God has a hissy fit. The Israelites have lost faith, yet again, in themselves, in God, in Israel. And God is pissed. Moses convinces God not to kill all of the Israelites (and he creates a remarkably good argument…it’s worth reading). At first, this seemed like the sum total of the parsha, so I went online to see what others think. There’s always so much more to Torah than I can read on my own. I need to spend more time at Torah study…this does truly need to be turned over and over.
There’s an awful lot to chew on. “First do, then believe”. There’s a saying I use with my kids: “fake it till you make it”. It’s an AA saying I think. As much as we think we know everything, we don’t. Whether you believe in God or don’t, sometimes faith is required just to get through the day. Faith and preparation.
I’m dealing with this daily right now. It was scary to quit my job, especially in this impossible economy. But the job wasn’t working with my life, so here I am. My faith in myself told me I could make this work. But faith alone won’t get it done. Doing the preparation: making phone calls, marketing myself like mad, sending emails daily, looking for excuses to connect with people in my business. Faith is great, but if I just sat around having faith that a job would fall into my lap, most likely no job would ever fall into my lap. I have to do the work, prepare. Do and then believe. The two together make up faith, but doing has to come first.
The Israelite spies looked at the big picture and freaked out. They were paralyzed and couldn’t “do”, so they lost faith. When I look around, I see this everywhere. Sometimes the job is too big, but paralysis is never the answer. Baby steps are the answer. Do and then believe. That is faith.
That’s why God wants us to wear tzitzit I think. It’s a reminder to do.