(13:2) “Shelach-Send out.”

The incident concerning the spiesis the forbearer of the destruction of the Beis Hamikdosh. The numerical value of the word Shelach is equal to 338. Not coincidently the year of the destruction was 3338.

 

The Sefas Emes writes that Hashem created the world and He creates situations in which the world can attain perfection. Through the Exodus came the birth of Klal Yisroel and now the world would be headed for that perfection. That perfection was to take place in two stages. The first stage was to receive the Torah. Klal Yisroel marched on to Har Sinai and after counting forty nine days stood at the foot of the mountain ready for Kabolas H’Torah. The second stage was to take that Torah and enter the land of Israel. Klal Yisroel and the Holy Land together would bring the ultimate perfection of the world. After leaving Mitzrayim Klal Yisroel was anxious to reach that first stage, to receive the Torah. But we don’t find that same enthusiasm for the second stage. Klal Yisroel were reluctant to leave the lofty position in the desert, the spiritually high level they had attained, for a life of seemingly mundane existence. They felt this would be a step down from where they were. But in fact this is what life is all about. From before man is born his neshama wishes to remain in heaven. But as soon as it comes into man it wishes to cling to every moment of life in this world. In fact the only way to insure a place the World to Come is through taking the physical and elevating it. This is what the spies could not see. Hashem’s command was to place the Torah with the help of Klal Yisroel into the land. “ Shelach Lecha Anoshim V’Yosuru es-H’oretz- send out men and bring Torah to the land. The word Yosuru in this verse refers to Torah.

     (13:2) “Shelach Lecha Anoshim-Send for yourself people.”The Kli Yakar comments that we find a similar phrase in Bereishis when Hashem tells Avraham Lech Lecha” There Rashi comments the word “Lecha” implies for your good and for your benefit. In our case there does not seem to be any benefit in sending out the spies? Why does the same word not imply the same meaning? He answers that Moshe was not going to be going into the land. If the spies were not sent Moshe would have died in the second year out of Mitzrayim. So by sending the spies it comes out to be for Moshe’s benefit in that he was able to live another forty years.

(13:2) “Shelach Lecha Anoshim-Send for yourself people.” Why does this section immediately follow the section about Miriam? Rashi quotes the Midrash Tanchuma that these evil people witnessed how Miriam was punished for the words spoken against her brother, but they didn’t learn from it.

   What was the Loshon Hora that Miriam spoke about her brother? We know that after Matan Torah Hashem wanted Klal Yisroel to be Mamleches Kohanim- a Kingdom of Priest. The Kohein eats from the sacrifice and the owner receives atonement. He takes the physical world and elevates it. This was to be the role of all Jews. Moishe was above all physicality. When the command to Klal Yisroel was given to return to their tents after Matan Torah, Hashem said to Moishe V’atoh Po Omaid Imodi-You remain here with me. Klal Yisroel was to return to the physical world and use the Torah to elevate it. But Moishe was beyond that. According to some of the commentaries he didn’t need to even eat or drink the rest of his life. This was what his sister Miriam didn’t understand about her brother.How could he teach them to use the Torah to elevate the physical world when he himself was not partaking of it? But that was what Hashem wanted of him. This was also the

mistake of the Miraglim. They felt it was beneath them to stoop down to a physical existence. They wished to remain in the Midbar where they could spend the entire day immersed in the spiritual world, with Hashem providing all of their needs. This was a mistake that cost them their lives.

Chazal teach us that the women of that generation were righteous, and it was their merit that redeemed us from Egypt. They also had a tremendous love for the land, but the men did not. They rejected the land. The women also refused to give their jewelry for the worship of the Golden Calf. They remained consistently devoted to Hashem’s Torah and to his servant Moishe. Every time a new rebellion broke out the women upheld Moishe’s position and supported his leadership.

   This is perhaps the background to the Gemarrah that says the men of that generation went so far as to warn their wives not to be secluded with Moishe. It is impossible to think that anything in Moishe’s behavior would provoke such strange jealousy. But the explanation is that whenever the men criticized Moishe’s leadership they would hear their wives speak with such admiration of Moishe that it caused them to become jealous. They would each ask themselves; Why does she speak so highly of him? Why can she not tolerate any criticism of him?

