One of the claims the spies made upon returning back to base was that the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael were ‘anshei middos’ (13:32), which is normally translated as ‘of giant proportions,’ I.e. they were giants. However, Rav Eliyahu Lopian is said to have explained this spies claim in the following way. The spies claimed that the inhabitants of the Land were refined, charming people - that they were people of good middos (character traits). The spies thought that the residents of Eretz Yisrael were such good people that HaShem would not remove them from their Land in favour of the Bnei Yisrael. But the spies were gravely mistaken. Even if these inhabitants looked like they had good middos, they were paper-thin. As has been the case with many ‘developed societies’ in the modern age, when push comes to shove these refined characters are shown to be fake and just being on the surface of the person, as opposed to being part of their character. Just because someone puts on a fake smile and says ‘please’ does not necessarily mean that they are charming on the inside at all.

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