The Rav said tonight that the Dor Hamidbar, the Generation of the Wilderness, was the cream of the crop and that we should study the chumash and model our lives after them. So why did they lose their chelek in Olam Habah according to one tanna?
The Dor Hamidbar did not lose their portion in Olam Habah! One tanna attempted such a statement but he was immediately rebuked (Sanhedrin 110b); he was put down because of that statement and it was said of him that shavak Rabbi Akiva lechassiduso – Rabbi Akiva forsook his piety when he said that; he made an error.
Rabbi Akiva made another error. Don’t forget that Rabbi Akiva is the one who said Bar Kochva dein malka moshicha – he pointed at him and said that’s Moshiach. People can make errors. Rabbi Akiva was rebuked and we don’t follow him at all in this matter. And Rabbi Yochanan, who came later, he said we follow Rabbi Elazar who said that about the Dor Hamidbar Hashem says (Tehillim 50:5), איספו לי חסידי – My pious ones should be gathered into Me, כורתי בריתי עלי זבח – who made a covenant with Me with korbanos.
Andtherefore, we know that Hashem said about the Generation of the Wilderness, they are chassidai, My pious ones. The Dor Hamidbar, they are the generation to whom we look up to and they are our models forever. They were the best we ever had.
TAPE # 248