Short Vort on Parshat Balak 2015 5775

Balak was frightened that the Children of Israel were approaching and his reaction was: וַיִּשְׁלַח מַלְאָכִים אֶל בִּלְעָם, “He sent messengers to Bilam…”. (Num. 22,5) to come and curse the Jewish people. Rashi comments on this verse: Why did the Holy One blessed be He, let His Shechina rest upon so wicked a heathen as Bilam? I reply “in order that the heathen people should have no excuse to say ‘If we had prophets, we would have changed for the better’.”

The obvious reasoning of Rashi is that their contention was they didn’t believe in the Almighty because they had no prophets, thus they could not believe in that which was not proven to them and they could not see with their own eyes. Hence, the question was if they must have proof to believe, how come they believed in Bilam’s ability to curse effectively?

Many Jewish people do not practice Mitzvot and Jewish traditions. When unfortunately a tragedy occurs, they start believing in all kinds of superstitions. Judaism has laws and traditions for every life occurrence and it is not necessary to believe in unwarranted practices.

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