Tiferet Rafael
9665 W. Broward Blvd
Plantation, FL 33324

Parashat Balak: Hashem leads you in your way!

In this parshah we see how Balak King of Moav fears that the people of Israel will go to war against him. And
so he decides to hire Bilaam, a prophet to the nations of the world, to curse the people of Israel.
” לא תלך עימהם” “קום לך איתם”
“Do not go with them” “Get up and go with them”

At first God came to him in a dream and told him – do not go with them. When He afterwards saw that Bilaam very much wanted to go. He told him – you can go with them, but only say what I tell you to say.
The question is – Why does God first tell him not to go, and then tell him he could go?

Says the Gemara in Makkos (10b) אותו מוליכין בה לילך רוצה שאדם בדרך, In the path a person desires to go in they lead him. There is evidence of this in the Torah, The proof for this from the Torah is in this parshah.
We see that at first God did not want him to go with them. But when he saw that he really wanted to go with them, and curse Israel, God let him.

Sometimes a person chooses a way of life for himself, and stays with it. Even when he is having difficulties
on that path he keeps going. Suddenly he starts to see that not only is he managing to plow ahead, but is even having remarkable success. And so he thinks this is proof that God is allowing him to do what he wants to do.

And he even starts to think that God is happy with what he is doing, because if Hashem was not happy with the
road he was taking, He would not have helped him. But what a person does not understand is that God is not
the One Who leads him, but rather the angels that a person creates with every sin that he commits. They are the ones that lead him. So writes the Maharsha. This is why it says – They lead him and not He leads him.
Bilaam was blind in one eye – he could not see with both eyes, but only with one eye. And so he did not notice or see what was happening around him.

When a person is in a whirlwind of lust (taava) and emotions ,he does not care about anything else, even when the most bizarre things are happening right in front of him.
Bilaam sees that God is trying to detain him and hold him back. That he is rearranging the world’s natural order
for him. His donkey starts talking to him, but instead of fainting, he answers it. He is immersed in his lust.
Wanting to obtain money. To curse Israel. He cannot see what is happening around him.

Hashem gives man signs throughout life, showing him all kinds of situations that will cause him to repent and
see the path of truth, האמת דרך. Hashem brings people in to a person’s life. Sometimes even causing catastrophes around him. In order to awaken him. So that he will start to think about what he is doing and where he is going. But a man that is immersed in lust for money, respect, and power does not care about
anything else. He is willing to do anything to reach his goal. God gives him the option to continue doing things his way.

Because that is the path he chose – and a person has free will and the option to choose between good and evil. But it is not because God agrees with his way – but because In the path a person desires to go in, they lead him.

Hashem gives us a free choice in our life,
We need to choose which way to go.
If we want to be with Hashem, we need to choose the way of the Torah. And then God will be with us all the way.

May you have a good and blessed Shabbat!!

Rabbi lasry