Balak is a Parsha סתומה (no spaces). Parshas ויצא is also סתומה, the connection between the two Parshios, being that ויצא talks of Lavan who most say was מתגלגל into בלעם, and both wanted to לעקור את הכל. Parshas Balak is a Parsha of ונהפוך הוא, in that Billam’s curses were transformed into Brachos, even when the yidden deserved קללה. This demonstrates the deep love that Hashem has for בני ישראל. Parshas Balak usually falls the Shabbos before יז בתמוז. All the fast days will be Yomim Tovim in the future. One main difference of the fast of יז בתמוז, is that this fast falls in the second half of the month, when the מדת הדין is prevalent. There used to be a custom not to make weddings in the second half of the month. All these fast days are really בפנימיות- Yomim Tovim, however we don’t see it due to the הסתרה. The day of the חטא העגל was טז תמוז, the first day that saying קדוש לבנה is forbidden, and the second day of מיעוט הירח. In the future, when the moon will be the same size as the sun, there will be no difference between the first and second half of the month. By the חסידים, the highest Shabbos of the year is שבת חזון, and then the three Shabosim of the three weeks, from יז בתמוז until ט באב. These three weeks correspond to the three nations which we will only conquer in the future- עמון מואב and אדום. We already obtained seven of the ten lands promised to Avraham. These three nations represent the three parts of the intellect -חכמה בינה ודעת.
Parshas Balak has in it three times the wordsוירא .. וירא בלק וירא בלעם and וירא פנחס. Balak wished to curse the yidden, and so did Billam but טוב בעיני יה-וה לברך את ישראל. Pinchas, on the other hand, wanted to save the yidden, and bring an end to the plague, that was killing many yidden, and because of his קנאית for Hashem, he is rewarded with the ברית שלום, the כהונה, and eternal life as אליהו הנביא. What Pinchas “saw” more than even Moshe was the Halacha of הבועל ארמית קנאין פוגעין בו. The third pasuk in the Parsha says that Balak was מלך למואב and not מלך מואב, since he was hired by Moav to be king, and later “fired”. Earlier, Billam was hired by Sichon to curse Moav, and from this curse Moav lost their monarchy forever- ונירם אבד חשבון, as we read at the end of Parshas חקת. Balak was originally one of the נסיכי מדין. Balak wished that Billam’s great power of speech would result in a curse of כלל ישראל, with no
future to their monarchy- no נצחיות. Balak was afraid after seeing that כלל ישראל defeated the powerful giants-Sichon and Og. The second pasuk in the Parsha begins ויגר מואב, where סיחון ועוג=219=ויגר. Really the yidden had no desire to attack Moav, as they were not permitted to do so, and so Moav had no need to worry. בלק saw the future בן פרצי, the משיח that will make a פרצה, a breakthrough in the natural boundaries of Galus. Balak is called בלק בן צפור, and צפור is the same letters as פורץ. Billam prophesized that in the future the yidden will wipe out Moav ומחץ פאתי מואב, but not now אראנו ולא עתה. What really happened was that the opposite, and כלל ישראל was solidified as the עם נצחי, showing the tremendous love Hashem has for his nationירח תמוז=671=אוהב עמו ישראל . Tamuz was also supposed to be the חודש of נצחיות, if not for the עגל. However in the future, תמוז will regain its stature – בכרי ישראל=773=בחודש תמוז
The first time וירא is written in Chumash, is by the אור הגנוז, where it says there וירא אלה-ים את האור. Rav Tzadok says that the first time a word or phrase is written in the Torah, is the source of that word. We get a taste of this light on Chanuka, where it is a mitzvah to look at the candles. On Chanuka we get a taste of the future, when there will be no boundaries 8 xחנוכה =712=את האור כי טוב ויבדל .
Chanuka is the פרצה, where the mitzva is to light the candles on the left side, into the boundary of Esav, facing the public domain, and below ten tefachim. Chanuka extends into the dark month of Teves, the sister month of Tamuz, both months belong to the side of Esav. There is no other י”ט that is in the second part of the month, except for Chanuka, and later לג בעומר. The מן also began to fall in the second part of the month, the sixteenth of Iyar. The common denominator to all of these, is they are all futuristic. The מן is the food for the צדיקים in the world to come, and לג בעומר is when the פנימיות התורה, the Torah of the future began to be revealed. Hashem put ראיה, the אור הגנוז into this part of Torah -תא חזי. The משיח will reveal this light, where the Torah we learn today is considered הבל, compared to the Torah of the future. If the yidden would have received the first לוחות, the Gemorra in נדרים says that we would have needed only the Chumash and ספר יהושע, and some say just the עשרת הדברות.
