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KMTT - the Torah Podcast

Jun 8, 2023

Shelach | Why Did Yehoshua and Kalev Rend Their Clothes? by Rav Yitzchak Etshalom

In addressing Yehoshua and Kalev's clothes-rending response to the people's insurrection, we examine the phenomenon of Keriat Begadim in Tanakh and its direct and consistent association with contrition. We also address a broader methodological issue of how we are often blinded to the development of characters in Tanakh as we imagine the final stanza of their life to be their lifelong refrain, imagining away development, growth, and change - for the better or for the worse. We then briefly examine the meaning of the word Efes which bridges the positive report about the land with the data about the resident nations. We then suggest a surprising approach to understanding the role of our two protagonists in the historically shattering dialogue.

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