Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Balak

Bilaam's Killing Kindness

The Torah records for us in this week’s parsha the appearance of an old enemy in a new guise. According to Midrash, which reflects traditional rabbinic thinking on the subject matter being discussed, Bilaam had advised Pharaoh decades earlier to exterminate the Jewish people. Pharaoh, for various reasons and circumstances beyond his control, was unable to finish the job though vast numbers of Jews were consumed in his slave house and crocodile infested rivers.

Now Bilaam returns to the scene, this time as an ostensible agent of Balak but in reality as an independent agent of his own hatred of the Jews, determined to enforce his own nefarious plans to destroy the Jewish people. He is prevented from so doing by God’s restraint placed upon him. Nevertheless thousands of Jews will die because of his advice and behavior.

Bilaam is the first Human Rights Organization of history. He speaks beautifully. Some of the finest Hebrew poetry spills from his tongue and mind. He has many complimentary things to say about Israel but as the rabbis put it: “From his words of blessing one can easily deduce what curses he really meant to utter against the Jewish people.”

One need merely look behind the sanctimonious facade that defines Bilaam in order to glimpse the enemy that leers with hatred against the Jewish people, its Torah and its faith. Bilaam is the father of all hypocrisy and pious sounding criticism leveled against the Jewish people throughout the ages and currently against its lonely embattled great little state. Bilaam states, “How goodly are your tents, Jacob” and yet he compares us to a raging lion and a destroyer of other nations. Subtly, his compliments and blessings are clearly his curses.

In the last century much of the world attempted and abetted the murder of millions of Jews. Again, for various reasons the “Final Solution” to the “Jewish Problem” was not completed. So, like Bilaam, much of the world has withdrawn from outright advocacy of the genocidal destruction of Jews and has resorted to “blessing” the Jewish people and the State of Israel with pious NGO’s, human rights organizations, UN commissions – all of which are dedicated to saving Israel from itself.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, there are many Jews overwhelmingly ignorant of their own faith and traditions, naïve in believing the façade of Bilaam as being genuine, that have joined the chorus of Bilaam’s hypocrisy and hatred.

Jews love Bilaam, his words, his lofty ideas, and his flattery. They find it hard to believe the worst about him and therefore the Jewish people and the State of Israel continually suffer grievous injury from his subtle attempts to harm and destroy. Bilaam builds altars to God and proclaims his righteousness and presents his credentials as prophet, wise man and noble human being.

He not only knows what is best for Israel, if they would only listen to his counsel and wisdom, but boasts that he knows the details of God’s will as well. He possesses eternal truths and no facts or realities should be allowed to contradict his set ideas. He will kill us with kindness, with Rose Garden ceremonies and Nobel Prizes. But kill us he will, if he only can. So once again the Lord will have to stop him, as He undoubtedly will.

Shabat shalom

Rabbi Berel Wein


Crash course in Jewish history

Rabbi Berel Wein- Jewish historian, author and international lecturer offers a complete selection of CDs, audio tapes, video tapes, DVDs, and books on Jewish history at www.rabbiwein.com


 

ARTICLES ON BAMIDBAR AND SHAVUOS:

View Complete List

Who Loves You!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Now It's Our Turn
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Déjà vu in the Desert
Shlomo Katz - 5774

ArtScroll

The Preface to the Story of the Moshiach
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

The Discerning Element Between a Torah Scholar and a Torah Sage
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5765

The Path to Pleasure
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

> More Than Just Stars and Stripes
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

Parshas Naso and Chag Shavuos
Rabbi Chaim Flom - 5767

Our Business/Our Blessing
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Dessert, Desert, and Deserters
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5757

Background Checkout
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Separate but Equal
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

Looking for a Chavrusah?

"Get a Spiritual Life"
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

Hitting the Bull's-Eye
Rabbi David Begoun - 5766

The Names of Shavuos
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

The Ramban DOES NOT Contradict The Talmud
- 5773



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information