The ספר יצירה (written by Avraham) says that the mode of the month
of Tamuz is ראיה , and Reuven who represents Tamuz (Ari Tz”l) was called his name ראה יה-וה בעניי. By seeing something, a person has clarity איננו דומה ראיה לשמיעה, and therefore an עד cannot be a דיין, since by seeing the action, he becomes biased. The Torah of the future is a בח” of ראיה, and נצחי represented by the number eight. The ספר יצירה also says that Tamuz was created with the letter ח or eight, and משיח will play a harp of eight strings למנצח על השמינית, where eight is נצחי. This is the level we would have been at, on יז בתמוז, if not for the חטא העגל, in that we would have seen everything in Torah.
Aharon said חג ליה-וה מחר, referring to יז בתמוז, which hints to it being transformed into a י”ט, when משיח comes- מחר. The 17th of Tamuz was supposed to be the קץ of the forty days of מתן תורה, that is the קץ of Galus. The Gemorra Bavli is called מחשכים, dark חשך and בלבול, since we need to toil so hard to make sense of it. There would have been no בלבול and חשך if the yidden wouldn’t have sinned. בלק בלעם make up the words בלבל עמך. They both wanted to make a בלבל, similar to Lavan’s intention in switching Leah for Rachel, which caused a בלבל and somewhat of a פגם in Reuven- in that Yaakov thought he was with Rachel the night he was conceived (אור החיים). This affected Reuven’s month of Tamuz, where in it, the walls of י”ם were breeched by בבל. This is a metaphor for the future, when there won’t be a wall around י”ם, since there won’t be any security needs.
Billam said to Balak מה אקב לא קבה א-ל, that even if he wanted, Billam couldn’t curse the blessed nation. Lavan tried to uproot the קדושה, the יסוד of כלל ישראל, as it says that Lavan בקש לעקור את הכל. Billam rectified these words when he said that the yidden are blessed in pasuk כד:א –וירא בלעם כי טוב בעיני יה-וה לברך את ישראל, where by the אור הגנוז, the same words כי טוב are used. The Jews are rooted in this hidden light- אברהם יצחק יעקב משה אהרן יוסף דוד=1409=כי טוב בעיני יה-וה לברך את ישראל . Billam sees this hidden light. Because of these seven shepherds of כלל ישראל, there is a נצחיות to the yidden, and בלעם and בלק are trying to take this נצחיות away from them – אברהם יצחק יעקב משה אהרן יוסף דוד=1409=הן עם לבדד ישכון ובגוים לא יתחשב .
At the end of the Parsha, בלעם has a different plan to get Hashem
angry at the Jews, as he saw that cursing them wouldn’t work. And so his advice was to seduce the yidden into זנות, and then lead them to ע”ז with בעל פעור. It says in pasuk כה:א – וישב ישראל בשטים ויחל העם לזנות אל בנות מואב-. Pinchas sees what’s happening, and remembers a הלכה that even משה forgot. Moshe had said the Halacha of הבועל ארמית קנאין פוגעין בו when he descended from הר סיני on יז תמוז. Pinchas had a נשמה connected to the future 8=208= פנחס x 26. Through his brave act of killing זמרי וכזבי, he was זוכה to eternal life as -אליהו תשבי=712=את האור כי טוב ויבדל Pinchas enters the world of נצחיות that all yidden were supposed to experience on יז בתמוז. The mitzvah of הבועל ארמית קנאין פוגעין בו is like the פרה אדומה in that it’s not understood, and if one asks questions, he can’t perform this mitzva. Balak sent his daughter Cosby to try and seduce Moshe. She first met with Zimri, who convinced her that it was better to be with him, as he was from Shimon, the second son of יעקב, as opposed to Moshe, being from Levi, the third son. Zimri was about two hundred years old at the time, the son ofבן יעקב שמעון. “וירא פנחס” –Pinchas was rooted in the אור הגנוז, the first לוחות, where there is no שכחה, no forgetting–
כי לא תשכח מפי זרעו=1202=בראשית ברא אלה-ים=1202=הבועל ארמית קנאין פוגעין בו Pinchas is the grandson of Aharon, the lover of peace, and so the act that he did was against his nature.
