web analytics
November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Balak: The Attempted Takeover

Leff-logo

But, he did have a strong relationship with Hashem and his curse meant something in Hashem’s “eyes.” If indeed Bilaam would have been allowed to curse Bnei Yisrael, severe damage would have been inflicted, more damage than in all of the wars Klal Yisrael fought.

We suggest the following insight, based on Chazal brought by Rashi. It appears that Bilaam’s agenda was to replace Klal Yisrael as Hashem’s chosen nation with a new nation that would have Bilaam and perhaps even Balak as “Avos.” This is why in trying to get Hashem to agree to allow him to curse Bnei Yisrael Bilaam builds many altars:

“Avrohom built four altars for You, Hashem; I will build seven! Avrohom only sacrificed one ram, I am sacrificing a ram and bull!” (Rashi 23:4).

Bilaam called Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov upright, yesharim and desired to be one of them when he said “Let my soul die the death of the righteous, tamus nafshi mos yesharim.” (Avoda Zara 25a).

Bilaam’s intent to destroy and replace Klal Yisrael is also evident from: “You want to uproot a nation that has 3 regalim, festivals?” (Rashi 22:28).

This all fits nicely with the many mystical sources which say Bilaam’s soul was a reincarnation of Lavan. Lavan argued and rivaled with Yaakov. He told Yaakov at their final meeting that Yaakov’s children, grandchildren and wives were his, Lavan’s. Lavan wished for Yaakov to remain with him and was very upset that Yaakov ran away. Why? As we say in the Haggadah, “Lavan wished to uproot everything.” Lavan wished to take over Klal Yisrael and uproot Yaakov as an Av. This was Lavan and this was Bilaam.

The “competition” between Bilaam and Avrohom Avinu is seen from Pirkei Avos: “Whoever has three particular traits is counted among the students of Avrohom, and whoever has three other traits is among the students of Bilaam. He who has a good eye, humility and contentedness is a student of Abraham, while he who has an evil eye, arrogance and greed is a student of Bilaam.” (5:22) Why the need to contrast them unless there was some real “rivalry,” at least on Bilaam’s part?

Bilaam had desired to become the patriarch of a new nation and replace Avrohom, the mishna points out the fallacy of such a consideration.

But during while Klal Yisrael was in the desert, it was not totally out of the realm of possibility. After all, Hashem Himself had suggested destroying Klal Yisrael and starting a new nation from Moshe Rabbeinu after the sins of the golden calf and the spies. Bilaam felt that perhaps he could capitalize on Klal Yisrael’s failings and convince Hashem to abandon them. Indeed, as the aforementioned pasuk states, “Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal.” Klal Yisrael sinned greatly with the women of Moav at Shittim (Bilaam had advised Balak to tempt the Jews and get them to sin) and Bilaam thought this would be their undoing and possible uprooting as Hashem’s special nation.

So, Hashem says in Micha (message summarized):

“I was so supremely dedicated to you during that time of real decision when Bilaam attempted to get Me to spurn you as My nation. I was committed to our relationship and will always be. Why don’t you show the same commitment to Me? Why do you now abandon Me and My ways?”

As the pasuk (Micha 6:3), “My nation, what have I done to you? How have I made you tired (of serving Me)? Answer Me!”

Hashem says that one would think Klal Yisrael would be ever so devoted to Him but unfortunately that is not the case.

When we read this haftorah, let us remember the potential curse of Bilaam and how Hashem saved us, and rededicate ourselves in some small way to the path of Hashem.

To schedule a speaking engagement with Rabbi Boruch Leff or to receive two books for the price of one, Shabbos in My Soul (Feldheim 2007) and More Shabbos in My Soul (Feldheim, 2008), or to purchase the book ‘Are You Growing?’(Feldheim, 2011) at 40% off, contact the author at: sbleff@gmail.com.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Balak: The Attempted Takeover”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The Holy Ark in the Knesset synagogue.
Knesset Synagogue Bars Reform and Conservative Jews from ‘Mixed Prayer’
Latest Judaism Stories
Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

The Jew, from the perspective of the name Yaakov, is dependent on the non-Jewish world. This can be seen today in the relationship between the State of Israel and the United States

Lessons-Emunah-logo

Yet, ultimately, looking back, these “setbacks” turned out to be really for the patient’s best – for the good.

Business-Halacha-logo

In the afternoon, he reached into his pocket to check for the money, but it was empty. “The $50 bill must have fallen out,” Alex exclaimed. “It’s got to be in one of the rooms I was just at.”

Although the conversion ceremony involves more than circumcision and immersion, these are the two essential requirements, without which the conversion is ineffective.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Rashi in Shabbos 9b writes that the reason why the tefillah of Ma’ariv is a reshus is because it was instituted corresponding to the burning of the eimurim from the korbanos – which was performed at night.

It almost sounds as if Hashem is saying, “I have to keep Yaakov from getting too comfortable; otherwise he will forget Me. I can’t promise him sustenance because then he won’t need Me. He won’t write. He won’t call. He won’t love Me anymore.”

The Decree Of 1587
“Two Kabs Of Dinars Were Given…To King Yanai”
(Yevamos 61a)

Simply too many cases of prayers being answered to deny it makes a difference to our fate. It does.

Prayer is our language: Hakol kol Yaakov – the voice is the voice of Jacob – the voice of prayer.

Jacob cries, overcome by the knowledge that his great love for Rachel will end in unbearable pain.

There’s a perfect mirror between Jacob running away from Esav to when he reunites with his brother.

Yitzhak called you Esav and you answered him, then he called you Yaakov and you also answered him!”

Yitzchak thought the Jewish people needed dual leadership: Eisav the physical; Yaakov the spiritual

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

More Articles from Rabbi Boruch Leff
Leff-111414

If you’re always battling against getting older, you’re always going to be unhappy.

Leff-101014-Zecharia

Hashem created all human beings and it should sadden us when Hashem, their Father, does not see nachas from them.

All Jews are inherently righteous and that is why we all have a portion in the World to Come.

“When a mother plays with her child there is an acute awareness of the child. But even when the mother works at a job or is distracted by some other activity, there is a natural, latent awareness of her child’s existence.

The Three Weeks determines the “who we are and how we live” as Jews.

Sometimes when Chazal say that two different people are really one, they do not mean it literally, but rather figuratively.

Yehoshua knew that the outcome of the battles would depend not on military might, but on the spiritual strength of Klal Yisrael.

The question begs: how in the world can we accept that Bnei Yisrael en masse did not ever keep the mitzvah of shemittah?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/balak-the-attempted-takeover/2012/07/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: