Sh'lach, Siman 1 שלח, א׳
1 א

וַיְדַבֵּר ה' אֶל מֹשֶׁה שְׁלַח לְךָ אֲנָשִׁים וְגוֹ'. יְלַמְּדֵנוּ רַבֵּנוּ, מַהוּ לִפְרֹשׁ לַיָּם הַגָּדוֹל קֹדֶם לְשַׁבָּת שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים. כָּךְ שָׁנוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ, אֵין מַפְלִיגִין אֶת הַסְּפִינָה לַיָּם הַגָּדוֹל שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים קֹדֶם לְשַׁבָּת, בִּזְמַן שֶׁהוּא הוֹלֵךְ לְמָקוֹם רָחוֹק. אֲבָל אִם מְבַקֵּשׁ לִפְרֹשׂ כְּמוֹ מִצּוֹר לְצִידוֹן, מֻתָּר לוֹ לִפְרֹשׁ אֲפִלּוּ בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַדָּבָר יָדוּעַ, שֶׁהוּא יָכֹל לֵילֵךְ מִבְּעוֹד יוֹם. בְּמַה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים, בִּשְׁלוּחֵי הָרְשׁוּת. וְאִם הָיָה שְׁלִיחַ מִצְוָה, מֻתָּר לוֹ לִפְרֹשׁ בְּכָל יוֹם שֶׁיִּרְצֶה. לָמָּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא שְׁלִיחַ מִצְוָה, וּשְׁלִיחַ מִצְוָה דּוֹחֶה אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת. וְכֵן אַתְּ מוֹצֵא בְּסֻכָּה, שֶׁשָּׁנִינוּ, שְׁלוּחֵי מִצְוָה פְּטוּרִין מִן הַסֻּכָּה. שֶׁאֵין לְךָ חָבִיב לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא כִּשְׁלִיחַ מִצְוָה, שֶׁהוּא מִשְׁתַּלֵּחַ לַעֲשׂוֹת מִצְוָה וְנוֹתֵן נַפְשׁוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּצְלִיחַ בִּשְׁלִיחוּתוֹ. וְאֵין לְךָ בְּנֵי אָדָם שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּלְּחוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת מִצְוָה וְנוֹתְנִין נַפְשָׁם לְהַצְלִיחַ בִּשְׁלִיחוּתָן, כְּאוֹתָן שְׁנֵי שְׁלוּחִים שֶׁשָּׁלַח יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן נוּן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיִּשְׁלַח יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן נוּן וְגוֹ' (יהושע ב, א). וּמִי הָיוּ. שָׁנוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ, אֵלּוּ פִּנְחָס וְכָלֵב, וְהָלְכוּ וְנָתְנוּ נַפְשָׁם וְהִצְלִיחוּ בִּשְׁלִיחוּתָם. מַהוּ חֶרֶשׁ לֵאמֹר מְלַמֵּד, שֶׁעָשׂוּ עַצְמָן קַדָּרִין, וְהָיוּ צוֹוְחִין וְאוֹמְרִים: הֲרֵי קְדֵרוֹת, כָּל מִי שֶׁרוֹצֶה יָבֹא וְיִקְנֶה. כָּל כָּךְ לָמָּה. שֶׁלֹּא יַרְגִּישׁ בָּהֶן אָדָם. לְכָךְ כְּתִיב חֶרֶשׁ, קְרִי בֵּיהּ חֶרֶס, כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמְרוּ בְּנֵי אָדָם מְרַגְּלִים. וַיֵּלְכוּ בֵּית אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה וּשְׁמָהּ רָחָב וַיִּשְׁכְּבוּ שָׁמָּה (שם). עָמְדָה וְקִבְּלָה אוֹתָן. הִרְגִּישׁ בָּהֶן מֶלֶךְ יְרִיחוֹ וְשָׁמַע שֶׁבָּאוּ לַחְפֹּר אֶת