   Until now the women were opposed to any criticism of Moishe Rabeinu. They did not want any other leader or any other G-d. When Moishe went up to Har Sinai they waited for him to come down. These women, like Jewish women in every generation, had strong influence on their husbands and did not permit any rebellion against Moishe or his policies.

All of this ended when Miriam spoke Loshon Horah. Shespokeabout the fact that Moishe did not maintain marital relations with his wife, but had separated from her, after receiving communication from Hashem. This caused uproar among women in the camp, who feared that such conduct would become common among Yisroel. Now when the men rose up against Moishe the women no longer protested. It was as if the women silently acquiesced. All of this occurred because of what Miriam said about Moishe. This is why it has become one of the six Zechiras and why this section of the spies follows the section of Miriam.

   It is interesting to note that in the entire parsha of the Miraglim the word Miraglim does not appear even once? Perhaps we can say the following. The sin of the Meraglim was that they wished to stay in the theory of Torah rather than actually go into Eretz Yisroel and practice what they learned.

   The Shem MiShmuel uses the nature of the sojourn in the desert as compared to their

settlement in Eretz Yisrael, to explain the behavior of the meraglim. As long as they were in the desert living purely spiritual lives, they could achieve the necessary levels of kedusha. However, once they crossed the Jordan they would have to earn their food, clothing and housing through natural means. They did not believe in their own spiritual ability to transform these material things into holy things kodesh, therefore they wished to remain in the unnatural world of the desert. They did not believe that they could make Olam Hazeh into Olam Habo. The mission of Klal Yisroel is to take the physical, the Olam Hazeh, and elevate it into the spiritual, Olam Habo. They knew that upon entering into Eretz Yisroel all of this would change. They knew that once they entered the land they would need to make the Olam Hazeh into Olam Habo. The gematria of the word Meraglim is equal to the words “Olam Hazeh

V’Olam Habo.” This was missing in them and is missing in the parsha.

 (13:2) “Shelach Lecha Anoshim-Send for yourself people.” Many of the commentators deal with the question of what exactly was the sin of the spies and what was their motivation. The fact that they didn’t want to leave the protection of the Midbar, that they wanted to remain in the theory of Torah rather than the actual doing of the mitzvos, could be their motivation. Their sin, speaking loshon hora about the land was certainly one. But perhaps worse was the negative perception they attributed to everything they saw. (13:32) “Eretz Ocheles Yoshveha-A land that devours its inhabitants.” They witnessed funerals everywhere they went. The inhabitants of Canaan had a custom of not burying their dead. What they did was accumulate their dead until such time when a great person passed away. In this instance it was Iyov. They believed that with the merit of a great person the souls of their departed would be swept along and gain entry into heaven. What the Meraglim failed to see was what was beyond the exterior. Hashem was providing them with cover in order not to be detected. The Gemarrah in Berachos says that everything Hashem does is ultimately for the good. The meraglim set out with a negative outlook and therefore saw everything in a negative light.

   This sin can be traced back to the very first sin, of the Eitz Hadas. The first words immediately following the eating of the Eitz says (Bereishis 3:7) “Vatipokachnah Aynei-And there eyes were opened.” Their vision was now a mixture of Tov V’rah, of good and evil. It was now difficult to see Hashem in everything, to see the good in the world. This now became man’s mission. Had Adom been able to hold out until Shabbos arrived, he would have been permitted to eat from the Eitz Hadas. Shabbos would have added that dimension to the creation that was needed to bring the exterior physical world back to its spiritual roots. The gematria of the words “Vatipokachnah Aynei” equals 789. The same as the words “Shelach Lecha Anoshim”

   (13:16) “Vayikra Moshe L’Hoshea Bin Nun Yehoshua-And Moshe called Hoshea bin Nun Yehoshua.” Prior to the departure of the twelve spies, Moshe Rabbeinu changed the name of his disciple Hoshea to Yehoshua. That changed contained within it a prayer that Hashem save Yehoshua from the plot of the spies. The question is, why did he pray for Yehoshua alone and not for Kalev and the others? Also it remains to be explained why Moshe agreed to send the spies in the first place if he was aware of a plot to malign Eretz Yisrael?

