Headlines »

January 13, 2018 – 10:39 pm | 48 views

Names are instructive, they tell us a lot about the things that they describe. When Jewish custom and history settles on a name for a Torah portion, the name bears a connection to the general theme of the portion. The name of this portion is Bo, which means to enter. …

Read the full story »
Parsha Insights

Where Biblical law and Torah tale is brought vividly to life

Concepts

The Jewish perspective on topical and controversial subjects

Life Cycle

Probing for meaning in our journey and its milestones.

Yearly Cycle

Discover depth and mystique in the annual Jewish festivals

Rabbi’s Desk

Seeking life’s lessons in news items and current events

Home » Balak, Free Choice

Balak: Manipulating G-d

Submitted by on June 23, 2006 – 5:17 amNo Comment | 2,398 views

A Strategy of The Spirit

The Moabite king Balak was afraid of the Jews. Its newly formed military recorded incredible successes against overwhelming odds and Balak feared for his country.

Recognizing that Israel’s strength was it’s spiritual potency rather then military might Balak turned to the only spiritual source available to him, the Gentile prophet Bilaam. Balak requested that Bilaam denounce the Jewish nation and sap their spiritual strength.

Bilaam accepted the challenge and proclaimed that G-d had erred in supporting the Jews. Thinking that he could manipulate G-d into distrust of the Jews, he argued that Jews were not worthy of Divine love and attention. But to his chagrin, G-d refused to be manipulated.

The Last Laugh Belongs to G-d

In the end it was Bilaam who was manipulated by G-d. Every time he opened his mouth to criticize the Jews, words of praise involuntarily slipped out. In fact, Bilaam’s words, immortalized in the Torah, have become a prominent source of praise for Jewish spirit and Identity.

We  often ignore the Torah’s instructions and make our own choices in life. Expecting G-d to approve our decisions, we invoke concepts such as “freedom of Choice” and “G-d loves all people”. Without realizing we attempt to manipulate G-d into accepting our rejection of His commandments.

Today’s Parsha teaches us that G-d is not subject to human manipulation; He does not depend on us for approval and is not affected by our rational. He determines for us but is not determined by us. It remains to us as Jews to fully accept His word and subject ourselves to His desire and will.

Tags:

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also Comments Feed via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.