Bilaam’s Warning

It’s just scary.

I mean, this Parasha’s concept…

This person, the evil Bilaam, a notorious sorcerer, but a prophet for gentiles too, in his free time, seems to have a direct line to HaShem. He worships HaShem (as well as other “deities”) and declares he can do nothing without permission from G-d.

He seems quite a saint.

But we know he’s not.

I say that’s scary.

Because it means a person may be in close proximity to HaShem and still be evil. A servitor to the Sitrah Achra.

And we, the religious people, try to come as close to Him as possible, and sometimes, we even believe we succeed. But could it be we that we worship the wrong way, just like this old Bill? (aam)

What’s the difference, really,  between us – and him?

I really want to hear your opinion!

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8 thoughts on “Bilaam’s Warning

  1. Balaam is evidence of the Divine in us all. Despite his evil ways and failure to observe even the most basic of the ten commandments, HaShem shows how the contrast of good and evil provides opportunities for blessings from curses.

    This is the argument of polarity. With out evil do we recognise good? Without curses do we see our blessings? How can we make our curses, the bad that befalls us, into blessings, opportunities? Wisdom, experience and growth, come only from failure. Struggle provides us with the opportunity for growth, reflection and indeed conquest.

    Balaam is nothing more than an ignorant king. He seeks to build his reputation not his character. HaShem knows this. His motives are ill-informed, self-serving and lack judgement.

    On a less literal note, this Parashah also reinforces the instruction to love your neighbour regardless of his faults. To have faith for faith will always find a way. (The persistent angel, the devoted donkey, and the speaking of the words of Hashem). And to use even the experiences of evil as proof of G-d in this world from which we can gain wisdom.

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    1. You write beautifully, Girl, ๐Ÿ˜‰.
      I’ll just add, that in my mind, the main difference between us true worshipers and that evil wizard, is that with all his proximity to God, Bilaam grasps HaShem merely as some kind of force, be it the most powerful of forces. And as a force, it could be harnessed to his, Bilaam’s benefit. It could be manipulated.
      In other words, we try to serve God, while Bilaam tries to make God serve him (no capital h).
      But yet again, I say it’s scary. Because we do go about asking things from HaShem, and we must always remember that even when we ask, it should be only so we can serve Him (capital…) better, and for and in His name, and not just for us. Otherwise we’re in danger of becoming just like Bilaam. (btw, the king there was called Balak, another guy)

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      1. Bilaam is doing as he’s told. He doesn’t think. As you would know from my writing, I contemporise the Parashah and bilaam is easy.

        What evil do you think or speak? What evil do you listen to and repeat? “Watch your thoughts for they become your words. Watch your words for they become your actions” etc. All culminates in poor character but contain the same basic meaning: what you believe will become your reality.

        Bilaam believed the Israelites to be protected by HaShem so he initially did not seek the curse. When pressed he did as he was told but his internal belief betrayed him and turned his action to curse into a blessing.

        How do your unspoken words, your thoughts, betray you? Do you create evil with your thoughts? Do you undermine your success? Do you poison others with your words?

        This reminds me much of Korach. Thoughts and words that spread harm.

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  2. Yes you are right. In my defence it was 0430am here when I wrote my answer!

    Yes, he is wholely self-serving. A good point. It is interesting, isn’t it, how haShem plays with him like a toy?

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    1. I must be more prudent with global time… ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Yes he’s just like a toy, you may say that’s a rare Torah-humor moment…
      In Midrash they say he was like a fish with a hook in its mouth!

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      1. Time wise, is not your fault! I have trouble sleeping… Too much Torah wandering and not enough proof reading๐Ÿ˜‰.

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