Sunday, July 08, 2007

Parashat Balak .....My (humble) take

Hi all,

Its a bit late but I wanted to recount a wonderful dvar Torah that I heard. Unfortunately, I don't know the lady's name who said it, nor where she got it from. I'll do better with my sources next time!

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As we all know, in parashat Balak, Bilaam tries his darnest to curse. However each time he opens his mouth, he says good things about Bnei Yisrael. Somehow, Bilaam knew that at a certain hour in the day Hashem allows His "anger" so to speak to manifest, and it was that precise moment that Bilaam was waiting for so that he could make his curses. Knowing this, Hashem chose not to be angry those few days. Thus Bilaam's plan was thwarted.

At the end of the parasha (or later) Bilaam tells Balak, 'if you wanna get the Jews....send the women!" basically. It wasn't exactly that but to that effect.

Sure enough, the Jews get drawn in. Even Zimri, a tribal leader is taken and has the chutzpah to take his midianite woman into his camp in broad daylight in front of Moshe Rabeinu.

And so it goes, Pinchas comes to the rescue and slays the both of them, thereby ending a plague that came as a result of their sins.

Why, after all this wonderful, glorious words about the Jewish people did they have to fall to such lowly lustful wonts?

The answer was that because Hashem did n't put forth din /judgement in the world, there was abundant rachamim /mercy and abundant chessed /kindness. So Bilaam couldn't, or no one could, speak badly of the Jewish people. However, Bilaam was wise and he knew that too much chessed = too much giving. (A lady that gives and gives and gives too much eventually becomes a prostitute). Using this, Bilaam advised Balak, 'send the women' because with all the chessed flowing, luring someone towards lewdness was not hard.

"Wait" I asked, "But why didn't Pinchas and Moshe, and others get taken?"

Some said those who perished were already destined to perish, some said something else. But it still bothered me. Because I wanted to protect myself should something happen, no?

I thought about and this is the answer I came up with....

Rebbi Nachman of Breslov taught that we should try to be happy or in good spirits as much as we can. However, we should take at least one hour (or less?) to really talk to Hashem, and to really apologize for the wrongs we did, and to feel remorse, and to want to do better, and to ask for guidance and help to do better. Then, be in good spirits again.

In other words, bring on your own judgement on your head, then bring on kindness to yourself. In this way, your not too "dependent" on what's happening in the world and you are balanced with the proper din and chessed going on in your life. I think something like this would have prevented many from falling in the Pinchas story.

This is totally my take.

5 comments:

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Thanks, very nice!

Tr8erGirl said...

Ditto sw/fm - very nice! :-)

Jacob Da Jew said...

You've been tagged by Da Jew!

Dofan Akuma said...

excellent
many wise lessons there

Miriam said...

Thanks! I've been reading alot of Likutey Moharan, can you tell? lol