Thoughts from Kollel KLAL


The passuk states Moshe called Yehoshua and said כי אתה תבוא את העם הזה אל הארץ which Onkelos translates as “since you will enter with this nation into the land which Hashem promised.” Further on in the parsha it states כי אתה תביא את בני ישראל אל הארץ which Onkelos translates as, “since you will bring the Bnei Yisrael into the land which You promised.” Why does the passuk change the lashon from “תבוא, you will enter into,” to “תביא, you will bring into”?

Rashi answers that the first passuk is Moshe telling Yehoshua that the elders of the generation shall be with him, and everything will be according to their knowledge and their advice. תבוא, is saying that Yehoshua will enter Eretz Yisroel together with the elders. However, the second passuk is Hashem saying to Yehoshua, “Do differently than Moshe said. אתה תביא, you should bring them in against their will, everything is dependent on you. Take a staff and hit on their skull, there should be one leader for the generation, not two leaders.”

What is the significance of having one leader and not two? One reason is based on the Gemara which brings: people say a pot owned by two partners will not become warmed up or cooled off. The Maharsha explains the reason is because each partner will rely on the other partner to heat it up or cool it off, and in the end nothing will get done. Another reason to have one leader, is because there might be a conflict of interest between the two leaders, and it will cause division amongst Yisrael. Some of Yisrael will side with one leader, and others will side with the other leader, ending in strife. This is as HaRav Hutner zatzal advised people who started Yeshivos to have one, and only one, head.

I’d like to suggest that this concept applies to each and every individual person. The passuk states in Koheles, טוב ילד מסכן וחכם ממלך זקן וכסיל. Rashi explains the ילד, young child, refers to the yetzer hatov which comes to a person when he is 13 years old. He is wise and gives seichel to a person to go on the proper path. The מלך זקן, old king, is the yetzer hara which is placed into a person immediately when he is born. He rules over all the limbs of a person and fools a person into following his ideas. Shlomo Hamelech teaches that one should pay more attention to the yetzer tov than the yetzer hara although the yetzer hara is older and already an experienced ruler. The yetzer hatov will cause a person to follow Hashem, whereas the yetzer harah will mislead a person away from Hashem.

We see that each person has two leaders within himself called the yetzer hatov and the yetzer harah. The yezter harah constantly tries to fool us into doing bad, and the yezter tov tries to push us to do good. There is a constant ongoing battle within us that we are meant to be victorious in. The yetzer harah constantly awakens us with new cunning advice and plots to cause us to trip. There is no limit of wild ideas he can give us to cause us to stray and persuade us to side with him. By listening to the yetzer hatov and siding with him to forego the desires and interests which we should abstain from we win the battle.

May Hashem help us win our battles by constantly siding with the yetzer hatov!

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