Balak hired Billam in order to ensure that there wouldn’t be a future for כלל ישראל. Billam and Balak represented in טומאה, what Rachel and Leah, represented in קדושה, who are the שכינה של מעלה and the שכינה של מטה. Billam had the דעת עליון and Balak knew the physical places down below, to curse the yidden – רחל לאה=274=בלק בלעם. Billam had already proved himself, after being hired by Sichon to curse Moav, which led to Moav’s defeat, and their monarchy ended. Moav had no king of its own, and had to hire Balack, who was from מדין. Now Balak and Moav, who really hate Billam hire him to make sure there is no future monarchy for the yidden. We see many times that enemies unite to fight their common enemy. We see that Hashem has a sense of humor in that ironically Balak became the ancestor of Ruth, דוד and משיח. This is similar to Moshe growing up in the house of פרעה (on his lap), who made the decree to throw all Jewish male babies into the river, hoping to drown the saviour of כלל ישראל- Moshe. Another example is the שבטים selling יוסף, in order to frustrate his חלום of them bowing down to him.
The חתם סופר says that רות married Boaz on יז בתמוז, leading to מלכות בית דוד. On their return to א”י, Naomi said to Ruth אבקש לך מנוח, where מנוח refers to a husband – מלך המשיח=453=אבקש לך (Rokeach), where the משיח is the מנוח of כלל ישראל, who will bring bliss, מנוח to the world. Parshas בלק has one hundred and four pesukim, the סימן given is מנוח. The Rambam says that if someone doesn’t believe in משיח and doesn’t anticipate his coming, he is a כופר in Torah and in the נבואה of Moshe. Isn’t Torah and Moshe synonymous- תורת משה? The point here is that the only Parsha in all of Chumash that was not witnessed by כלל ישראל is בלק. The only way we know of this Parsha is through Moshe, and Moshe heard it from Hashem. We know that משיח is a human being, coming from a mother and father, from three different pesukim, the main one being here in בלק. The Rambam says that there was דוד משיחא and there will be בן דוד.
Hashem instilled fear in Balak, when really he had nothing to fear since כלל ישראל were forbidden to attack מואב. Otherwise this whole Parsha wouldn’t have been written, which was a huge blessing for the yidden. All this shows that even when undeserved, Hashem loves his children. There is a moment each day, that the anger of Hashem is kindled, and Billam knew how to focus on this moment, and this could have led to the destruction of the yidden. However Hashem held this moment back, so that Billam could not succeed in cursing the Jews. The חידא says that Balak was a son of Yisro, and ציפור was one of his names before he converted. Others say that Balak descended from Yisro, but not his son. Because Balak sacrificed forty two קרבונות, he was זוכה that Ruth descended from him, even though his intention was to curse the עם הנבחר, which is of course less than שלא לשמע. What took place in the Parsha was a double מכה for Balak, one that all the curses that Billam uttered were turned around to blessings, and secondly Balak saw that only the yidden have a future.
Billam was also a פורץ גדר, breaking boundaries that even the goyim made for themselves. Billam gave advice to all that it’s fine to commit זנות. In the beginning of the בריאה, Hashem set boundaries in the world וירא אלקים את האור כי טוב ויבדל בין .. As we say in הבדלה
on מוצ”ש, Hashem was מבדיל between light and darkness, between holiness and profane, and between ישראל and the nations. Both Balak and Billam wanted to destroy this הבדלה between the yidden and the goyim, by causing intermarriage in שטים. In שה”ש ח:ט the pasuk says אם חומה היא נבנה עליה טירת כסף -ואם דלת היא נצור עליה לוח ארז. The peshat here is this ענין of הבדלה. If we make a wall- חומה to separate us from the nations, then we will be fortified and strong, but if there is revolving doorדלת -, allowing goyim or goyishkeit in, then our strength and fortification will rot like cedar wood. Pinchas solidified this הבדלה, with his act of קנאו ה”, in killing זמרי וכזבי, resulting in ending the מגפה, and stopping the intermarriage, and merited to become אליהו הנביא, who also fought to fortify this wall ויבדל=52=אליהו. The world we live in is steeped in זנות, and intermarriage is rampant. We must strengthen the walls that separate us from the goyim and their ways. In pasuk כה:ז it says ויקח רמח בידו. There are 248-רמח words in קריאת שמע, the proclamation made by all yidden a few times a day, of Hashem’s unity, being unique only to כלל ישראל and not the goyim. This is what Pinchas took with him, when entering Zimri’s tent. Pinchas is from פוטיאל, from both Yisro and Yosef who were both called פוטיאל. He had a ניצוץ of משיח בן יוסף who does not tolerate any evil. Pinchas calmed the anger of Hashem, and stopped the מגפה.
