The "parent" and the "children" inside us - Balak

Thursday, 24 June, 2021 - 9:18 am

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Is it good to be generous? Is it good to be sensitive and compassionate? Is it good to be altruistic?

Not necessarily. When someone gives and gives, without keeping anything for himself, it is not good. When someone pities its enemies during a war, he puts his country in danger. The mother of a child who cries because he wants to eat only chocolate instead of food, and she feels sorry for him and lets him eat whatever he wants, this is not good for the child. Even the good feelings need to be evaluated.

In this week’s Parasha Balak, we read about the magician Bilam and how he tried to curse the Jewish people. Since he was a real magician, his curses were very dangerous. He was looking for the bad elements in the people and when he outlined them, the curse could work out.

So Bilam tried to find something bad in the Jews, but he could not find anything. Instead of curses, he spurted out blessings. From the words he actually said, we can understand what he was trying to do, which is to curse them.

Bilam started by speaking about our Forefathers and our Mothers, thanks to whom we have a lot of powers. Not only were they significant, but they also influenced us.

The Kabbalists explain that we also have inside us parents and children. Our mind is the “parent” and our feelings are the “children”, since the mind “gives birth” to the feelings. Bilam was trying to find if the relationship between the mind and the feelings is right. Maybe the mind does not guide the feelings, defining its limits. But he did not find such a thing, and thus could not give out his curse. Because the Jews were not only following their feelings. For every action they wanted to do, even with a good intention, they carefully considered it with their mind, to make sure it is indeed good and appropriate.

We need to remember this as well. It is not enough for the feeling to be good; it also needs to be guided by the mind. Every action that sounds good is not necessarily actually good. If we are not sure, we may get advice from someone.

Thus, we will succeed in having our good intentions end up in good actions. We will fill up the world with good deeds and bring Mashiach now.

Shabbat Shalom,


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