Shelach 5762-2002

"What's in a Name?"

Unexpectedly, the Torah spells out the names of each of the twelve leaders who were sent to represent their tribes and scout out the land of Israel. However, when we compare the names of these individuals with the names of the princes who were selected in Numbers Chapter 1 to help Moses count the tribes, we see something rather startling. The names of the princes are far more complex, and contain many more symbolisms. They are substantial names for substantial people. The names of the scouts on the other hand are very short. The names of the princes have many references to G-d. The names of the scouts have few references to G-d. What is the message that the names communicate?

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