Friday, July 8, 2011

All in a name

All in a name
Few Torah portions are named after people. Of those, Yitro, and this week's Balak, are two which bear the names of non-Jews.

Yitro deserved it for all he did to help Moses. But Balak, an evil King, who was bent on destroying the Jewish nation - why did he deserve such a privilege?
Moreover, he's just the middle-man: he hires Bilam, who is the star of the show. Bilam, Moses' equal in prophet terms, comes to ‘curse’ the Jews.
By naming a portion after him, the Torah is teaching us a lesson:
Yes, Balak was an evil man with bad intentions, but he makes it all happen. He has a mission and he is a committed to it. Even when challenge and failure come his way, he doesn't give up. He tries again and again.
While Bilam would have given up the first time, Balak unceasingly keeps to the task at hand.
Herein lies an important message in our life. It is easy to give up at the first hurdle. But the Torah likes those that stay focused with a mission and see it through.

Shabbat Shalom

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