Divrei HaRav

Balak / בלק

Balak / בלק
“If Balak will give me a full storage house of gold and silver I cannot ignore the words of Hashem.” At first glance it seems like a very noble and praiseworthy statement. The Bais Halevi however compared it to a person who is called upon to slap the King in the face and says for no money would he do it. Of course he wouldn’t do it and of course he would not be able to do it. Therefore his mere statement effuses arrogance and haughtiness. Would he say “I will not pick up that mountain for all money in the world.” Bilam showed his true colors by even suggesting the possibility.

Bilam said “don’t curse the people for they are blessed” The Chazal, in reference to this, say to respond with “we say to the bee, don’t give me your honey, or your sting” The world, in dealing with the Jewish problem, takes two approaches. Either destroy them and cause misery to them, or treat them kindly and try to encourage them to assimilate. When Bilam saw the first way was not being successful, he changed tactics. He suggested rather to praise them and treat them with respect, but still with the same results in mind. (Mayana shel TORAH).

Bilam rose early in the morning and prepared, by himself, his donkey for the trip. Hashem said “Rasha, Avrohom Aveinu already preceded you with his zeal to perform the mitzvah of akeida, he also saddled his own donkey. R’ Moshe points out from here the following thought. We are taken to task to reproduce all the zeal, fervor and commitment we exert for our business, our profession, our family, our philosophy - in our service to Hashem. If Avrohom had not duplicated this act, then the act of Bilam would have created a criticism of the actions of the Jewish people. Furthermore, it should be understood that, in reality, the source of the zeal of the two acts can be traced to two opposite emotions. Bilam’s hatred of the Jewish people produced the simple emotion of a desire to harm them and to hasten this. Avrohom’s zeal to bring his own child was not a natural reaction but a calculated result of his genuine belief in Hashem and therefore a major accomplishment ( lekach tov )
Or HaChaim:
In the prophecy of Bilam is a full description of Moshiach.
“I see him but not now -- as a star shoots through the sky"
“I see him but not close -- as a ruler rises among the nations"
We are told by Chazal that if we are deserving, then Moshiach will come suddenly like a shooting star. If not he will come in due time, up through the ranks as a ruler. Also the star is a reference to Moshiach ben Dovid. If we are in lower category of “Yaakov” then we will only merit Moshiach ben Dovid but Moshiach ben Yosef will be killed. However if we will be on a level of “Yisroel” we will merit both saviors. We are instructed to pray for the welfare of both.



Previous Parshos

Tazria Metzora Achrei Mos Kedoshim Emor Behar Bechukosai Bamidbar Shavuos Naso Behalosicha Shilach Korach Chukas-Balak Pinchos Matos-Masei Devorim Voeschonon Ekev Reah Shoftim Ki Seitzei Ki Savo Nitzovim - Vayelech Rosh HaShana Haazinu-Yom Kippur Sukkos V'zos HaBrocha Breishis