EFES – BUT
Mr. Pesach Programmervitz applies for the programming job at Shazoogle, the popular Parsha company. Mr. Programmervitz thinks he is the perfect one for the job. After many interviews, the verdict is in. He is called to the office is told by the Vice President of the company, “Pesach, we were really impressed with you, and we would love to have you work for our company, but…”
That one word – but – makes it clear that Pesach will not get the job. It really doesn’t make a difference what excuse comes after the word “but” – it’s a lost cause.
This one word – Efes – meaning “but” was the sin of the spies. They really didn’t lie. They reported what they saw. Yet they added that infamous “but” – and their conclusion was “we cannot conquer the land.” Nobody asked them for their opinion. And that was their sin.
BTW: The common Hebrew word for “but,” is “Aval,” but here the Torah uses the uncommon word – Efes, which has another meaning – Efes means “zero.” Get it? The spies lost by scoring zero! Nobody wins with a score of zero (not even the Cubs).