Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Rashi to Sh'lach 13:16 notes that Moshe prayed that God save Y'hoshua from the other spies' plot. This is a paraphrase of a g'mara (Sotah 34b) which implies strongly that Moshe did not similarly pray for Kalev.

We know Kalev and Y'hoshua were the only two of the spies who did not participate in the other spies' bearing bad news about the land. (See Sh'lach chapter 13.) Presumably Moshe intuited that there was some planned wrongdoing, which explains his prayer for Y'hoshua; but why not pray for Kalev also? Is it that he thought Kalev was, like the rest of the spies, planning wrongdoing? or what?

share|improve this question
add comment

4 Answers 4

The Gur Arye explains that Y'hoshua's falling into the spies' plot would reflect poorly on Moshe, whose protege he was. This reasoning doesn't apply to Kalev.

The Avodas Yisrael explains (not in answer to this question) that Y'hoshua did not want the honor of leading the people, and wanted Moshe to retain that position. (See Rashi to B'haalos'cha 11:28.) Moshe was therefore worried Y'hoshua would do something to prevent the Jews' entering K'naan, whither Y'hoshua would be taking them. [This reasoning doesn't apply to Kalev.]

Rabbi Matis Blum, in his weekly "Torah Lodaas" sheet (5773), writes that Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky is said to have answered that Kalev was married to a righteous woman, and that would prevent his falling into the spies' plot; the same, as far as we know, was not true of Y'hoshua.

Rabbi Matis Blum, in his weekly "Torah Lodaas" sheet (5773), writes that Rav Yosef Chaver answered that Y'hoshua, who descended from Yosef who had tattled on his brothers to Yaakov, might be more inclined to speak ill of the land, so Moshe saw fit to pray specially for him.

The book Hege Yona (Jerusalem 5756), by my grandfather-in-law Rabbi Yona Munk, explains that Y'hoshua, described as tolerating everyone's personality (Rashi to Pin'chas 27:16), was of a nature to be influenced by them, whereas Kalev, described as having "a different spirit" (Sh'lach 14:24), was not.

share|improve this answer
2  
"the same, as far as we know, was not true of Y'hoshua": indeed, he may not even have been married at that point yet - we hear of him marrying Rachav decades later (Megillah 14b, bottom), but AFAIK no earlier wife of his is mentioned anywhere. –  Alex Jun 2 '13 at 16:00
1  
Similar to R' Munk's approach, I heard in the name of R' Peretz Steinberg shlita that Yehoshua's personality had been more of a passive follower, hence more of the danger. Similarly his name had begun with a heh (a feminine letter and thus more "passive"), which Moshe changed to a yud (more masculine or "active.") –  Shalom Jun 3 '13 at 16:14
    
@Alex: As you pointed out here: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/17049/603 the Talmud says he had daughters (although, as you pointed out, they may have only been born later). –  Menachem Jun 23 '13 at 23:41
    
@Menachem, the g'mara there sort of implies they were from Rachav. –  msh210 Jun 24 '13 at 0:06
    
Kalev was also the one who left the group to go to kivrei avos in Chevron, and was the one who silenced the nation when they came back - you see he was the one more willing to "go it alone" –  YEZ Jun 2 at 3:31
add comment

Rabbi Reisman brings in the name of the Chafetz Chayim a radically different explanation. He learns there are 2 ways to oppose an evil group:

  1. Battle it in the open, argue with them.
  2. Don't agree and don't disagree p publicly when no decision is necessary. Then, when a decision needs to be made, side clearly with the Truth.

Advantage of 1 is a clear conscience, but no one will attack the person in the second option - he is free to struggle with himself, and his silence greatly increases his inner enemy, but at least there is no outside attack.

Moshe predicted both Yehoshua and Kalev well - he knew Yehoshua would pick the first option (remember how he reacted to Eldad and Meidad's prophecy?) and Calev would pick the second one (notice how he keeps quiet for as long as possible, until in the very end, he is able to quiet down everyone - precisely of the stance he has taken in the past - and he joins Yehoshua, making together with him a pair of witnesses and hence a valid testimony).

So Moshe chose to daven for Yehoshua to reinforce him against the barrage from outside, while Calev had to fortify himself for the internal battle with his yetzer hara - and this is why he seeks his support from davening, one of the most powerful tools in dealing with the yetzer) and his connection to the avos.

share|improve this answer
    
But Yehoshua was the one who waited; it was Caleb who spoke immediately (13:30). Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/17042/… –  Monica Cellio Jun 5 '13 at 14:25
add comment

The Ksav Sofer connects Yehoshua's inability to speak against the Meraglim to his knowledge of Eldad and Meidad's prophecy that Moshe would die and he (Yehoshua) would bring Bnei Yisrael into the land. He also suggests the possibility that the Meraglim, being senior Nesi'im would be concerned about Yehoshua's recent rise to prominence and might have a plan (perhaps an assassination plot similar to that of Chur?) to prevent his ultimate assumption of the leadership of Bnei Yisrael. He also suggests that Yehoshua, due to his extreme humility would ultimately refuse to lead, so Moshe prayed for him. However, Kalev, learned from Yehoshua's great humility and prayed for Hashem to give him the strength to overcome the influence of the Meraglim. This implies that Kalev would have been a Meragel had he not bucked the trend and overcome the peer pressure through Divine assistance that he himself prayed for. According to all the above, Moshe would not pray for someone to not be influenced and to make the correct choice. That's up to the individual himself. He did pray for someone who he knew would never make the wrong choice but could fall prey to arm from others' wrong choices, to be protected from harm.

share|improve this answer
add comment

R. Yehoshua Ya’akov in his sefer Imrei Shefer here says that he saw in a certain sefer that since Yehoshua was descended from Yosef who spoke bad about his brothers, he was more liable than all the other spies to speak bad about Eretz Yisrael, since the character traits of the forefathers (both positive and negative) are inherited by the descendants.

As a result of this Moshe might have been suspected of deliberately sending Yehoshua in order to speak bad about Eretz Yisrael, because Eldad and Meidad had prophesized that Moshe would die and that Yehoshua would lead Yisrael into Eretz Yisrael, but if Yehoshua would speak bad about Eretz Yisrael he would punished with death and thus Moshe would continue to lead them into Eretz Yisrael.

Therefore, Moshe prayed for him that he would not speak badly about Eretz Yisrael and be saved from the evil counsel of the spies, and thus Moshe would not be suspected of foul play.

share|improve this answer
    
The Kli Yakar writes the first half of this (that Yehoshua needed special prayers as he descended from Yosef). –  Michoel Jun 11 at 22:09
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.