• Gabbai

Balak – Death Will Not Part Us

One is left wondering what inspired the Prophet Bilaam to praise the Israelite nation as he did. Bilaam found beautiful things to say about this nomadic nation, which had been shifting in the wilderness for nearly 40 years by this time. This is not the image we have of the people. All we hear from them is bickering and complaining. The food, the water, their homesickness of Egypt.

Look at our nation today. The people are divided by various ideologies and worldviews. The Knesset resembles a cat fight more than a Parliament and we are at each others throats constantly for one reason or another.

The events of the past few weeks have shown us a glimmer of what Bilaam saw.

The missing boys became the center of our national attention. For the past few weeks we have held our collective breath, hoping and praying for the safe return of the boys. Vigils were held in Jewish communities around the world as well as rallies in their support. The ‘Bring Back Our Boys’ campaign dominated Jewish websites and social media. Tens of thousands of school children have been reading Psalms daily in merit of the boys’ safe return. People around the Jewish world made resolutions to be better. Here in Wellington some of us observed Shabbat until later than required on Saturday night. Every morning I anxiously scanned the news headlines, hoping that the boys had been found and were home safe.