Photo Credit: Jewish Press

“I have a plan through which we will be able to capture the city from which the evil Bilaam ousted you so many years ago,” said Moshe, on the seventh day after being selected king of Ethiopia.

“Go out to the field, and capture as many wild storks as you can. Bring them back to the camp and then train them carefully in the art of hunting for food.”

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The people did not understand how this would help in recapturing the city. Nevertheless, they knew that Moshe was a great and wise man and they had great faith in him.

The next morning, they all went into the fields looking for storks to capture. They succeeded in capturing a sizeable number of the birds and brought them back to the camp where they began to teach them how to hunt for wild animals and reptiles.

After several weeks, the storks had become experts in the art of hunting and could spy food from many feet on high. It was then that Moshe said, “We have now reached the time when we shall begin to implement the next part of the plan. Take the trained storks and give them no food for three days. Make sure that they are very, very hungry.”

 

Attacking The Snakes

The people obeyed and locked the storks in their cages for three days. At the end of that time the storks were ravenously hungry and desperate to fly out of their cages and seek food.

“Gather up your weapons,” cried Moshe, “and mount your horses. Each man take a stork.”

With cries of joyful anticipation, the soldiers ran for the storks and climbed on their horses. Imagine their amazement, however, as Moshe led them to the side of the city that was guarded by the terrible snakes and scorpions whose slightest bite meant a slow painful death for the unfortunate victim.

“Oh, Moshe,” they cried, “why do we go to this valley of death? Do you want us all to die an agonizing death?”

“Have no fear,” replied Moshe, “for if you will but have faith in me and in the Almighty you will see how we shall attack and destroy the snakes. ”

And so speaking, Moshe commanded his soldiers: “Release the storks.”

 

The Storks Bring Victory

As the storks felt themselves free, they soared to the skies in feverish flight looking for food. As if with one command, they suddenly swooped down on the valley of the snakes and scorpions and began to attack the reptiles with furious and continuous attacks. The serpents were no match for the hunger-crazed storks and within a short time, not one was left in the entire valley.

The way was now open to attack the city. With shouts of victory, the army charged into the city. Its defenders were no match for the attackers and, in a short time, the city was in the hands of the army that had been locked out for nine years.

 

Bilaam Escapes

The evil Bilaam saw that it was hopeless to remain and fight and he, together with his two sons and eight brothers, fled to the land of Egypt where they became the magicians of the court of Pharaoh, the ones who emulated some of the plagues of Moshe, and where they were to be a thorn in the side of the Jewish people for many years to come.

Moshe, meanwhile, was acclaimed with great joy by all the people and he was destined to remain for another forty years as the king of Ethiopia. There, while he was king, he worshipped the G-d of Israel faithfully and taught his subjects to love justice and truth, and implanted within them the seeds of charity and humility. There was peace and tranquility within the borders of Ethiopia all the years of Moshe’s reign.

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