c begins with the saga of the spies’ report about the land of Israel. On the eve of the Jewish people’s preparation to enter Eretz Yisrael, 12 spies, each representing a tribe, were sent to survey the land. Upon their return, ten of the twelve deliver very negative news: It will be impossible for the Jewish people to overcome and conquer the land from the nations living there.
The Jewish people seemed poised for entry into the Promised Land when suddenly the nation became a group of kvetchers, “The people were as murmurers, speaking evil in the ears of the Lord… saying ‘who will feed us meat? … Remember the fish which we ate in Egypt for free, the cucumbers, the watermelons, the onions and the garlic?’” [Numbers 11:1-5]