Last Week's Loose Ends
However, group or community - the sin starts with an individual or a small group of individuals. And sometimes, it gains momentum. Korach actively recruited people from among his own tribe of Levi and from neighboring Reuven. The Meraglim did the same thing on a grander scale by panicking the whole generation (adult males). The initiators are charged with the primary responsibility, and punished accordingly. We can say that their sin is compounded by the additional, very serious sin of "causing others to sin". In contrast, the Wood Gatherer sinned on his own and was punished on his own.
And that's where it ended, sort of.
A further point to keep in mind is that each individual – instigator and instigatee – are usually held accountable, sometimes differently, but peer pressure and following orders, and he made me do it are usually not acceptable as excuses for one's actions.
On another note, in discussing the Sin of the Spies in our time, it is important to point out (again) that not every Jew in Chutz LaAretz can be faulted for falling into the Meraglim trap of criticizing and discouraging people from making Aliya or visiting Israel. Many, in fact, are true advocates of the Kalev and Yehosha approach.
On the other hand, sad to say, there are Jews who live in Israel who seem to follow the 10 rather than the two. Unfortunately, one can hear DIBA RA'A AL HAARETZ (bad-mouthing of E.Y.) from people who live here.
And should we mention those who are afraid - and spread their fear - of going to Jerusalem, or the Old City, or the Gush, or Katif, or Kever Rachel or Hebron...
Paralyzing fear can be an indication of a lack of Bitachon, or it might be a practical handling of a difficult situation. I am not ready to judge that. But panicky talk about the MATZAV can have a very negative effect on others and sounds like it is the Sin of the Spies, all over again.
Every Jew - here and abroad - must not only rally to the call of Kalev and Yehoshua, we must BE Kalev and Yehoshua with complete confidence in G-d, that "we will certainly prevail".