Friday, June 21, 2013

So We Should Know Who We Are

My how time flies!!!
I haven't written anything here for a very long time! I gotta stop that.
To ALL a wonderful Shabbat.
Don't forget Tuesday is the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz
This Shabbat we read Parshat Balak.
Balak was the Moabite King and he and his people were afraid of the Bnei Yisroel due to the power they showed as they made their way out of Egypt to the Land of Israel.
To deal with that, Balak hires Bilaam, the Diviner, to try to find a way and time to send curses onto the Jewish people. Instead however, he praises and speaks glowingly about the Jewish people.
What is the Torah trying to tell us? What is the point of devoting so much space to what a practicer of the dark arts thinks of us? Even though he beautifully describes the qualities and uniqueness of the Jewish people, but do we need to hear it from him?
One thing is that it is nice sometimes to hear what others think of us and it is nice to get a recommendation from others about us. But that should not be our real motivation and actually we should not do things just to please others.
I think a story my Father ZT”L told me fits in very well. After WWII my father went back to Hungary to learn in a Yeshiva, awaiting approval to go to America. After a time he found out he was able to go to the US and went to his Rabbi for a letter of recommendation. The Rabbi told him to come back the next day.
When he came back the Rabbi told him, “Here is the letter. The truth is that you really won’t need this where you are going, they won’t care about what’s in this letter. But I am giving you this letter so YOU should know who you are. It’s not going to be easy over there, so I never want you to forget who you are.”
The Jewish People were about to go into Israel out of the direct influence of Hashem and Moses. G-d didn’t want them to ever forget who THEY are.

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