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Torah Portion of Balak - Are Good and Evil Balanced?

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

(Number 22:2-25:9)

A Portion of this week Tora portion is one of the most fascinating psychologically-revealing portions in the whole Torah! Bilaam, a non-Jewish prophet, was granted a level of prophecy close to Moshe's level of prophecy. The Almighty gave Bilaam these powers so that the nations of the world could not say at some point in the future, "If we had a prophet like Moshe, we too would have accepted the Torah and would have lived according to it." Bilaam is an intriguing character -- honor-driven, arrogant and self-serving. Unfortunately, not too unique amongst mankind.

For Bnei Noah

In the Midrash (Bamidbar Rabbah 14:20) we read that Balaam was – almost – as great a prophet as Moshe. G-d created the world in balance, that means if there was such a great humble positive prophet as Moshe there must also be an opposite prophet to the same extent, and that is Balaam.

Looking at how humility Moshe was so humble that he was the only human being who could receive the Torah as it says:

That is to say, Moshe was very humble, such that he received the Torah, which is compared to water that leaves a high place and collects in a low one [Taanit]. (Yachin on Pirkei Avot 1:2:1)

And Moses was so humble that only he could erect the Tabernacle as it says:

This is the aspect of Moshe, who was the most humble of all men. Thus it is written , “Moshe erected the Tabernacle.” No one else could put it up it. (Likutei Moharan 70:2:3)

Balaam was the most arrogant man on earth. He was so arrogant that he felt he deserved to be helped in everything by his servants. He always carried 2 with him so that he would be sure to always have 1 to serve him.

Why did HaShem use such a polar opposite of Moses to bless the people? Chassidic teachings explain why these great blessing came through such a wicked man. Bilaam blessing the Jews was a preparation for Moshiach, when every single creation will acknowledge its Maker and the greatness of the Jewish people. This process began when Bilaam, the greatest Jew-hater, recognized this truth and blessed G d and the Jews.

The lesson that everything is created in balance by HaShem is beautiful. We see in this day that the number of righteous among the nations is increasing, that people are taking on and following the 7 Mitzvot, which Moshe was allowed to confirm and pass on from HaShem at Mount Sinai. At the same time, we see that the group of people actively fighting these 7 Mitzvot is getting stronger. They curse the message that the Jewish people and we want to spread Bnei Noah, we can trust that their curse is a blessing and know that in the time of Messiah the nations will come to the Jew (and not the Jew to the nations) with the words:

כֹּֽה־אָמַר֮ יְ"הֹוָ֣ה צְבָאוֹת֒ בַּיָּמִ֣ים הָהֵ֔מָּה אֲשֶׁ֤ר יַחֲזִ֙יקוּ֙ עֲשָׂרָ֣ה אֲנָשִׁ֔ים מִכֹּ֖ל לְשֹׁנ֣וֹת הַגּוֹיִ֑ם וְֽהֶחֱזִ֡יקוּ בִּכְנַף֩ אִ֨ישׁ יְהוּדִ֜י לֵאמֹ֗ר נֵֽלְכָה֙ עִמָּכֶ֔ם כִּ֥י שָׁמַ֖עְנוּ אֱ"לֹהִ֥ים עִמָּכֶֽם׃

Thus said the L-RD of Hosts: In those days, ten men from nations of every tongue will take hold—they will take hold of every Jew by a corner of his cloak and say, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that G-d is with you.” (Zechariah 8:23)

Brought By Angelique Sijbolts


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners en intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.




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