“There we saw the giants, the sons of the giant, from among the Nephilim, and we were like grasshoppers in our eyes, and so we were in their eyes.” 13:33
On the surface, this statement sounds innocent enough. After all, it’s most intimidating to hear giants speak of how insignificant you are to them. Certainly, it couldn’t have inspired much confidence in them. Yet, the Kotzker Rebbe viewed this little exchange as emblematic of all that went wrong with the spies. As emissaries of the Jewish people who’d been promised Hashem’s direct protection, they had no business worrying about what others thought of them. They were on a national mission, and their personal feelings should not have been factored in whatsoever. By giving credence to the humiliating words of the giants, they betrayed the trust the people had vested in them and demonstrated their inadequacy for their role.