The spies who entered into the land of Israel at the beginning of this week’s parashah did not bring Moshe the report that he wanted. Instead of presenting an endorsement of the land and a thorough strategy for how best to conquer it, they came back bearing frightening tales of the formidable size of the land and its inhabitants. The spies did not embolden the people; they terrified them. Yet, according to Rabbinic tradition, no one was surprised by this report, least of all God. This was a project doomed at its outset. If God knew that this would happen why did He allow it? Why would He allow Moshe to set the people up to fail? Although they were not successful in executing the mission, there was something inherently valuable in the spies’ having been sent. Behind the specific story of this failed mission is a larger tale of the value of sending—and being—emissaries.