Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  LifeLine
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Mattos/Masei

by Rabbi Yaakov Menken


"...and Bilaam, the son of Beor, they killed by the sword." [31:8]

Rashi, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, says that Bilaam "attacked Israel, and exchanged his own trade for theirs, for they [Israel] do not ascend except with their mouths by way of prayer and requests. And he came and grasped hold of their trade, in order to curse them with his mouth. They, too, attacked him and exchanged their own trade for that of other nations, who attack by the sword..."

Israel, as Rashi explains, did not fight like other nations. As many as were sent to war, were sent to the House of Study, to study Torah and request G-d's protection over His People. While everyone else was measuring lengths of spears and numbers of arrows, Israel counted hours of study and repeated prayers. The Medrash Socher Tov says "the mouths of Israel, that is their sword, as it says 'and a two-edged sword [lit. sword of mouths] in their hand.'" [Psalm 149:6]

Clearly he who wrote "the pen is mightier than the sword" did not have words of prayer in mind, but nonetheless prayer and study have stood by Israel while its neighbors have faded into history. Not only the pen, but the mouth itself, has proven more effective.

The Chofetz Chaim, Rabbi Israel Mayer HaKohen Kagan of Radin, notes that every craftsman takes good care of his tools - and we learn from Rashi that the mouth is just as much of a tool as an M-16 is to a soldier. So, like every craftsman, we must take good care of this tool, and be certain not to 'ruin' it with forbidden speech like gossiping, falsehood and angry words. Rather, we should work to 'sharpen' it with words of Torah and prayer!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

CHOLIM LIST: Please send requests for prayers for the ill to cholim@torah.org. As the end of the month approaches, please be sure to renew all names that still, unfortunately, need to be on the list.

Good Shabbos,

 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

Now -A Hopeful Place
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Noach
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

Law and Order
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5760

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Go the Distance!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

What Goes Around Comes Around
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

Noach - A 'Standard' Tzaddik
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

ArtScroll

Immorality Around Us
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Positive Speech Builds a Brighter World
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Understanding the Faith of Noach
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

> Stealing: Not For The Taking
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5767

In Man's Diminished Image
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Improving Our Own World
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Seven Noachide Laws
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5769

Great Is Peace
- 5769

Free Gifts for People Who Find Favor
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5767

Don't Shout at Me!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760



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