Parshas Shelach – The Three Sons of the Giant

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As the Meraglim set off in this week’s Parsha, there are two groups. Ten of the spies go with the intention of denigrating the Land and remaining in the desert[1]. But Yehoshua and Calev realize what their intentions are and do what they can to not be influenced by the others. Yehoshua’s name is changed by Moshe, that HaShem should save him. (See this piece about the names of Yehoshua). Based on the Gemarra, Rashi teaches us[2] that Calev travels to Chevron to daven at the graves of the Avos, that he should be saved from the evil plans of the other spies.

When the Pasuk describes Chevron[3], it tells us that Chevron was built seven years prior to the construction of the playground of the kings of Egypt; and that is was the home of the sons of the Anak – the giant; Achiman, Sheishai, and Talmai. The Gemarra teaches that these names were not just the names that they were called, but they are a description of who they were. But why should the Gemarra look for these names to have meaning, maybe they are just names?

The Maharal explains[4] the reasoning behind the Gemarra’s explaining the names. If you examine the order of the Pasuk, it first says the names of the sons, and then says they were the sons of the Anak. If the point was just that Chevron was a place that had a tremendous impact on its inhabitants that it grew giants, and that Eretz Yisroel was a unique land, then the important factor was they were giants the sons of a giant. If so the Pasuk would have said, “The children of giants, whose names were …”. But if these three were themselves important, independent of being the sons of giants, then it would first say their names, and only then that they were the sons of the giant. Therefore, since it is written in the second way, it is saying that they are significant. But, since we have never before seen anything else special about them, then their importance must lie in something about them. Since the only thing we know about them are their names, then the meaning of their names must be what is important. Therefore, we have to understand the meanings of the names. (I am not sure how this Maharal impacts all other places where Chazal explain the meanings of names.)

The names of the sons were Achiman, Sheishai, and Talmai. Says the Gemarra[5]: Achiman was called by this name because he was the most skilled among his brothers. Sheshai was called by his name because he would turn the land that he treaded upon into ditches. Talmai was called this because he would turn the land that he treaded upon into furrows upon furrows.

But looking deeper into the Gemarra, we see another layer of meaning. The meaning of Achiman is from the word ‘right’. Sheshai if described as being from the word ‘destruction’. And Talmai is as furrowing, which is destruction to build, as one plows, and is seemingly ripping up the land, but it is in order to plant.

The Shem Mishmuel brings from R’ Chaim Vital[6], that these three unusual people are the inverse of the Avos. The Avos represent the three Midos – attributes of Chesed, Din, and Tiferes. This structure of three is one of the most basic structures of the Avos. Without going into it in depth, Chazal teach this idea in numerous places.

Avrohom is Chesed, in his giving to everyone, and using that to publicize the name of HaShem in the world. Yitzchak is Din, giving himself to the Shechita knife of Avrohom, and accepting the decree and judgment of HaShem. Yakov is Emes which is the beauty and glory of complete balance-Tiferes –  between the competing ideas of Chesed and Din.

Chesed, giving and kindness is designated as the right. That is Achiman, whom the Gemarra describes as being from the right. Din is judgment, but when misused it is destruction. That is Sheshai, who is described as destroying. And Talmai plows. That is to do something that seems destructive for a correct purpose. That is Tiferes, which is the balance between the two other attributes.

That is obviously why they are found in Chevron. Chevron is the resting place of the Avos. But even more, the Mishnah says that we mention Chevron in the daily Avoda in the Bais HaMikdosh to remind HaShem of the merit of the Avos. Our ownership of Eretz Yisroel is from the promise given by HaShem to the Avos.

But before that promise is fulfilled, while Eretz Yisroel is under the control of Canaan, there are anti-Avos. The nations of Canaan resist the entrance of the Klal Yisroel, through the impurity of the anti-Avos. When they control the Land the power of the Avos is nullified. They personify the attributes of the Avos, but in the inverse.

That is why they are called “Anshei Midos”[7]. The Avos are described as exemplifying the Midos of HaShem. Each one took one of the Midos of HaShem and brought it into this world. These people are the opposite. They took these Midos and misused them. Avrohom had the Midah of Chesed. This is to reach out and connect with people. However, in the incorrect way, that is to have no boundaries. Possibly, Achiman was the Midah of Canaan that is described as a land of licentiousness[8]. That is Chesed without boundaries. And so too the others are the incorrect Midos.