Billam had דעת עליון. A goy could reach up to the level of דעת, but no higher. Only a yid could connect with למעלה מן הדעת, the realm of שמיני. A goy who is a חכם, thinks he knows everything, but a yid understands that he doesn’t understand. Balak built שבעה מזבחות- six times at the bequest of Billam. As we see, this is in the realm of seven, however a yid is connected to eight, the supernatural, rooted in Hashem Himself. The last soul of מדין, that had a spark of קדושה, was Yisro. From this spark came Pinchas, and so after he was born, מדין could now be eradicated. The month of Tamuz was created with the letter ח. On יז בתמוז, the yidden were supposed to experience עולם הנצחי. Twice in Chumash we read of אחרית הימים, once here in בלק, and the other in ויחי, when Yaakov wanted to reveal the קץ הימים.
Parshas ויחי is read in the month of טבת, the sister month of Tamuz. Both are in the fourth month, from תשרי and from ניסן, and the Zohar says the summer months and the winter month are parallel. Both בלק and ויחי are read in the אחרית of the year- that is in the last
three months. Both these two months fell, and they have fast days in them י טבת and יז תמוז, and the נצחיות was breeched, however both פרשיות talk of גאולה.
When יז בתמוז or any other fast falls on Shabbos, we are זוכה to feel the פנימיות of the fast. Beginning the three weeks on שבת, there is a המתקה of the דינים.
The ישמח משה says that אליהו attends every פדיון הבן, and not only every ברית. It’s written in the Parsha of קדוש לי כל בכור, at the end of the pasuk באדם ובהמה לי הוא, where לי הוא are the letters אליהו. In פסוק כד:כג-וישא משלו ויאמר אוי מי יחיה משמו א-ל , the Zohar comments on this pasuk- Who is going to survive Hashem’s wrath at the end of time? In Gemorra Sanhedrin קא it says Woe is to the nation that will be around when Hashem will make a פדיון הבן, when the Almighty will redeem his firstborn. The Maharsha says משמו א-ל, that א-ל is part of the שם ישראל, and everyone will recognize that we are his people. The בן יהודע says this is coming to exclude Esav. We maybe can say that also ישמעאל is also excluded, especially since they are the only nation, besides the yidden, that have א-ל as part of their name. In the last moments of גלות, when ישמעאל will fall – דור אחרון=475= על פני כל אחיו נפל, then בן דוד -משיח will rise. משמו are the same letters as ומשם which is written in the pasuk foretelling ofמשיח — משם יקבצך יה-וה …ומשם יקבצך, where דוד בן ישי=386=ומשם
Pinchas, who is אליהו will announce the coming of משיח.
Balak is afraid of the name ישראל. Yaakov received the name ישראל after fighting the מלאך, and then the angel asked what his name was. Since יעקב overpowered the שטן, he became ישראל, since – כי שרית עם אלה-ים ועם אנשים ותוכל-ישראל=541=שטן יעקב.
At this point, the yidden became בני בכורי ישראל. Hashem sealed the document that the בכור was bought from Esav, by יעקב. Later Yaakov gave the בכור to יוסף, whose portion is split into a double portion. Yaakov was implying that the בכור goes to whoever deserves it –that is, not hereditary, in this case אפרים, even though he was not the first born. The ירושלמי says that the reason we have to redeem the first born with עשרים כסף, is because Yosef was sold for עשרים כסף – (וישב לז: כח). Yosef was sold to מדינים סחרים and then to the ישמעאלים. It was Pinchas, his great grandson that took revenge on מדין for their role in מכירת יוסף. In the future he will take revenge on
ישמעאל for their part in the מכירה. In the פנימיות, Yishmael believe they are the first born. They claim that they belong on the מקום המקדש. They are trying to prevent the 5th expression of Geula משיח בן דוד=424=והבאתי from taking place. This fifth expression is connected to the fifth כוס של אליהו at the Seder night. We redeem the first born with five silver coins. Every פדיון is a יהושע for כלל ישראל, and Pinchas- אליהו is taking revenge for מכירת יוסף.
