web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Judaism Stories
Greenbaum-102414

Noach was the lonely man of faith living in a depraved world, full of wickedness.

Parsha-Perspectives-logo

Avraham became a great man during the 175 years of his life, while his predecessors became increasingly wicked, despite staggering knowledge, during their lifetimes of hundreds of years.

Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

Shem realized that he owed his existence to his father who brought him into the world.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Law-Abiding Citizen
‘That Which Is Crooked Cannot Be Made Straight…’
(Yevamos 22a-b)

The flood was not sent to destroy, but to restore the positive potential of the world.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

Why is there is no mention of dinosaurs, and other prehistoric animals, in the Torah?

Strict din demands perfection. There is no room for shortcomings and no place for excuses; you are responsible.

Surprisingly, my husband and one son arrived home over half-an-hour earlier than usual. I excitedly shared my perfect-timing story, but my better half one upped me easily.

Noach felt a tug, and then heard a rip. His jacket had been caught on the nail, and the beautiful suit had a tear.

Boundaries must be set in every home. Parents and children are not pals. They are not equals.

Noah and his wife could not fathom living together as husband and wife and continuing the human race

The Babel story is the 2nd in a 4-act drama that’s unmistakably a connecting thread of Bereishit

Our intentions are critical in raising children because they mimic everything we parents do & think

A humble person who achieves a position of prominence will utilize the standing to benefit others.

More Articles from Rabbi Boruch Leff
Leff-101014-Zecharia

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

Leff-091214

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?

Someone who focuses only on the bones of the Torah makes his bones dry and passionless.

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: