Section: Moadim   Category: Around The Year
Rav Shimshon MiOstropolia - The Meraglim & The Hot Summer Months
"Vihischazaktem U'Likachtem MiPri HaAretz V'Hayamim Yimei Bikurei Anavim"; You shall strengthen yourselves, and you shall take some fruit of the land, those days were the days of the first ripening of the grapes (Shlach 13:20).  Why did Moshe Rabbeinu tell the Miraglim to strengthen themselves?  What is the connection with the ripening of the grapes?

Rav Shimshon MiOstropolia answers that the time of year was Chodesh Tamuz.  Chodesh Tamuz, says the Zohar HaKadosh, begins the height of the summer where the Yetzer Hara, also known as the Malach Samael, enjoys the height of his power.  Moshe Rabbeinu understood the danger and urged the Miraglim "Vihischazaktem" to strengthen themselves and not fall prey to the Yatzer Hara and his evil ideas.  How?  "U'Likachtem MiPri HaAretz", by drawing from the Kedusha of Eretz Yisroel which has the power to break the Satan.  

The Torah hints of the dangers of this tekufa, says Rav Shimshon in the end of the pasuk.  The letters before the word Anavim spell Samael (Samech/Ayin-Mem/Nun-Aleph/Bais-Lamed/Mem).  "V'hayamim", those days were. "Yimei Bikurei Anavim", the days of Samael whose letters precede (Bikurei) the word Anavim.  This may be why much destruction is caused by drinking too much wine, since if used improperly it is the tool of Samael.