Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 22, v. 2: "Kol asher ossoh Yisroel loEmori" - They feared when they saw what the bnei Yisroel accomplished with their "amiroh," prayer. (Noam Elimelech)

Ch. 22, v. 3: "Va'yogor Moav .. ki rav hu" - Bolok saw all that the bnei Yisroel did to the Emorite nation and realized that their success was supernatural. They had Hashem fighting for them. Moav, however, had a very narrow view. They attributed the bnei Yisroel's success to "ki rav hu," their sheer numbers.

(Yismach Moshe) We might add that Bilom saw what the "bnei Yisroel," the elite, did, while Moav feared the power of the "am," those of the lower echelon, the "eirev rav," who likely would not deserve Divine intervention, and as just mentioned, attributed it to their numbers. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 22, v. 28: "Va'yiftach Hashem es pi ho'osone" - Hashem had ample manners with which to communicate with Bilom. Why miraculously through a donkey? This was to teach Bilom a lesson. Just as the donkey remained a donkey, and in this unique circumstance Hashem used it for communicating a celestial message, Bilom too, is like the donkey, and should not have allusions of grandeur. (Rabbi Isaac of Kamarna in Heichal Habrochoh)

Ch. 22, v. 28: "Zeh sholosh r'golim" - Rashi (Medrash Tanchuma #9) says that this refers to the bnei Yisroel's three annual festivals. This is an extremely sharp rebuke. Just as the bnei Yisroel bring the whole world benefit during the 3 festivals, as the offerings of the festivals bring blessing for water, grain, and fruit, so too, the donkey said that it always brought Bilom benefit, transportation, etc. Nevertheless, he responded by hitting it. We find the same with the gentiles' response to our Beis Hamikdosh offerings. They destroyed the Beis Hamikdosh, "Ani sholo-m v'chi ada'beir heimoh lamilchomoh" (T'hilim 120:7). (Nirreh li)

Ch. 22, v. 34: "Im ra b'ei'necho oshuvoh li" - Even if I am bad in Your eyes, I will still repent. The gates of repentance are never closed. (Rabbi Yechezkeil of Radomsk in Knesses Yechezkeil)

Ch. 23, v. 9: "L'vodod yishkone uvagoyim lo yis'chashov" - The nation should isolate itself from the outside culture, and not give thought to what the gentiles will think of them. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 23, v. 9: "Uvagoyim lo yis'chashov" - Thoughts of sinning are not counted against bnei Yisroel (gemara Kidushin 39). However, for gentiles this is considered a sin, "uvagoyim," "lo," a negative act, "yis'chashov," is counted. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 23, v. 9: "Umispor es rova Yisroel" - Read this as "reva" Yisroel, one fourth of the word Yisroel, whose numerical value is 541. One fourth is 135 and a fraction, allowing us to consider it 136. This is the power of KOLE, their voice in prayer, TZOME, their power of fasting in repentance, and MOMONE, their power of charity, each of which has the numerical value of 136. (Nirreh li)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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