Dvar Torah Shelach 2002 – 5762 דבר תורה שלח

When the MERAGLIM came back from the Land of Israel and gave their negative report, Yehoshua and Calev tried to calm the people. The people’s reaction, however, was to try to stone them. This reminds me of a story I once saw about a Rabbi who was giving a sermon and in one place he had a sentence underlined in red and next to it he wrote, “Shout here, argument weak.”

This is human nature. When two people are arguing about a subject, if one feels he is losing the argument he starts to raise his voice and use other means. The feeling is that the louder you get, the more convincing you are. That is what happened with Yehoshua and Calev. The people could not contradict their statements and saw they were losing ground so they started throwing stones.

When we discuss a subject with our friends we should see that our arguments are good and accurate. If we see we are starting to shout, we should start thinking that what we are saying may not be too convincing and we are resorting to a louder voice to make up for what we are missing.

This is what Chazal meant when they said, DIVRE CHACHAMIM BENACHAT NISHMA’IM, the words of the wise are heard calmly. There is no need to shout or to use names to prove a point. If you are right, the argument itself is sufficient.

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