Posted by: mosesfromsinai | July 11, 2011

Balak – Balak

This week’s Torah Reading is Balak.  The Parsha contains the famous story of the Talking Donkey.  Balaam was being hired by King Balak to curse the Jews.  Balak had learned that their leader Moshe, had a way with words that people ended up dead or plagues occurred.  Balak felt the best method to battle the Jewish people was to find a prophet who could counter the talents Moshe possessed.  Balaam was that prophet.

On route to curse the Jews, the donkey Balaam rode on, balked 3 different times in different ways.  Each time the donkey balked, Balaam hit the donkey.  The donkey finally spoke and asked Balaam why Balaam hit her.  Balaam responded that if he had a sword he would have killed the donkey.  The donkey then asked if she had ever balked before.  Balaam responded to the donkey, no.  Balaam was then shown what the donkey stopped for.  An Angel stood on the roadway with a drawn sword.  The Angel then gave Balaam the rules.  Only the words given to him by the Al-mighty could he speak.

This little story is amazing.  TV shows and movies have been made on the theme of the talking animal, for example; Eddie Murphy as Donkey in Shrek.

As a side note, Balaam’s donkey may not have sounded like Eddie Murphy.

It is further interesting to note that Balaam did not question his own sanity when the donkey spoke but right away engaged in a discussion with his donkey.

Perhaps we need to be more receptive to unusual happenings and recognize that behind these events is a purpose.  We need to try to see what direction these events are pointing to or what lessons they are attempting to teach.

In the words of our holy Rabbi, everything we see and hear has a specific meaning.  It is our challenge to try and relate it to our daily lives.

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