   The Vilna Gaon in Emuna VeHashgacha explains that there are three ways in which Hashem manifests His Divine Providence. The first is called hanhagah nissis, the manifestation of overt miracles. This was the manner in which Hashem related to us during the forty years in the desert. A Cloud of Glory accompanied us by day and a pillar of fire by night; we ate the Heaven-sent manna; and our thirst was quenched by water from a well that flowed from a rock, which accompanied us on our journey. When we sinned, Divine retribution followed immediately in an unmistakable fashion.

   The second type of Divine Providence is called hanhagas nissim nistarim. In this stage, Hashem relates to us through hidden miracles. This describes the manner in which Hashem related to us in Ertez Yisrael, prior to our exile. At that time, a direct relationship between nature and Torah observance was evident. When we kept the mitzvos and toiled in Torah, the rains fell in their proper times and amounts, health and wealth were our lot; and when we sinned,

drought and famine followed. Since our exile from Eretz Yisrael, we have experienced the third type of Divine Providence, hester panim. In this stage, Hashem hides His face from us and our ability to see Hashem’s Divine Providence in the world becomes impaired.

   The Vilna Gaon explains that the various manifestations of Divine Providence differ only in our perception. In reality, Hashem controls and guides the world equally in each phase. Hashem merely hides His face in the latter period. In the desert Klal Yisroel were aware that upon entering Eretz Yisrael the manner in which Hashem related to us would change from one of open miracles to one of miracles within nature. Manna would no longer descend from the heavens; rather we would plow and plant and harvest in order to eat. A well would no longer accompany us; rather we would depend on rainfall to quench our thirst. Their mistake, however, was to reason that if their lives were apparently subject to the same natural order as the rest of the world, then their ultimate success or failure depended on their own military prowess. This was their error.

   It was this mistaken outlook from which Moshe prayed that Yehoshua would be spared because Yehoshua was the one who would lead Klal Yisroel into the land. Moshe reasoned that he could better prove to the people their mistake by letting them actually see Eretz Yisrael. He hoped that they would realize the impossibility of conquering Eretz Yisrael with their own might. And yet Hashem had assured them that they would in fact conquer the land. They should have concluded that Hashem obviously planned to continue aiding them, even if in a less openly miraculous fashion. The name Yehoshua means- May Hashem save you. This divine name of Hashem means the synthesis of the natural and spiritual worlds. The Yud represents Olam Habo of creation while the Hey represents Olam Hazeh. Moshe prayed that Yehoshua see the veil of how Hashem works in nature to perform His will. This is why nature-Hatevah and Elokim have the same numerical value. It was for this reason that the letter Yud was added to his name.

   (13:16')- “Vayikra Moshe LHoshea Bin Nun Yehoshua.-And Moshe called Hoshea bin Nun Yehoshu.” Rashi says it was to Daven for him- that Hashem should aid Yehoshua in the matter of the Meraglim.  Why did Moshe Daven for Yehoshua and not for Kalev?

TheKli Yakar says that Yehoshua was from the tribe of Yoseph who spoke negatively about his brothers. Moshe was afraid that he would go in the footsteps of his Grandfather and speak negatively about Eretz Yisroel.

TheChafetz Chaim (along with Midrashim) says that when a person finds himself in the company of people of a lesser moral stature there are two approaches. One is to state his opinion every step of the way and be confrontational. The second is to remain silent and only speak out when the right opportunity presents itself. Each approach has its pro’s and con’s. The first approach could be beneficial in keeping a person from becoming influenced by his surroundings. If he keeps himself strong and protests every step of the way it is less likely that they will affect him. On the other hand if makes his opinion known there is the possibility of them finding a way to counter his opinion with logic of their own. They might find ways to persuade him to see things their way. The second approach could be beneficial in that the other people will think he is just as much apart of their plan as they are and not try to change him. He could then wait for the most opportune time to have his words make the greatest impact. The flip side of this is that there is the possibility of his becoming influenced by his surroundings.