Whenever Billam and Balak speak to each other, they never say the name ישראל, but refer to the yidden as קהל or העם. Balak is afraid of, and doesn’t recognize ישראל. They both don’t understand how yidden are still called ישראל, even after they sin. In general, the name יעקב is used when the yidden are in Galus and are committing sins, and the name ישראל is used when the yidden have experienced גאולה. In יהושע it says חטא ישראל, that the yidden are always referred to as ישראל, even when they sin, since a yid’s פנימיות doesn’t want to sin. Billam and Balak are trying to remind Hashem of all the חטאים they have committed and they bring up the חטא העגל. It says וישב ישראל בשטים, even by שטים, where the place is called so, due to the שטות committed there, the name ישראל is used. This is why it says בשטים , with a פתח, inferring to a לשון שטות. The אור החיים says that the מקום was גורם that they should sin, as this was a place of immorality and depravity. The Alshich says that the yidden were called ישראל, since this is the Parsha of Geula -משיח, the time when they will be called only ישראל. Yaakov had to wear Esav’s clothing, when he received the ברכות from יצחק, hinting to that in the future, when the Jews will look and act like Esav, Hashem still has great love for them. Even in גלות, we are called ישראל, and could defeat all powers of the יצ”ר. Throughout theפרשה , the name ישראל is mentioned. A yid that doesn’t anticipate and yearn for משיח to come, is not serving Hashem. Those that lead a materialistic life could wait till they’re old, before desiring משיח. Billam said אראנו ולא עתה, where one פשט is that “I’ll believe in משיח, but not now”- which is the עצת היצר – דור אחרון=475=עתה.
In this week’s פרקי אבות, and maybe in the entire משניות, David is referred to as דוד המלך. We read this prior to Shavuos, the birthday and Yahrtzeit of דוד, and prior to יז בתמוז, when the seed of משיח was planted with the marriage of Ruth to Boaz on יז בתמוז. What began on Shavuos, should have been completed on יז בתמוז. The sixth perek of
פרקי אבות is really aברייתא , which is called קנין התורה, and ends with
יה-וה ימלך לעולם ועד, which will be manifested through דוד ומשיח. The sixth perek corresponds to the end of time. Parshas Balak is a Parsha that consoles us, as we enter the three weeks.
The חתם סופר brings from ר” עקיבה אגר, that Balak says to Billam to curse the yidden, and he blesses them. There are 354 days in a lunar year-132 days of י”ט and שבת when no תחנון is said, and another 222 regular days. In pasuk כג:יא it says –
מה עשית לי לקב איבי לקחתיך והנה ברכת ברך. –לקב =132, also the letters of בלק. Balak wanted Billam to curse the yidden that they shouldn’t have the 132 days of י”ט and שבת, but instead he blesses them, that the other 222 days should also be blessed like י”ט – ברך =222.
The מדרש says that Hashem put a hook or a muzzle in Billam’s mouth, so that ברכות would come out. The Vilna Goan says that Billam knew that the name of Hashem for מדת הדין was both יה and אלה-ים. When Billam wanted to use the name יה to curse the yidden, Hashem used the hook to pull out Billam’s tongue, so that the name יה would come out יה-וה. When Billam wanted to curse the yidden using the name אלה-ים, Hashem used the רסן or muzzle to prevent the curse from coming out, and stopped him at the name א-ל, the name for חסד and Bracha. We see this in כג:ח פסוק – מה אקב לא קבה א-ל ומה אזעם לא זעם יה-וה. Every word Billam uttered came out as a Bracha. Maybe this is one peshat of the pasuk כב: יז where Billam answers back to the שרי בלק – לא אוכל לעבר את פי יה-וה אל-הי לעשות קטנה או גדולה, that when בלעם wanted to use the שם קטנה – יה to curse, it came out the שם גדולה- יה-וה, and when he wanted to use the שם גדולה –אלה-ים, it came out קטנה-א-ל . Hashem is showing his tremendous love for כלל ישראל.
The only combination of Hashem’s name that has the שם ישראל in it, is the lowest month when we lost the בהמ”ק -that is, מנחם אב- הסכת ושמע ישראל היוםThis is a consolation to the yidden, that the name ישראל will remain with the yidden forever.