Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Torah Connection - Balak

What an interesting story.  So much psychology going on, in the interaction between Balak and Bilaam, between Bilaam and the donkey, and Bilaam and the angel.

Where is G*d in all this?  First He tells Bilaam not to go to Balak.  Then He says Bilaam may go, but he must  do what he is told.  Then G*d is angered again, and sends the angel to interfere.  But instead of the angel talking to Bilaam, he reveals himself to the donkey, which shies away, pressing Bilaam against the rock (literally between a rock and a hard place...)  Only after Bilaam beats his donkey 3 times does the angel finally reveal himself to him, shedding clarity on the situation and allowing Bilaam to proceed with his mission.

Why this divine fickleness?

Is it G*d who is fickle, or is this an allegory of the uncertainty we feel about attempting to discern G*d's will about important decisions?

And what about the angel?  The flaming sword is pretty clear.  As soon as one sees it -- even a donkey -- the message is self-evident.  Bilaam apologizes for his faiings.  From here on he speaks with moral clarity.

Bilaam, the greatest of gentile prophets, realized that something must be wrong. A simple donkey saw the revelation of an angel. He did not. He realized that there are experiences he should have been able to grasp and appreciate. If he didn't it was not a donkey's fault. It was not an angel's fault. It was his fault. He realized then and there that it was he who was lacking. 
How often does G-d cry out to us in newspaper headlines, be it earthquakes, wildfires, or human tragedies? We should stare at the sight and see the divine figure standing with an outstretched sword. We do not. We flip the paper and strike at the donkeys who struck out.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Jewish Bloggers
Powered By Ringsurf