This idea is hinted to in the Zohar[9]. Rav Yitzchak describes Calev’s thoughts as he travels with the other Meraglim. He contemplates, “Yehoshua has the Bracha of Moshe, but what will save me?” Therefore, he goes to the graves of The Avos. But who can brave the three sons of the Anak, and enter the Cave of Machpelah? But the Shechina enters the cave with Calev, to inform the Avos that the time has arrived to bring their children to the land that Hashem promised them.

We see here, that Shechina was not entering the Cave only to save Calev, but to tell the Avos that the time has come to bring their children back home. But the children of the Anak are blocking the way to the Avos. It takes a Calev to clear the path for the Avos to enable the conquest of the Land. We see the Anakim are the anti-Avos who stand in the path of the promise to the Avos that their children will inherit the land. To do this they have to the counter-Avos.

The GR”A takes this to another level[10]. The three children of the Anak do not only represent the first barrier to the entry to Eretz Yisroel. They together with their father are also the final barrier to the ultimate return to the Land. They represent the four Galuyos which exile us from the Land.

Chevron is also called Kiryat Arba, because there are four couples buried there. They are the three Avos and Imahos, and Adam and Chava. Similarly, there are four opposite to them in impurity. Three we already explained. The fourth is the Anak himself. According to the GRA’s approach, the Anak would be corresponding to Adam. How does that work?

How do we expand the previous part idea of three Avos, to include the fourth level? In many places, the first three Galuyos correspond to the Avos, and the fourth is Dovid. The first three Galuyos are the three kingdoms of Bavel, Paras UMadai, and Yaven. But the forth which is Edom is its own unique Galus. Each of the first three corresponds to one of the cardinal sins; Avoda Zara, Gilui Aroyos, and Shefichos Damim[11]. Those are the anti-Midos of the Avos[12].

Edom is something different. It is the power of speech, of Loshon HaRa. Against him stands Dovid. Edom is the anti-Dovid. They are both Admoni-red. But Edom is with no boundaries, he kills wantonly. Dovid only kills according to the Halacha[13].

That is the battle of Dovid. Dovid is attacked all of his life by slanderers of various types. He is ignored by his brothers; accused of being unfit for entry into Klal Yisroel because he descends from Moab; or accused of adultery in the incident of Bat Sheva. As Dovid says in Tehillim[14], “What is the profit, a false tongue. The arrows of a warrior are sharp”. These are his adversaries. His response is to overcome this by using his power of speech to praise HaShem.

I would like to bring two examples of Edom misusing speech. The first is Eisav himself who uses his power of asking questions of Torah to try to mislead his father[15]. The second is in one of the visions of Daniel[16]. First, he describes the three Galuyos. But Edom is described as a small horn, but which speaks significantly. This is the power of his speech to rule the world.

The final Galus of Edom is because of Loshan Hara[17]. Dovid/Moshiach is the one who will redeem us.

The three sons are the Midos of the Avos, as we explained. But the father – Anak is the anti-Dovid. Anak is the source of all the others. In the context of Kiryat Arba, Adam is the fourth of couples buried there. Adam is Dovid. As is well known, Dovid is the missing seventy years of Adam[18]. Also, Dovid is the completion of Adam. He brings into to the world Moshiach ben Dovid. Moshiach is to finish what Adam started and did not complete. That is what Chazal reveal that the three letters that spell Adam, are Adam, Dovid, Moshiach[19]. Adam is the source of all, therefore the parallel is the father Anak. Therefore, he is the Galus of Edom, as being against Adam/Dovid. which includes all the others.

We see this idea that that the fourth Malchus includes all the others, in the battle of Avrohom against the four kings, by Sedom. The four kings are described in the Midrash as opposing Avrohom, just like the four kingdoms will oppose Klal Yisroel. The fourth is Tidal the king of Goyim. The Midrash says[20] he is the one who directs all the other nations. That is Anak, the source, and the opposite is Moshiach who will bring the entire world to recognize Hashem.

These are two levels of understanding a seemingly simple and almost negligible few words in the Torah.

