“Lo sa’or es ha’am ki baruch hu…” (22:12) Rashi comments that Hashem first told Bilam that he cannot curse Bnei Yisrael, to which Bilam responded that that's no problem, he will go and bless them. Hashem answered that he shouldn’t do that either, as “bauch hu,” they are already blessed and don’t need Bilam’s brachos.
At first glance, it’s hard to understand Bilam’s thinking. He jumps from extreme to extreme, first expressing the desire to curse Bnei Yisrael destroy them, and then, when that was not allowed, expressing a desire to bless them. Why would he want to give brachos to the same nation that a second ago he wanted to curse and destroy?
What the Torah is showing us is that only one thing really mattered to Bilam: being the center of attention. Curses, blessings, whatever – none of that really mattered. Bilam was flexible when it came to ideology and principle. What he was not flexible on was missing out on having a starring role in whatever was happening.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
the one thing that mattered most to Bilam
Posted by Chaim B. at 10:01 PM
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