-style; whereas today, such superlative levels of G-dliness are only accessible as a rule, by people who immerse themselves full-time in the study of Torah.
We in turn, must learn to maintain this balance, and when we feel that we are declining, or that we are being subjected to the temptations of the outside world, then the correct procedure is to take an added dose of spirituality to help us regain or to retain our former level, much in the same way as we refuel our cars, both before a long journey and after it. (Indeed, forestalling a decline by means of a stronger tefillah, an extra shiur or by giving tzedokoh , is even better than trying to make up after it, in the same way as adjusting a heavy load on an animal's back is that much easier than to reload it once it has fallen off (Rashi, Parshas Be'Har). To maintain is easier than to regain! (A stitch in time...)

This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper, provided that this notice is included intact.

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