Balak, Siman 1 בלק, א׳
1 א

וַיַּרְא בָּלָק. זֶה שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב: הַצּוּר תָּמִים פָּעֳלוֹ כִּי כָל דְּרָכָיו מִשְׁפָּט (דברים לב, ד). כִּי לֹא הֵנִיחַ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְאֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם פִּתְחוֹן פֶּה לֶעָתִיד לָבֹא לוֹמַר, שֶׁאַתָּה רִחַקְתָּנוּ וְלֹא נָתַתָּ לָנוּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁנָּתַתָּ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל בָּעוֹלָם. מֶה עָשָׂה הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא. כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהֶעֱמִיד מְלָכִים חֲכָמִים וּנְבִיאִים לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, כָּךְ הֶעֱמִיד לְאֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם, וְנִבְדְּקוּ מַלְכֵיהֶם וּנְבִיאֵיהֶם וְחַכְמֵיהֶם שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל עִם מַלְכֵיהֶם וּנְבִיאֵיהֶם וְחַכְמֵיהֶם שֶׁל אֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם. הֶעֱמִיד שְׁלֹמֹה מֶלֶךְ עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ. וְכֵן עָשָׂה לִנְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְגַם אֶת חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה נָתַתִּי לוֹ לְעָבְדוֹ (ירמיה כז, ו). זֶה בָּנָה בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ וְאָמַר כַּמָּה רְנָנוֹת וְתַחֲנוּנִים, וְזֶה הֶחְרִיבוּ וְחֵרֵף וְגִדֵּף, וְאָמַר, אֶעֱלֶה עַל בָּמֳתֵי עָב אֶדַּמֶּה לָעֶלְיוֹן (ישעיה יד, יד). נָתַן לְדָוִד עֹשֶׁר, לָקַח הַבַּיִת לִשְׁמוֹ. נָתַן לְהָמָן עֹשֶׁר, לָקַח אֻמָּה שְׁלֵמָה לְטָבְחָהּ. וְכָל גְּדֻלָּה שֶׁנָּטְלוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל, אַתְּ מוֹצֵא שֶׁנָּטְלוּ הָאֻמּוֹת כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ. הֶעֱמִיד מֹשֶׁה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁהָיָה מְדַבֵּר עִמּוֹ כָּל זְמַן שֶׁיִּרְצֶה. הֶעֱמִיד לָהֶם בִּלְעָם, מְדַבֵּר עִמּוֹ כָּל זְמַן שֶׁיִּרְצֶה. רְאֵה מַה בֵּין נְבִיאֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לִנְבִיאֵי הָאֻמּוֹת. נְבִיאֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מַזְהִירִין אֶת הָאֻמּוֹת עַל הָעֲבֵרוֹת. וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר, נָבִיא לַגּוֹיִם נְתַתִּיךָ. וּנְבִיאִים שֶׁהֶעֱמִיד מִן הָאֻמּוֹת, נוֹתְנִים פִּרְצָה לְאַבֵּד אֶת הַבְּרִיּוֹת מִן הָעוֹלָם הַבָּא. וְלֹא עוֹד אֶלָּא כָּל הַנְּבִיאִים הָיוּ בְּמִדַּת רַחֲמִים עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַל אֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁכֵּן יְשַׁעְיָה אוֹמֵר, עַל כֵּן מֵעַי לְמוֹאָב כְּכִנּוֹר יֶהֱמוּ וְגוֹ' (ישעיה טז, יא). וְכֵן יְחֶזְקֵאל אוֹמֵר, בֶּן אָדָם שָׂא עַל צוֹר קִינָה (יחזקאל כז, ב). וּנְבִיאֵי אֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם, הָיוּ בְּמִדַּת אַכְזְרִיּוּת, שֶׁזֶּה עָמַד לַעֲקֹר אֻמָּה שְׁלֵמָה חִנָּם עַל לֹא דָּבָר. לְכָךְ נִכְתְּבָה פָּרָשַׁת בִּלְעָם, לְהוֹדִיעַ לָמָּה סִלֵּק הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ מֵאֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁזֶּה עָמַד מֵהֶם, וּרְאֵה מֶה עָשָׂה.

(Numb. 22:2:) “Now Balak [ben Zippor] saw (rt.: r'h).” This text is related (to Deut. 32:4), “The Rock, His work is perfect, because all His ways are justice.” As the Holy One, blessed be He, did [not] leave the nations of the world a pretext for saying in the future to come, “You alienated us and did not give us anything like what You gave Israel in this world.1Numb. R. 20:1. What did the Holy One, blessed be He, do? Just as He raised up kings, prophets, and sages for Israel, so did He raise them up from the nations of the world. Moreover, the kings, prophets, and sages that belonged to Israel were examined alongside the kings, prophets, and sages that belonged to the nations of the world. He raised up Solomon as king over all the earth, and he did the same for Nebuchadnezzar, as stated (Jeremiah 27:6), “I even give him the wild beasts to serve him.” The [former] built the holy Temple and said many praises and supplications; and the latter destroyed it and cursed and blasphemed, and said (in Isaiah 14:14), “I will go up to high places of the clouds, I will resemble the Most High.” He gave David wealth, and he acquired the house for His name.2Cf. Ps. 30:1 [introduction]: a song at the dedication of the house (i.e., the Temple) of David. The Temple was David’s in that he acquired the materials to build it. He gave wealth to Haman, and he acquired a whole nation for slaughter. Every dignity Israel received, you find that the nations of the world [also] received. In like manner He raised up Moses for Israel, who spoke with him any time that he wanted, [and] he raised up Balaam for the nations of the world, in order that he might speak with Him any time that he wanted. Look at (rt.: r'h) what a difference there is between the prophets of Israel and the prophets of the nations of the world! The prophets of Israel warn the nations about transgressions, and so it says (in Jer. 1:5), “I have given you as a prophet to the nations.” The prophets who He raised from the nations, however, established a breach to cut off mortals from the world to come. And not only that, but all the prophets had a merciful attitude towards both Israel and the nations of the world; for so did Isaiah say (in Is. 16:11), “Therefore my inner parts throb like a harp for Moab….” And similarly has Ezekiel said (in Ezek. 27:2), “Son of man, ‘Raise up a dirge over Tyre.’” But this cruel man rose up to uproot a whole nation without cause, for nothing. Therefore the parashah about Balaam was written to make known why the Holy One, blessed be He, removed the holy spirit from the nations of the world. [It was] because He raised this man out of the nations of the world, and look (rt.: r'h) at what he did!