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Parasha Insights

By Guest Rabbi

In this week’s Parsha we read about the evil intentions of Balak who hired Bilam to curse our nation.

The Almighty God turned the curses of Bilam into blessings.

Let us delve a little deeper and see what Bilam really wanted.

There is a well known halacha called Be’alav Imo… which teaches us that if a borrower borrows an item and while he borrows it he asks the owner to be with him even momentarily,  then it isn’t considered as if it has been borrowed and hasn’t quite left the property of the owner, resulting in a special clause.

Subsequently if the borrower lost this item, although normally one would have said that a borrower is liable, in such a case he is exempted.

Be’alav Imo.

The Sefas Emes adds that we can learn from the blessings of Bilam , as to what he was trying to say.

He blessed us, that “Lo hibit aven b’Yaakov”, the God Almighty doesn’t see any problem with His nation, because “Hashem Elokav Imo”, we are a nation always with and connected to our God.

The greatest blessing we could dream for is that we are always close to our God.

There is a well known story about a wine dealer who’s blessings were always fulfilled.

The Apia (Apter?) Rov observed this individual and couldn’t see anything outstanding in his outward behaviour that merited this power and decided to speak to the dealer.

The wine dealer humbly explained that as his business had started to go downhill,  he wanted to look for a partner with whom he could work together on a fifty/fifty basis.

He then decided that his best bet would be to work together with Hashem. He davened to Hashem that He should help him and he’d give Him fifty percent of all profits.

Needless to say,when working with Hashem, it can only bring blessings. In Tehillim we say “Achas sha’alti”,  I have borrowed one thing from Hashem and therefore I’m worried that if I don’t look after it properly, “Shivti b’veis Hashem” I would like to remain close to Hashem and live in the Beis hamedrash which will mean that I am exempt from responsibility as I am a partner with Hashem. We can do no better than working together with Hashem,  involving Him in our everyday lives and activities and we’ll be the best way can be. There’s no better way forward. Even Bilam knew that and he wanted to break that bond. We must tighten this connection and reinvest in our partnership.

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