   This represents how Kalev and Yehoshua each had their own way of handling situations: Yehoshua would speak his mind publicly and would have totally differed with the Meraglim openly. He therefore needed the Tefilla of Moshe, which was a Tefilla that the Meraglim wouldn't physically harm him once they would hear his protests. Kalev, on the other hand, wouldn't openly differ with them for two reasons: 1- So that they wouldn't harm or even kill him. And 2- In order to eventually get them to listen to his opinion, he would, at first, appear to agree with them and then would say his true opinion in front of the Nation. Therefore, Moshe didn't have to Daven for him that they wouldn't harm him. (Kalev, himself, was afraid they would harm him. This is why he went to Daven at Mearas Hamachpela) in the end, It did happen this way. When the Meraglim returned from their trip, it was only Yehoshua alone who had a dissenting opinion. Kalev appeared to agree with them. Kalev then said, “Is this the only thing that “Ben Amram” did to us!” This got their attention in a positive way and then Kalev was able to silence them. This could be the understanding of the words Hashem used to describe Kalev (14:24)”V’avdy Kaleiv Ekev Hayisah Ruach Acheres-But my servant Kalev has a different spirit in him.” Rashi explains this means Echod b’peh V’echod B’lev-One way in his heart and another in his mouth. He differed with the Meraglim in his heart and would wait to reveal his true intention. But, meanwhile outwardly, with his speech, he seemed to agree with them.

   We find that the name of Kalev is mentioned first at times and the name of Yehoshua   is sometimes mentioned first. This is to teach us that they were equal. But we see that Yehoshua was the one chosen to lead Klal Yisroel after Moshe? How can we say they were equal? What it means is that they were equal in their approach. But in order to be a leader in Klal Yisroel one could not be Echod b’peh V’echod B’lev-One way in his heart and another in his mouth.

   How was Kalev able to withstand the peer pressure of the other Meraglim? When they first arrived in Eretz Yisrael The posuk reads (13:22)“Vayavo ad Chevron-He arrived at Chevron.” Rashi learns from the singular use of the word he came, that it refers to Kalev. His first order of business was to pray at the Moros Hamachpelah, to pray at the graves of the Avos. Later on the posuk says (14:24)”V’avdy Kaleiv Ekev Hayisah Ruach Acheres-But my servant Kalev has a different spirit in him.” What is this other spirit that he possessed? The Arizalwrites that he was a Gilgulim of EliezerEved Avraham.The name Kaleiv ben Yefuneh equals Avraham in gematria. The words Ruach Acheres equals Anachnu Benei Bonov Shel Avraham- we are the grandchildren of Avraham. We are the grandchildren not just Kalev, meaning anyone has the capability to receive this spirit of our ancestors.

   This could perhaps also explain a question at the end of the parsha where we find the Mitzvah of Tzitzis. Rashi there explains that Tzitis are equal to all of the 613 mitzvos and the numerical value of the word Tzitzis equals 600. The problem is that this is true if the word Tzitzis is spelled with two Yuds, which is not the case all three times, that it is mentioned here. The Rebenu Bachyah answers that the third time Tzitzis is mentioned its written L’Tzitzis it’s spelled with a Lamed which equals 30. So if you add up all three times the word Tzitzis is written it averages 600. We have said that the Yud represents Olam Habo of creation while the Hey represents Olam Hazeh. Why do we call the other world “the world to come” rather than the other world or even the next world? If Olam Hazeh means this world then the appropriate term should

   This represents how Kalev and Yehoshua each had their own way of handling situations: Yehoshua would speak his mind publicly and would have totally differed with the Meraglim openly. He therefore needed the Tefilla of Moshe, which was a Tefilla that the Meraglim wouldn't physically harm him once they would hear his protests. Kalev, on the other hand, wouldn't openly differ with them for two reasons: 1- So that they wouldn't harm or even kill him. And 2- In order to eventually get them to listen to his opinion, he would, at first, appear to agree with them and then would say his true opinion in front of the Nation. Therefore, Moshe didn't have to Daven for him that they wouldn't harm him. (Kalev, himself, was afraid they would harm him. This is why he went to Daven at Mearas Hamachpela) in the end, It did happen this way. When the Meraglim returned from their trip, it was only Yehoshua alone who had a dissenting opinion. Kalev appeared to agree with them. Kalev then said, “Is this the only thing that “Ben Amram” did to us!” This got their attention in a positive way and then Kalev was able to silence them. This could be the understanding of the words Hashem used to describe Kalev (14:24)”V’avdy Kaleiv Ekev Hayisah Ruach Acheres-But my servant Kalev has a different spirit in him.” Rashi explains this means Echod b’peh V’echod B’lev-One way in his heart and another in his mouth. He differed with the Meraglim in his heart and would wait to reveal his true intention. But, meanwhile outwardly, with his speech, he seemed to agree with them.

