Friday, July 30, 2010

Ekev – The Blessings Are From Balaam

God will love you, bless you and make you numerous.

All benefits that Israel enjoys in this world come from the blessings of the evil Balaam. Any merits that they accrue, however, are preserved and wait for them in the World to Come. That is the meaning of what the Torah said, “God will preserve you” - meaning, preserve your merits for you.

The Sages have learned this teaching about Balaam from the use of the same word "love." Here it says, “God will love you and bless you” and about Balaam it says “And God overturned the curses of Balaam and made them into blessings, since God loves you.” We do not find anywhere else in the Torah blessings next to love, except in describing the incident of Balaam and this “God will love you and bless you.”

Art: William Brassey Hole - Balaam blessing Israel