July 16, 2016, Israel
Life, for all of us, it is sometimes just too much. Sometimes we are just overwhelmed. Sometimes we feel we are just facing odds that we cannot overcome, we need something supernatural to save us, to even the odds, to give us a fighting chance. Sometimes it is just "Life in the fast lane" while our car is driving like a slow tractor. Sometimes we are just overwhelmed by life and its challenges.
We are not alone. I feel that whatever I am going through I can find the answer in the Torah, the book of books, the Bible. As the rabbis say turn it inside out, dig and dig and you shall find everything in it. The answers are there.
So this week I was reading the portion of Balak son of Sipor King of Moab and his troubles with the Children of Israel. Although he was our enemy I can understand and relate to his troubles. I feel for him.
He is the king of Moab; his job is to protect his people and his land. He sees this new nation of warriors emerging and he is worried. He fears for his people. And we read, "...a nation has emerged from Egypt and behold it has covered the light of the earth and he is now facing me. Bilam son of Beor the prophet, go and curse this people because it is too overwhelming for me, perhaps then I can strike at him and expel him from our land." (The book of Numbers, chapter 22)
Balak is facing a problem. He realizes that all his natural resources are not enough to deal with this. He and his entire nation are incapable of overcoming this enemy so he tries to even the odds by bringing in a magician, a man who can cast spells, a man who can "fix things".
In the end Balak is not successful. Bilam the son of Beor, the magician, is not able to curse a people that cannot be cursed. They must simply learn to adjust to the situation.
In our own lives, whenever and wherever we may live, we too face situations that seem simply overwhelming. We suffer loss, face financial challenges, emotional challenges, work deadlines, family pressures and sometimes we just feel like Balak: It is all too much! I can't take it anymore, stop the world I want to get off. And then we remember, there are no magical solutions in this life, no true magicians and no spells that can be cast. We simply must cope. We must take the tools we have and deal with the situation as best as we can. We cannot rely on magicians or magic potions.
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