   We find that the name of Kalev is mentioned first at times and the name of Yehoshua   is sometimes mentioned first. This is to teach us that they were equal. But we see that Yehoshua was the one chosen to lead Klal Yisroel after Moshe? How can we say they were equal? What it means is that they were equal in their approach. But in order to be a leader in Klal Yisroel one could not be Echod b’peh V’echod B’lev-One way in his heart and another in his mouth.

   How was Kalev able to withstand the peer pressure of the other Meraglim? When they first arrived in Eretz Yisrael The posuk reads (13:22)“Vayavo ad Chevron-He arrived at Chevron.” Rashi learns from the singular use of the word he came, that it refers to Kalev. His first order of business was to pray at the Moros Hamachpelah, to pray at the graves of the Avos. Later on the posuk says (14:24)”V’avdy Kaleiv Ekev Hayisah Ruach Acheres-But my servant Kalev has a different spirit in him.” What is this other spirit that he possessed? The Arizalwrites that he was a Gilgulim of EliezerEved Avraham.The name Kaleiv ben Yefuneh equals Avraham in gematria. The words Ruach Acheres equals Anachnu Benei Bonov Shel Avraham- we are the grandchildren of Avraham. We are the grandchildren not just Kalev, meaning anyone has the capability to receive this spirit of our ancestors.

   This could perhaps also explain a question at the end of the parsha where we find the Mitzvah of Tzitzis. Rashi there explains that Tzitis are equal to all of the 613 mitzvos and the numerical value of the word Tzitzis equals 600. The problem is that this is true if the word Tzitzis is spelled with two Yuds, which is not the case all three times, that it is mentioned here. The Rebenu Bachyah answers that the third time Tzitzis is mentioned its written L’Tzitzis it’s spelled with a Lamed which equals 30. So if you add up all three times the word Tzitzis is written it averages 600. We have said that the Yud represents Olam Habo of creation while the Hey represents Olam Hazeh. Why do we call the other world “the world to come” rather than the other world or even the next world? If Olam Hazeh means this world then the appropriate term should

desert, they misunderstood Moshe’s words to mean they should be looking for Gan Eden, for the Tree, the Eitz Hachaim. By doing so they would be able to bypass the decree of death against Moshe and go into the land with him. When the tree was not found they returned with the plan to discourage entry into Eretz Yisroel.

   (13:20) “Hyesh Bah Eitz Im Ayin V’hischazaktem V’lokachtem M’pri H’aretz-See if there are trees or not And you shall strengthen yourselves and take from the fruits of the land.” The question is if there are no trees how are they to take fruits? Rashi explains that trees, refers to men of merit. The Chasam Sofer explains that if there are trees ie. men of merit then how can we tell if the fruits are good because of the land. Perhaps it is in the merit of these men? But of there are no trees (men of merit) than you should take the fruits to see how good the land is. The Satmar Rebbe answers that this posuk is telling us how to know if men are men of merit. It is only by looking at the fruits of the trees, by looking at their fruits. Through the children we can tell the stature of a man.

   (13:20) “V’hischazaktem V’lokachtem M’pri H’aretz V’hayomim YemeyBekurei Anavim-And you shall strengthen yourselves and take from the fruits of the land and the days were the days of the first-ripe grapes.” Why would there be a need to strengthen themselves before taking fruits? What is the Torah trying to convey with this term? From the end of the verse we learn that these were the days prior to Tishabav. Moshe knew that these were days when the Yezter Hora is strong. He therefore instructed them to strengthen themselves through the fruits of the land. Eretz Yisroel contains an intrinsic spirituality that they could tap into. This is hinted at in the words “V’hayomim YemeyBekurei Anavim- and the days were the days of the first-ripe grapes.” The word Bekurei also can mean prior. The letters prior or before the letters of Anavim spell Smael, the Soton. These were the days of the Soton.  

   When the Meraglim came upon the fruits of the land Kalaiv reminded them that Moshe had instructed them to bring some back. They refused not wanting to show the merits of the land, until Kalaiv threatened force. That is why they chose tremendously oversized fruits in order to tell the people that they could not survive there. This is also why each of the Meraglim took part in carrying the fruits except Kalaiv and Yehoshua.