כָּל הָאָרֶץ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיֵּאָמֵר לַמֶּלֶךְ יְרִיחוֹ לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה אֲנָשִׁים וְגוֹ' (שם פסוק ב) כֵּיוָן שֶׁהָלְכוּ לְבַקְּשָׁם, מֶה עָשְׂתָה רָחָב, נָטְלָה אוֹתָם לְהַטְמִינָם. אָמַר לָהּ פִּנְחָס, אֲנִי כֹּהֵן, וְהַכֹּהֲנִים נִמְשְׁלוּ לַמַּלְאָכִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: כִּי שִׂפְתֵי כֹהֵן יִשְׁמְרוּ דַּעַת וְתוֹרָה יְבַקְּשׁוּ מִפִּיהוּ כִּי מַלְאָךְ ה' צְבָאוֹת הוּא (מלאכי ב, ז). וְהַמַּלְאָךְ רוֹצֶה נִרְאֶה, רוֹצֶה אֵינוֹ נִרְאֶה. וְכֵן הַנְּבִיאִים נִמְשְׁלוּ לְמַלְאָכִים. שֶׁכָּךְ הוּא אָמַר בְּמֹשֶׁה, וַיִּשְׁלַח מַלְאָךְ וַיּוֹצִיאֵנוּ (במדבר כ, טז). וְכִי מַלְאָךְ הָיָה, וַהֲלֹא מֹשֶׁה הָיָה. אֶלָּא מִכָּאן, שֶׁהַנְּבִיאִים נִקְרְאוּ מַלְאָכִים. וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר, וַיַּעַל מַלְאָךְ ה' מִן הַגִּלְגַּל אֶל הַבּוֹכִים, וַיֹּאמֶר אֶעֱלֶה אֶתְכֶם מִמִּצְרַיִם וְגוֹ' (שופטים ב, א). וַהֲלֹא פִּנְחָס הָיָה. אֶלָּא מִכָּאן, שֶׁנִּקְרְאוּ הַנְּבִיאִים מַלְאָכִים. וְכֵן אַתְּ מוֹצֵא בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁל מָנוֹחַ, שֶׁאָמְרָה, אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים בָּא אֵלַי וּמַרְאֵהוּ כְּמַרְאֵה מַלְאַךְ הָאֱלֹהִים נוֹרָא (שם יג, ו). וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר, וַיֹּאמֶר חַגַּי מַלְאַךְ ה' בְּמַלְאֲכוּת ה' לָעָם לֵאמֹר (חגי א, יג). הָא לָמַדְתָּ, שֶׁנִּקְרְאוּ הַנְּבִיאִים מַלְאָכִים. וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר. וַיִּהְיוּ מַלְעִיבִים בְּמַלְאֲכֵי הָאֱלֹהִים וּבוֹזִים דְּבָרָיו (דה״‎ב, לו). לְפִיכָךְ אָמַר לָהּ פִּנְחָס, אֲנִי כֹּהֵן, כְּשֶׁאֲנִי רוֹצֶה נִרְאֶה, וּכְשֶׁאֲנִי רוֹצֶה אֵינִי נִרְאֶה. וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁלֹּא הִטְמִינָה אֶלָּא לְכָלֵב. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַתִּקַּח הָאִשָּׁה אֶת שְׁנֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים וַתִּצְפְּנוֹ (יהושע ב, ד). וְתִצְפְּנֵם אֵינוֹ אוֹמֵר כָּאן, אֶלָּא וַתִּצְפְּנוֹ. לְלַמֶּדְךָ, כַּמָּה נָתְנוּ עַצְמָן שְׁנֵי צַדִּיקִים אֵלּוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת שְׁלִיחוּתָן. אֲבָל שְׁלוּחִין שֶׁשָּׁלַח מֹשֶׁה, הָיוּ רְשָׁעִים. מִנַּיִן, מִמַּה שֶּׁקָּרְאוּ בָּעִנְיָן וְהָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר שָׁלַח מֹשֶׁה לָתוּר אֶת הָאָרֶץ, וַיָּשׁוּבוּ וַיָּלִינוּ עָלָיו אֶת כָּל הָעֵדָה לְהוֹצִיא דִּבָּה עַל הָאָרֶץ. הֱוֵי, שְׁלַח לְךָ אֲנָשִׁים.

