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Actually, the punishment was made lenient by being spread over the next forty years so that the people (between 20 and 60) would not die at once. As stated by many people including the Kli Yakar and Rav Hirsch as I explain in Why were the Jews punished for 40 years if the spies were the ones who were there for 40 days? The punishment was that all those who ...


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This article offers an insight: The reason why the punishment here is seemingly so harsh is because of the gravity of the sin of lashon hara that lashon hara drags back previous sins and makes one get punished more stringently for those too. Thus, via the lashon hara Bnei Yisrael did not just get punished for this sin, but in essence for parts of ...



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