BALAK – Curses in Blessings

 

The Seventh Section pf the Book of Numbers describes the plot of Balak, King of Moab and his hired sorcerer Balaam to curse the Jewish people, in order to prevent them from attacking Moab. G-d frustrates their plan and forces Balaam to bless the Jewish people instead.

Balaam said, “who can count the dust of Jacob?” (23:10)

The Jewish people are here compared (positively) to dust. Just as there are hidden treasures buried in the earth, so are there treasures of pure faith in G-d and deep love and fear of Him hidden in every Jew. These treasures may at times be hard to uncover, just as treasures buried in the earth are often buried deep below the surface. But they are there nonetheless, and with sufficient effort they can be revealed.

This Shabbat is the 17th Tammuz a fast day, marks the beginning of the three-week period, the saddest period of the Jewish Calendar. The walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans, in 69 CE, after a lengthy siege. (Three weeks later, after the Jews put up a valiant struggle, the Romans destroyed the second Holy Temple on the 9th of Av.)

However, as this fast falls on Shabbat, the fast and all of its laws are postponed until the following day Sunday 21st July. The only fast that we fulfil on a Shabbat day is the Fast of Yom Kippur (the day of atonement) the Holiest day of the year.

 

Wishing you and yours an enjoyable Shabbos with a successful and fulfilling