- Torah and Jewish Thought
Why is the punishment for unwillingness to enter the Land greater than the sin with the golden calf? Why is the punishment for that is greater than idol-worship?
ב"ה Shalom Based on the premise of my previous answer in regard to the golden calf, we can see things with a clearer perspective. That is to say, with all the severity of the sin of Bnei Yisrael, it was not an abandonment of G-d and actually believing in idols. (In regard to the majority) It was a misguided act in which they thought they can serve G-d , by praying to a tangible object. However, in the sin of the "Meraglim", those who did not want to enter Eretz Yisrael , in many respects their act was a lot worse. According to the Ramban on the Torah, they showed they were ungrateful to Hashem who promised them the Land.) Bamidbar 14:17) According to the Malbim ,the Meraglim were declaring that Hashem hates them. (Malbim Devarim 1: 32-33) and Hashem also wanted to make it clear to them that it was the fault of Bnei Yisrael which delayed their entrance to Eretz Yisrael. All the best