Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Balak - 5776
BUILDING FROM THE STROLL
Pareshat Balak is a comforting Paresha. A king and a sorcerer are attempting to annihilate us, while Hashem protects His people, without the nation even knowing that there is a threat.
Yet, when times appear to be good, we must deal with the danger of spiritual complacency.
At the end of our Paresha, the Torah notes that the Children of Israel settled in a place called Shittim, and began to commit harlotry with the daughters of Moab. The word” Shittim” comes from the word Shat - to leisurely stroll. Feeling settled when situated near a spiritual threat, led the children of Israel to a tragic calamity.
When times are tranquil, we must use our peace of mind to strengthen and build institutions that transmit our tradition. If we look at the material used for the construction of the walls of the tabernacle, we see that acacia wood, known in Hebrew as Atzei Shitim, was used.
For Judaism to survive we must channel an atmosphere of stroll to one of goal, where we use the Shittim to construct and not deconstruct spiritually.