Posted by: mosesfromsinai | June 21, 2010

Balak – Word Power

This week’s Torah reading is called Balak.  He was the King of Moav and was concerned about the Jewish Nation conquering his lands.  He took counsel with the Midianite elders with how to deal with Moshe and the Jewish Nation.  Moshe lived in Midian for many years and Balak felt that he could learn how to combat Moshe from the elders of Midian. They informed Balak that Moshe had great power with his mouth.

Actually even in Egypt, Moshe had killed the Egyptian that was hitting a Jew (the Egyptian had also slept with the Jewish man’s wife) by using his mouth.  He said the full name of the Al-mighty and words that indicated that the Egyptian should die.  Perhaps this may add to the strangeness of Moshe not being able to speak to the rock to bring forth water as instructed.  Moshe knew what he could do and this was not beyond his ability with the help of the Al-mighty.  In the end he chose to hit the rock.  Thus he was punished for not using a skill that he was blessed to have in sanctifying the Al-mighty.

Balak wanted an equal or better force to take on Moshe and Bilaam was the best man for the job.  Bilaam had proven that he could successfully curse or bless a nation.  The nation could either win or lose a war based on the words of Bilaam.  This was the man Balak wanted.  In the end, Bilaam was not able to curse the Jewish Nation and was forced to be a vehicle for beautiful blessings for the Jewish Nation.

Bilaam and Moshe, (uhg, listing them side by side – that is why we say Lihavdil (separate) when mentioning a Tzaddik, a righteous person in almost the same breath as a Rasha, a wicked person) had been given a special supernatural ability with the power of speech.

We do find however that various people have also been given the blessing of  Word Power.  A team can be down after half time and the coach or a player will get up and say some powerful words and the team will go out and become energized to win.  This we have seen numerous times.  A military leader will address his men and give the encouragement they need to lead them to victory.  A politician will deliver a speech that will carry him or her to victory or sway the people to agree to his or her actions.

Word power is a unique gift.  Let us also not forget that the entire world was created with word power.  In 10 sayings the Al-mighty created the world.  Let us use our word power for the positive, bringing about blessings in the world the Al-mighty created using word power.

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