Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chukas-Balak

Rabbi Label Lam

In Order for Nothing to Happen

The expression "No news is good news" takes on greater proportions of meaning as we study the events described in this week's portion. The Omniscient Observer and Narrator of the Torah, unusually so, moves to a side show beyond the immediate focus of the Jewish People for the first time since Abraham enters the spotlight as the individual whose family would be the protagonist of human history. What for?

We are gifted with a box seat to observe in a comedy of errors how the malevolent machinations of Bilaam and Balak are continually frustrated with only impasses on their way to attempt the impossible. We can enjoy from a close distance the volley of folly between two enemies forced into cooperation. We eventually witness their plans unravel and backfire as the intended curses are converted to blessings.

All this transpires as the Jewish People sit securely in their "goodly tents" enjoying the genuine bliss of a G-d centered individual and communal life together. While from hilltops nearby missiles are ready to reign down holy terror and the strange bedfellows of politics born nurse their ugly dreams the innocence of happy Jewish living persists.

Without this perspective we might be lulled into a false sense of security or be unduly induced into a panic mode. It seems there are more secret wars than we can ever count that remain forever the stuff of dreams deferred and damned. We may be more vulnerable than we think and more secure than we presume. We can never know how many times and to what extent we are being spared.

Rabbi Yakov Emden writes in the late 18th century: "Many have tried to injure us, but they were unable to wipe us out. While all the great civilizations have disappeared or been forgotten, the Nation of Israel that clings to G-d is alive today! What will the wise historian answer when he examines this phenomenon without prejudice? Was this all purely by chance? When I contemplated these great wonders they took on greater significance than all the miracles and wonders that G-d performed for our ancestors in Egypt, in the desert, and when they entered Israel. The longer this exile extends, the miracle of Jewish existence becomes more obvious to make known G-d's mastery over nature and history."

Cecil Roth concludes in "History of the Jews": "The preservation of the Jew was not casual. He has endured through the power of a certain ideal based upon the recognition of a higher power in human affairs. Time after time in his history, moreover, he has been saved from disaster in a manner which cannot be described except as "providential". The author has deliberately attempted to write this work in a secular spirit; he does not think that his reader can fail to see in it, on every page, a higher imminence."

In the world that we live in, with overt threats abounding, perhaps the best news we can hope to hear and that which calls for daily recognition is- no news. Paradoxically, plenty has to happen in order for nothing to happen.


Text Copyright © 2003 Rabbi Label Lam and Project Genesis, Inc.



 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON KEDOSHIM AND PESACH:

View Complete List

Understand the Warning
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

The Great Shabat
- 5773

In Lamb
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

ArtScroll

All The Days of Your Life
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Make Your Parents and Teachers Proud
Shlomo Katz - 5763

Relating the Chain of Events: Part 2
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Why On This Night Do We Dip Twice?
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

The Fundamental Rule
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758

Sweet Revenge
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Jogging Ancient Memories
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Not Everything That Counts Can Be Counted
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

In Bounds
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

> Good Salesman
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Pesach Food
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Why Next Year in Jerusalem?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759

The Heart of the Matter
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information