Jews are outnumbered. At 15 million small, in terms of our physical presence and safety, we are outnumbered. Attacks on Jews around the world have dramatically increased since October 7. We are outnumbered on social media, especially since our enemy seems to have invested a lot of money in bots that spew hateful and distorted information about Jews everywhere you look. We are outnumbered on college campuses. Beacons of higher education have been infiltrated with Jew-hating propaganda.
No matter how much we try to fight the lies and disseminate truth, we are so small.
There are so many more of them.
We are so few in the world, and we have so many enemies.
As I thought these words, I realized that I was talking like the meraglim, the spies who were sent to the land of Israel during the forty years the Jews were in the dessert, in order to scope out the land and report back. Instead of coming back to say what a wonderful land they had seen, the spies got nervous. They brought back the fruits and vegetables which were all giant. They said:
The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there were of great size. We saw giants. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them. — Numbers, 13:31-33
For a brief moment, I felt a pang of despair, and like the spies, I felt hopeless. But then I remembered how the Talmud discusses the nature of the sin of the spies, and I was comforted:
When the verse says,” We are not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than us [mimmennu]” (Numbers 13:31). Do not read this as “for they are stronger than us [mimmennu]” but rather read it as: For they are stronger than Him [mimmennu]. i.e., stronger than God. They were saying, as it were, that the owner, i.e., God, cannot remove His utensils, the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael, from there. – Arachin 15
The spies’ sin wasn’t feeling that they were personally small, it was that they didn’t feel the power of the Almighty at their side.
Why should I feel insignificant and full of despair when we are the people who taught the world how a David could beat a Goliath?
Why should I feel hopeless and puny, when our tiny band of Maccabees took on the Seleucid Greek Army and won?
Why should I doubt the power of my Creator, when our heroine, Queen Esther, saved the Jews of her time from the Holocaust Haman had planned, because God was by her side?
No wonder David, the Psalmist, proclaimed, “the guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps!”
What is impossible when Hashem is with us?
He will guard your life. He will guard your going and coming now and forever.