Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 22, v. 2: "Va'yogor Moav mipnei ho'om m'ode ki rav hu" - HU's antecedent is the nation of Moav. Because it is many, meaning that there is no unity, even the relatively small nation of bnei Yisroel can vanquish Moav. (Rabbi Moshe of Pshavorsk in Ohr Pnei Moshe)

Ch. 22, v. 2: "Ki rav hu" - The Moabites feared the bnei Yisroel because Moshe was their Rabbi and leader. (Rabbi Yehoshua of Ostrova)

Ch. 22, v. 5: "Hi'nei chisoh es ein ho'oretz" - Moav feared that Hashem would be on the bnei Yisroel's side if they waged war because "chisoh es ein ho'oretz," the bnei Yisroel pursued the spiritual and covered over, i.e. did not make their goal, the "artzius," the physical. (Avodas Yisochor)

Ch. 22, v. 5: "V'hu yosheiv mimuli" - Bolok clearly realized that his powers came from impurity and defilement. He called out to Bilom for help, as the bnei Yisroel are "yosheiv mimuli." They reside diametrically opposed to me. They receive their power from the ultimate source of sanctity. (Rabbi Moshe of Ujhel in Yismach Moshe)

Ch. 22, v. 6: "Asher t'vo'reich m'voroch vaasher to'ore yu'or" - Note that "m'voroch" is in the present tense, while the corresponding "yu'or" is the future tense. This was a sharp barb to Bilom. If you bless someone and he has success, it is only because he is already blessed. However, when it comes to cursing, you are potent. Even if one is not already cursed, if you curse him, "yu'or," he will BECOME cursed. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 22, v. 6: "Na'keh bo" - Rashi says that Bolok hoped that Bilom would be able "l'cha'seir mei'hem m'at." Hashem loves the bnei Yisroel because they are "ham'at mikol ho'amim" (Dvorim 7:7), because they are humblest of all the nations. Bolok asked Bilom to diminish from them their humility, "l'cha'seir mei'hem m'at," and once they would be less humble there was hope that Hashem would forsake them and that they could be vanquished. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 22, v. 12: "Lo seileich imohem" - Rashi says that after Hashem refused to grant permission to Bilom to curse the bnei Yisroel, he requested permission to bless them. Hashem responded that they were already blessed and did not need Bilom's blessing. Rashi adds the parable, "One says to a bee, 'Not your honey and not your sting.'" Why did Bilom request permission to bless his enemies, the bnei Yisroel? His intention was to bless them with much physical wealth, which would in turn draw them away from spiritual pursuits. Hashem responded that He would not grant permission. It is obvious that a blessing from Bilom inherently carried with it liabilities, as clearly as taking honey from a beehive and getting stung. (Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh of Radzimin in Chinuch Habonim)

Ch. 22, v. 21: "Va'yokom Bilom baboker" - Rashi says that although Bilom went about his task with alacrity, saddling his donkey by himself and setting out early, Avrohom had preceded him, as the verse states, "va'yashkeim Avrohom baboker" Breishis 22:3). You, Bilom got up early, "va'yokom," but Avrohom got up even earlier, "kvar KODOMCHO Avrohom." By Avrohom the verse states "va'yashkeim." (Nirreh li)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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