The Weekly Shtikle Blog

An online forum for sharing thoughts and ideas relating to the Parshas HaShavua

View Profile

Friday, June 29

The Weekly Shtikle - Balak

This Sunday is the fourth Yahrzeit of my wife's grandmother, Mrs Shirley Yeres. This week's shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmasah, Chaya Sheindel bas Alexander.
This is also the week of the Yahrzeits of the first two Roshei Yeshivah of Ner Yisroel. This Shabbos will be the 20th Yahrzeit of R' Yaakov Yitzchack Ruderman, zt"l. Tuesday, Shiv'ah Asar B'Tamuz, is the Yahrzeit of R' Shmuel Yaakov Weinberg, zt"l. The shtikle is dedicate le'iluy nishmasam as well.
    When inquired as to the identity of his visitors, Bilam responds (22:10) "Balak ben Tzipor, the king of Moav sent them to me." Rashi delves into the motivation behind Bilam's statement. His intent was, "even though I am not dignified in your eyes, I am dignified in the eyes of kings." R' Ruderman points out that is a ridiculous statement for Bilam to make. Why should it matter one bit to HaShem what the kings think of Bilam? What could he possibly have intended to accomplish with this?

    The Rosh HaYeshivah answers that Bilam's intention was to incriminate Bnei Yisroel. His claim was as follows: "HaShem, you know that I am really not significant whatsoever. Nevertheless, I am significant in the eyes of kings. However, even though Moshe is held so highly in Your eyes, he is so gravely mistreated by Bnei Yisroel!" Therefore, when HaShem finally lets Bilam go along to Moav, he instructs Bilam "go with them, but only do that which I tell you to do". This is meant as a rebuttal of his charge against B'nei Yisroel. "The reason why you are revered by kings is because you tell them what they want to hear. Moshe tells Bnei Yisroel what I tell him to say. That is why his popularity is not always so high. Now you go to the kings and tell them what I tell you, and see how they treat you now." Sure enough, this proved to be quite a lesson for Bilam.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka
3306A Clarks Ln
Baltimore, MD 21215


Post a Comment

<< Home