[1] רש”י על במדבר פרק יג כו) וילכו ויבואו – (סוטה לד) מהו וילכו להקיש הליכתן לביאתן מה ביאתן בעצה – רעה אף הליכתן בעצה רעה:

[2] רש”י על במדבר פרק יג פסוק כב (כב) ויבא עד חברון – (סוטה לד) כלב לבדו הלך שם ונשתטח על קברי אבות – לא יהא ניסת לחבריו להיות בעצתם וכן הוא אומר (דברים א) ולו אתן את הארץ אשר דרך בה וכתיב (שופטים א) – ויתנו לכלב את חברון:

[3] במדבר פרק יג – (כב) וַיַּעֲלוּ בַנֶּגֶב וַיָּבֹא עַד חֶבְרוֹן וְשָׁם אֲחִימָן שֵׁשַׁי וְתַלְמַי יְלִידֵי הָעֲנָק וְחֶבְרוֹן שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים נִבְנְתָה לִפְנֵי צֹעַן מִצְרָיִם:

[4] ספר חדושי אגדות חלק שני עמוד סט – מסכת סוטה (שם). ושם אחימן ששי ותלמי ילידי הענק אחימן מיומן – באחיו וכו’: – מיומן שבאחיו וכו’. מדכתיב ושם אחימן וגו’, כאלו ידוע מי הם ולא נזכרו בשום מקום, והוי ליה למכתב – ושם ילידי הענק אחימן ששי ותלמי, ואי כתב הכי הוי פירושו שהכתוב בא להודיע לך כי היה שם ילידי הענק ואגב זה מזכיר הכתוב שמותם, אבל עתה מזכיר אותם בשמותם ולא נזכרו בשום מקום, ולפיכך אמר כי השם מורה על עצמם. ולפירוש (רבינו חננאל) [ד”א אחימן] בנה גת ונודעים אלו הענקים ע”י שכל אחד ואחד בנה מקום, ולפיכך מפורסמים היו בזה:

[5] סוטה דף לד/ב – ושם אחימן ששי ותלמי וגו’ אחימן מיומן שבאחיו ששי שמשים את הארץ כשחתות תלמי שמשים את הארץ תלמים תלמים

[6] ספר שם משמואל – פרשת שלח – שנת תרע”ב ונראה דהנה איתא ברח”ו שלעומת אברהם יצחק יעקב בקדושה – יו אחימן ששי ותלמי בקליפה, …ואם כי אין לנו עסק בנסתרות, יש לבאר הדברים עפ”י פשוטו. דהנה איתא אברהם – לקח צד ימין בטהרה יצחק צד שמאל בטהרה, … היינו למשל אחימן היתה לו מדת החסד וכו’ ומעתה יובן מה שאמרו המרגלים אנשי מדות, היינו שמצאו בהם מדות כגון מדת החסד לאחימן, אבל לא דקדקו אחריהם אם המדה היא בטהרתה כנ”ל

[7] ספר שם משמואל – פרשת שלח – שנת תרע”ב – ומעתה יובן מה שאמרו המרגלים אנשי מדות, היינו שמצאו בהם דות כגון מדת החסד לאחימן, אבל לא דקדקו אחריהם אם המדה היא בטהרתה כנ”ל, ואולי מחמת שנטלו לעצמם – עצה רעה והכתוב קראם רשעים אין כ”כ פלא אם טחו מראות עיניהם שלא להשכיל עד מצוי המדות, וע”כ אמרו אנשי מדות:

[8] ספר ויקרא פרק יח – (ג) …וּכְמַעֲשֵׂה אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי מֵבִיא אֶתְכֶם שָׁמָּה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ וּבְחֻקֹּתֵיהֶם לֹא תֵלֵכוּ: …(ו) אִישׁ אִישׁ אֶל כָּל שְׁאֵר בְּשָׂרוֹ לֹא תִקְרְבוּ לְגַלּוֹת עֶרְוָה אֲנִי יְדֹוָד:

[9] זוהר חלק ג דף קנח/ב – רבי יצחק אמר, מאן דהוה רשים מכלהו, דא עאל בגוויה, דביה תליא כלא, ותא חזי, מאן וא תקיף משאר אחרנין דיכיל לאעלא תמן, דהא כתיב ושם אחימן ששי ותלמי, ומדחילו דילהון מאן יכיל לאעלאה – במערתא, אלא שכינתא עאלת תמן בכלב, לבשרא לאבהן, דהא מטא זמנא לאעלא בנייהו לארעא, דאומי לון קודשא בריך הוא, ודא הוא ויבא עד חברון:

[10] פירוש הגר”א לספרא דצניעותא – פרק ה – והן ארבע ענקים שע”ש נקרא חברון קרית ארבע האדם הגדול בענקים ימן ששי ותלמי ואביהם כידוע. והן באתר דאתפרש גנתא ולכך ארבע מלכיות שכנגדן …וארו כו’ כבר אנש אתא – – משיח בכללא דאדם מלכות שמים כלל אדם. וחיה הרביעית שקול נגד הכל כמ”ש במ”ר והוא נגד דמות אדם שכולל הכל.