(Numb. 13:1-2:) “Then the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, ‘Send men to explore the land of Canaan.’” Let our master instruct us: Is it permitted to set sail on the Great Sea (i.e., the Mediterranean) three days before the Sabbath?1Numb. R. 16:1. Thus have our masters taught (in Shab. 19a): One does not set sail in a ship on the Great Sea three days before the Sabbath, when one wants to go to a distant place. If, however, one desires to set sail from Tyre to Sidon, for example, it is permitted for one to set sail even on the Sabbath eve, because it is a known fact that one can go [there] while it is still daylight. Now these words concern agents with freedom of action; but in the case of agents for [carrying out] a commandment, it is permitted for [such a] one to set sail on whatever day he wants. Why? Because he is an agent for [carrying out] a commandment, and an agent for [carrying out] a commandment overrides the Sabbath. And so you find with reference to the sukkah that they have taught (in Suk. 2:4), “Agents for [carrying out] a religious duty are exempted from [the requirements of] the sukkah.”2Suk. 25a (bar). You have none so dear to the Holy One, blessed be He, as an agent, when he is sent to carry out a religious duty and is risking his life to succeed in it. And you have none who were sent to carry out a religious duty and who risked their lives to succeed in their mission like those two whom Joshua ben Nun sent. Thus it is stated (in Josh. 2:1), “Then Joshua ben Nun sent two spies [from Shittim secretly, saying]….” Who were they? Our masters have taught, “These were Phinehas and Caleb.” They had gone and risked their lives in order to be successful in their mission. What is the implication of secretly (heresh), saying? That they made themselves out to be potters and cried, “Here are pots. Whoever wants [some], let him come and buy.” [Their ruse was] so that no one would notice them. Hence secretly (heresh) is written [in this verse, but] read it [as] clay (heres), (from which pots are made). [They had made themselves out to be potters] lest people say that they were spies. (Ibid., cont.:) “So they went and came to the house of a woman who was a harlot whose name was Rahab […].” She arose and received them. The king of Jericho became aware of them and heard that they had come to investigate the whole land, as stated (in vs. 2), “But it was told the king of Jericho [….].” When they came to look for them, what did Rahab do? She took them away to hide them. Phinehas said to her, “I am a priest, and the priests are comparable to the angels (mal'akhim), as stated (in Mal. 2:7), “For the lips of a priest preserve knowledge, and they seek Torah from his mouth, because he is a messenger (mal'akh) of the Lord of hosts.” Now an angel desiring [to be visible] is visible; and one desiring [to be invisible] is not visible. And the prophets are also comparable to angels. As so is it stated about Moshe (in Numb. 20:16), “and he sent a messenger (mal'akh) who brought us out of Egypt.” And was it an angel? And was he not Moses? Hence the prophets are likened to angels (mal'akhim). And so too is it stated (in Jud. 2:1), “An angel (mal'akh) of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim and said, ‘I brought you up from Egypt…” And was he not Phinehas? It is simply that from here [it is shown] that the prophets are called angels. And so do you find with the wife of Manoah, as she said (in Jud. 13:6), “A man of God came to me; he looked like an angel (mal'akh) of God, very frightening.” And it likewise states (in Hag. 1:13), “And Hagai, the messenger (mal'akh) of God, spoke in the mission of the Lord to the people, saying.” Hence you have learned that the prophets were called angels. And it likewise states (in II Chron. 36:16), “And they mocked the messengers of God and disdained His words.” Hence Phinehas said to her, “I am a priest, when I desire [to be visible] I am visible; and when I desire [to be invisible], I am not visible. Now where is it shown that [Rahab] had only hidden Caleb? Where it is stated (in Josh. 2:4), “So the woman took the two men and concealed him.” It does not say, “hid them,” but rather “hid him3Him is a literal translation of the Masoretic text.” [This is] to teach you how much these two righteous men risked themselves to fulfill their mission. But the agents whom Moses sent were wicked. Where is it shown? From what they have read on the matter (in Numb. 14:36), “As for the men whom Moses sent to scout the land, those who came back and caused the whole community to mutter against Him by spreading calumnies about the land.” Ergo (in Numb. 13:2) “Send men.”