(13:24) “L’Mokom Hahu Koroh Nachal Eshkol al Odos H’Eshkol Asher –Korsu M’shom Benei Yisroel-That place was called the valley of Eshkol because of the cluster which the children of Yisroel cut down from there.” The Kli Yakar writes that this was the turning point in the mission of the spies. The words “Asher –Korsu M’shom Benei Yisroel- which the children of Yisroel cut down from there” Can be read as - the children of Yisroel were cut off from there. The intent was not to showcase the tremendous fruits of the land. Rather the intent was to show just as these fruits are abnormal so too the people of the land are abnormal and we cannot conquer it.

   (13:26) " Vayeichu Vayvo'u-They went and they came." What is this double speak? This leads to another question. If the spies were fulfilling a Shelichus why weren't they protected? As we know a Sheluchei Mitzvah Aynon Nezikin- A messengers is protected. But this is the meaning of the words "Vayeichu Vayvo'u-They went and they came." they went as a messenger and they came with their own agenda. Because they had their own agenda they were not protected.

   There is a difference of opinion regarding how many spies actually went into the land. According to most commentators it

was twelve. Rabbi Akiva maintains there were 24. The posuk says (13:2) “Ish Echad Ish Echad-One man one man” from each tribe. The double use of this phrase implies two men from each tribe. The question therefore arises, but we know that a quorum of ten men is learned out from the ten spies? How can R.Akiva say there were 24?

   There is a Gemorrah in Brochos that says Habo L’taheir M’sayin Oso-If a person wishes to better himself they aid him.” What does it mean they aid him? It should say He helps him in the singular form. But the meaning is as follows. There is a concept called Transmigration of souls (Ibur Neshamas) where the souls of previous Tzadikim are sent to accompany and assist a person attempting a worthy but difficult task. There is a story about the Arizal who once stood up for a student of his that had just entered the room. When questioned about this he responded that he saw the Neshama of Pinchas ben Yair enter the room with his student. What had happened was that this student had just finished risking his life to perform the mitzvah of Pidyan Shevuyin. Assisting him on that task was Pinchas ben Yair. The Arizal sensed this and stood up when he entered the room.

   Another case of Ibur Neshamas is by Aharon H’kohein. We have a rule “Ain Kateger Nasseh Saneiger- The prosecutor may not be the defender. Aharon was not permitted to enter the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur wearing gold because of his role in the sin of the Golden Calf. This may be true of Ahron’s role as Kohein Gadol but what about all of the future Kohanim that were not involved in the Sin of the golden calf? Why could they not enter wearing gold? The answer is that every subsequent Kohein that entered the Holy of Holies did not enter alone. The soul of Aharon accompanied them. Therefore every future Kohein Gadol entered wearing white. With this we can understand the posuk that says “B’zos Yovo Aharon el Hakodesh-With this Aharon would enter into the sanctuary.” The word B’zos has the numerical value of 410, the exact number of years that the first Beis Hamikdosh stood. The question then is why is only the first Beis Hamikdosh hinted at and not the second? The answer is that only during the first Beis Hamikdosh was Ahron accompanying the Kohein Gadol. All subsequent Kohanim of the second Temple were not worthy and did not benefit from Ahron’s assistance

   With this we can answer the original question of this week’s parsha. R.Akiva says there were 24 Meraglim. This is true Ish Echad Ish Echad one man plus one transmigrated soul for each shevet. In Bereishis, when Yosef accused his brothers of being spies he said the words “Meraglim Atem” referring to his brothers, but it was to be taken literally. Their souls would in the future transmigrate into the spies of our parsha. But when they reached the Valley of Eshkol the children of Yisroel were cut off (Asher –Korsu M’shom Benei Yisroel) from the original sons of Yakov. Thus they no longer were 24 men. This is the meaning of the words “Asher –Korsu M’shom Benei Yisroel-That Benei Yisroel were cut off from there.” The heavenly assistance was removed and they were left with only ten. It comes out from this that when the spies said the land is too difficult to conquer the people there are too mighty, they were right. It was impossible for them to overcome such obstacles. It was only with the help of Hashem that they would succeed. This is a very important lesson we need to learn here. Whenever we are faced with a daunting task and feel that it is impossible to achieve, we must begin, go forward and Hashem will send us the help that is needed.

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