[11] ספר שפת אמת – בראשית – פרשת וישב – שנת [תרמ”ו] –  ומול זה הי’ הג’ מלכיות. בבל ע”ז צלמא די דהבא. מדי ש”ד להשמיד להרג. יון ג”ע. ומלכות הרביעית הוא לה”ר ושנאת חנם ששקול נגד הג’ עבירות כמ”ש חז”ל

[12] שער הפסוקים – פרשת ויגש – אדה”ר נתגלגל בג’ אבות, ולכן נקראים אבות, על שם האב הראשון שהוא אדה”ר. נתבאר בספר התיקונין, בתיקון ס”ט וע’, כי נפשו של אדם נתגלגלה באברהם. ורוחו, ביצחק. ונשמתו, ביעקב. גם – נתבאר בר”מ, בפרשת קדושים, כי אברהם תקן עון ע”ז. ויצחק תקון עון ש”ד. ויעקב, תקן עון ג”ע.

[13] ילקוט שמעוני בראשית – פרק כה – רמז קי – וכיון שראה שמואל את דוד אדום דכתיב וישלח ויביאהו והוא אדמוני מיד נתירא אמר אף זה שופך דמים כעשו א”ל הקב”ה עם יפה עינים עשו מדעת עצמו הוא הורג אבל זה מדעת סנהדרין הוא הורג.

[14] ספר תהילים פרק קכ – (ג) מַה יִּתֵּן לְךָ וּמַה יֹּסִיף לָךְ לָשׁוֹן רְמִיָּה: (ד) חִצֵּי גִבּוֹר שְׁנוּנִים עִם גַּחֲלֵי רְתָמִים:

[15] רש”י על בראשית פרק כה – (כח) בפיו – כתרגומו בפיו של יצחק ומדרשו בפיו של עשו שהיה צד אותו ומרמהו בריו:- –

[16] ספר דניאל פרק ז – (ח) מִשְׂתַּכַּל הֲוֵית בְּקַרְנַיָּא וַאֲלוּ קֶרֶן אָחֳרִי זְעֵירָה סִלְקָת בֵּינֵיהֵון \{בֵּינֵיהֵן\} וּתְלָת מִן קַרְנַיָּא דְמָיָתָא אֶתְעֲקַרָו \{אֶתְעֲקַרָה\} מִן קֳדָמַיהּ \{קֳדָמַהּ\} וַאֲלוּ עַיְנִין כְּעַיְנֵי אֲנָשָׁא בְּקַרְנָא דָא וּפֻם מְמַלִּל רַבְרְבָן:- –

[17] גלות אדום ג”כ עבור חטא לשון הרע המרקד בינינו

[18] ילקוט שמעוני בראשית – פרק ה – רמז מא – הראהו דוד חיים חקוקין לו ג’ שעות אמר לפניו רבונו של עולם לא הא – תקנה לזה אמר כך עלתה במחשבה לפני א”ל כמה שני חיי א”ל אלף שנים א”ל יש מתנה ברקיע א”ל הן א”ל ע’ שנים משנותי יהיו למזל זה

[19] ספר מגלה עמוקות על התורה – פרשת וישלח –  אד”ם נוטריקן “אדם “דוד “משיח –

[20] רמב”ן על בראשית פרק יד פסוק א – ותדעל מלך גוים, זו מלכות אדום שהיא מכתבת טירוניא מכל אומות העולם:

One thought on “Parshas Shelach – The Three Sons of the Giant

  1. please upload at

    On Thu, Jun 20, 2019 at 6:35 PM Torah Thoughts from Rabbi Zave Rudman wrote:

    > rzave posted: “Download as Word As the Meraglim set off in this week’s > Parsha, there are two groups. Ten of the spies go with the intention of > denigrating the Land and remaining in the desert[1]. But Yehoshua and Calev > realize what their intentions are and do what they” >

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