Is Kaleiv successful?
Ostensibly, it seems like a silly question. The Meraglim
bequeath us the tragic legacy of Tisha B'av. We are
Yet, our visceral negative response may overlook a
nuanced picture of accomplishment, even when followed
by ultimate failure; mortal man finds it hard to
escape a result-based evaluation; he who dwells in
the world of the bottom line may relegate anything
short-lived as a pyrrhic and unimportant victory.
Thankfully - God sees it differently; A Divine world is
not only about the bottom line; moments matter.
 In Talmudic terminology, Hashem does not deny
reward from any creature
Thus to suggest that Kaleiv's momentary Kiddush Hashem
of infusing hope and strength precisely when the
Meraglim insinuate gloom and doom (they are fortifies
cities and by the way, Amalek lives here) is
monumental - is both plausible and compelling. Consider:
Who can grasp the hugeness of a moment that turns an
entire nation into believers ? [even as the Meraglim
finally foist their myth of Kanaanite invincibility upon
a willing to believe masses]
A simple Ibn Ezra based proof demonstrates this notion:
But as for My servant Caleb, since he was possessed
by another spirit, and he followed Me, I will bring him
to the land to which he came, and his descendants will
drive it[s inhabitants] out.
Two questions; a. why is Yehoshua not mentioned here? b.
other than admission into the land [which is not per se
a reward] , what does Yehoshua receive for his reward?
For Ramban, Yehoshua's omission is a matter of
propriety; Yehoshua's reward is certainly great:
And Yehoshua's reward was not mentioned it is not
worthy to mention it right now for he is to replace
For Ibn Ezra, however, Kaleiv seems to get something
extra - for he achieved that which Yehoshua did not:
He mentioned him alone because he quieted the people
From Ibn Ezra, the notion is clear: every moment
matters. A similar momentary Kiddush Hashem notion
emerges in a most unexpected location: In the text
immediately preceding the splitting of the sea [Shemos,
v'chizakti es leiv paroh v'radaf achareihem ....
v'yadu mitzrayim ki ani Hashem - Hashem will
harden/strengthen Paroh's heart in order to glorify via
Paroh and so
that Mitzrayim shall know that I am Hashem
But did not these Egyptians die? Ibn Ezra words
those that remained and those that drowned
[shall know] before their death.
2. One final point: Wherein lies the power of Kaleiv's
momentary triumph ?
First, note the dysfunctionality of the Meraglim/Kaleiv
exchange; herein lies , lies a key
The Meraglim say:
27. They told him and said, "We came to the land to
which you sent us, and it is flowing with milk and
honey, and this is its fruit.
the people who inhabit the land are mighty, and the
cities are extremely huge and fortified, and there we
saw even the offspring of the giant
The Amalekites dwell in the
south land, while the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the
Amorites dwell in the mountainous region. The Canaanites
dwell on the coast and alongside the Jordan."
The people are demoralized - for ostensibly the
Kanaanites are just too strong.
30. Caleb silenced the people to [hear about] Moses,
and he said, "We can[yachol nuchal] surely go
up and take possession of it, for we can indeed overcome
Remarkably, Kaleiv does not address any of the essential
Meraglim's claim of Kanaanite invincibility. Yet he is
so successful, that the Meraglim feel the need to rebut:
31. But the men who went up with him said, "We are
unable to go up against the people, for they are
stronger than we.
Wherein Kaleiv's power? Perhaps, it is Kaleiv's use of a
word that appears only this one time in the Torah and
never again; that is [the full spelling of the word]
yachol [ability]. [Note as well that this is
the word the Meraglim feel compelled to respond to] It
is almost as if Kaleiv is saying to the people. It's not
about them. YOU can do it. If you dig deep down and tap
into your full kochos, you have the potential to
accomplish unbelievable things
Kaleiv realizes that root of the problem lies not in the
objective reality of external power; rather it is found
within, in the puny self perception of the nation. One's
greatness therefore, is only limited by one's self
To the extent that one doubts his kochos, one is
limited. He who can summon the constant sense of Rabah
Emunasecha, that Hashem has great faith in me and thus I
must be worth it, empowers himself to accomplish the
Divine mission inherent in one's life work.
Kaleiv teaches us that moments matter and so do we. Let
us work hard to live the message.
 Thus Eglon King of Moav
walks three deferential steps in recognition of
God and is rewarded and Eisav's sincere cry does
not go unnoticed.
Cf Ibn ezra, 14:25. Cf also Rashi on Shemos,
15:12 - tivlaeimo aretz