Singer Shuli Rand was once asked in an interview if he was a Jewish missionary since he sings about faith, prayer, and G-d.
Rand replied: “Of course I’m a missionary, but so are you. And Static and Ben-El [a famous Israeli pop duo] – aren’t they missionaries? Everyone has a message they’re trying to convey with every word they say. But I’m the only one who’s asked whether I’m a missionary.”
This week’s parshah teaches us that there is almost no such thing as objectivity. We are all subjective. All of us speak from our own world of values. Twelve spies went to Eretz Yisrael and returned with two opposing conclusions. Ten spies claimed the nation must return to Egypt because there was no chance it would make it into Eretz Yisrael; only two tried to convince the nation it was worthwhile to go forward.
Who was “right”? The answer to this question depends, of course, on who you are and with what glasses you look at reality. Despite G-d’s promises, some chose hopelessness and cynicism while others clung to faith and hopefulness.
Our commentators consider the sin of the spies to be a fundamental sin – perhaps because it lurks amongst us even now. We are all missionaries. The question is: missionaries with what values?