פרשת בלק – בלעם, נביא או קוסם? על נבואה באומות העולם
1א
הדף מאת: אברהם יוסקוביץ' / גשר - מפעלים חינוכיים
2ב
בלימוד זה נעסוק בדמותו המסקרנת של בלעם - האם היה נביא? קוסם? מכשף? מה יחסו לאל שהתגלה אליו ומה יחס האל אליו? האם היה רשע? ואם כן, מדוע התגלה אליו האל? האם נבואה יכולה להינתן לנוכרי?
3ג
"ולא קם נביא עוד בישראל כמשה"- בישראל לא קם, אבל באומות העולם קם. ואיזה זה? זה בלעם בן בעור. אלא הפרש [=הבדל] יש בין נבואתו של משה לנבואתו של בלעם: משה לא היה יודע מי מדבר עמו, ובלעם היה יודע מי מדבר עמו, שנאמר (פרשת בלק, במדבר כד) נְאֻם שֹׁמֵעַ אִמְרֵי אֵל; משה לא היה יודע מתי מדבר עמו עד שנִדַבּר עמו ובלעם היה יודע מתי מדבר עמו שנאמר (במדבר כד) וְיֹדֵעַ דַּעַת עֶלְיוֹן; משה לא היה מדבר עמו אלא כשהוא עומד שנאמר (דברים ה) וְאַתָּה פֹּה עֲמֹד עִמָּדִי ובלעם היה מדבר עמו כשהוא נופל שנאמר (במדבר כד) מַחֲזֵה שַׁדַּי יֶחֱזֶה נֹפֵל וּגְלוּי עֵינָיִם; משל למה הדבר דומה לטבחו של מלך ויודע כמה הוצאות יוצאות למלך על שולחנו.

מושגים
  • ספרֵי - (בארמית: ספרים). מדרשי הלכה לספר במדבר וספר דברים המסודרים על פי סדר הפסוקים, וכוללים אגדה לצד ההלכה. בתוך הספר משוקעים מדרשים משני מקורות שונים, שהודפסו יחד החל מהמאה ה-16 ונחשבו מאז ליצירה אחת. נערכו כנראה בארץ ישראל לא לפני סוף המאה ה-4 לספירה.
(Devarim 34:1) "And Moses went up from the plains of Moav": It was an ascent for him and not a descent. "from the plains of Moav": We are hereby taught that the Holy One Blessed be He showed him the chain of kings that was destined to arise from Ruth the Moabitess — David and his seed. "to Mount Nevo, the top of the height (pisgah)": Just as the branch (pisgah) is separate from the trunk, yet not detached (from it), so the grave of Moses was separate from the mountain, yet not detached from it, the valley intervening. "which faces Jericho": We are hereby taught that He showed him Eretz Yisrael, settled in its tranquility, and then, belabored by its oppressors. "the Gilead": We are hereby taught that He showed him the Temple (area) settled in its tranquility and then, its destroyers, "Gilead" being the Temple, viz. (Jeremiah 22:6) "Gilead are you (the Temple) to Me, the summit of the Levanon." "until Dan": We are hereby taught He showed him the land of Dan, settled in its tranquility, and then its oppressors. Variantly: "until Dan": We are hereby taught that He showed him the seed of Dan, serving idolatry, viz. (Judges 18:30) "And the children of Dan set up for themselves the carved image, etc.", and then, the redeemer destined to arise from him — Samson. (Devarim 34:2) "And all of Naftali": We are hereby taught that He showed him the land of Naftali, etc. (see above). Variantly: We are hereby taught that He showed him Barak the son of Avinoam warring with Sisra and his hosts, (it being written here "and all of Naftali, and elsewhere, (Judges 4:6) "And she sent and summoned Barak son of Avinoam of Kedesh-Naftali.") "and the land of Ephraim and Menasheh": We are hereby taught that He showed him the land, etc. Variantly: "and the land of Ephraim": We are hereby taught He showed him Joshua warring with the Canaanites, it being written here "and the land of Ephraim," and elsewhere, (Bamidbar 13:8) "For the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea (Joshua) the son of Nun." "and Menasheh": We are hereby taught that He showed him the land of Menasheh, etc. (see above). Because he was Menasheh's brother, he is juxtaposed with him (in this verse). Variantly: "And Menasheh": We are hereby taught that He showed him Gideon ben Yoash (of Menasheh) warring with Midian and Amalek, viz. (Judges 6:15) "My (Gideon's) thousand is the most impoverished of Menasheh." "and all the land of Yehudah": We are hereby taught that He showed him the land, etc. (see above). Variantly: "and all the land of Yehudah": We are hereby taught that He showed him David in his reign, (it being written here "and all the land of Yehudah," and elsewhere, (I Chronicles 28:4) "And the G-d of Israel chose me (David) from all my father's house … For He chose Yehudah to be the ruler, and of the house of Yehudah, my father's house, etc.") "until the western sea": We are hereby taught that He showed him all of the west settled in its tranquility, and then its oppressors. Variantly: Read it not "hayam ha'acharon" ("the western sea"), but "hayom ha'acharon" ("the final day"). We are hereby taught He showed him the entire world, from the day it was created until the day of the resurrection. (Ibid. 3) "and the southland": We are hereby taught that He showed him the southland settled in its tranquility, and then, its oppressors. Variantly: "and the southland": We are hereby taught that He showed him the Machpelah cave, where the forefathers are buried, it being written here "and the southland," and elsewhere (Bamidbar 13:22) "They ascended to the south and he arrived in Chevron" (the site of the Machpelah cave). ["and the plain": We are hereby taught that He showed him the overturning of Sodom and Amorah, (it being written here "and the plain," and elsewhere, (Bereshith 19:25) "And He overturned those cities and the entire plain.")] Variantly: We are hereby taught that He showed him Solomon the son of David fashioning vessels for the Temple, it being written (I Kings 7:46) "In the plain of the Jordan the king cast them." "the valley of Jericho": We are hereby taught that he showed him Gog and all his hosts, who are destined to fall in the valley of Jericho. Variantly: "the valley of Jericho": Cannot anyone see the valley of Jericho? But just as in a plain one can see this field full of wheat and that field sown with barley, so he showed him all of Eretz Yisrael as (He would) the valley of Jericho. "the city of palms": We are hereby taught that He showed him Devorah, (it being written here, "the city of palms, and elsewhere, (Judges 4:5) "and she would sit under the date-palm of Devorah." Variantly: "the city of palms": He showed him Gan Eden and the righteous strolling in it, viz. (Psalms 92:13) "The righteous one will flourish like a date-palm." [Variantly: "until Tzoar": He showed him the wife of Lot, (who had been turned into a pillar of salt), it being written here "until Tzoar," and elsewhere (Bereshith 19:23) "and Lot came to Tzoar" [followed by (Ibid. 26) "and she was turned into a pillar of salt"]) Variantly: "until Tzoar": He showed him Gehinnom near her, which is narrow above and wide below, as it is written (Iyyov 36:16) "And He has also led you from a mouth narrow-wide, with no constriction beneath it."] Variantly: "until Tzoar": He showed him the oppressors of Israel, like the tax-gougers, who lived with the exiles and were destined to go lost with them. (Devarim, Ibid. 4) "And the L-rd said to him: 'This is the land that I swore to Abraham, etc.'" He said to him: "To the fathers I swore it with an oath; to you I show it before your eyes." "and there you shall not pass": Here it is written "and there you shall not pass," and elsewhere (Ibid. 32:12) "and there you shall not come." Moses said before Him: If I cannot enter as a king, let me enter as a commoner, to which He replied "and there you shall not come" (at all!) Moses: If I cannot enter alive, let me enter dead, to which He replied "and there you shall not pass" — not as a king and not as a commoner, neither alive nor dead. (Ibid. 5) "And Moses died there": Is it possible that Moses died and wrote "And Moses died there!" But up to this point, Moses wrote; from this point on, Joshua wrote. These are the words of R. Yehudah. (Others say, R. Nehemiah) R. Shimon said to him: Is it not written (Ibid. 31:26) "Take this Torah scroll and place it at the side of the ark, etc."? It must be, then, that Moses wrote in tears what the Holy One Blessed be He told him to write, as in (Jeremiah 36:18) "And Baruch said to them: With his mouth did he utter to me all of these words, and I wrote them in the book in ink." R. Eliezer says: A Heavenly voice called out (for a distance of) twelve mils by twelve mils "And Moses died." S'malyon said (It called out) "And Moses died there, the great scribe of Israel." Whence is it derived that a tunnel issues from the grave of Moses to that of the patriarchs? It is written here "and Moses died there," and elsewhere, (Bereshith 49:21) "There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife." Others say: "Moses did not die, but he stands and serves, it being written here "there," and elsewhere (Shemoth 34:28) "And he (Moses) remained there with the L-rd." Just as there, standing and serving, so, here, standing and serving. "the servant of the L-rd": Scripture speaks not in denigration of Moses, but in praise of him. For thus do we find with the first prophets that they were called (in praise) "servants," viz. (Amos 3:7) "For the L-rd G-d will not do anything unless He reveals His secret to His servants, the prophets." "by the word of the L-rd.": When G-d takes the souls of the righteous, He does so gently. To what may this be compared? To a trustworthy man in a city, with whom everyone deposited their pledges. When one of them would come to claim it, he would (immediately) take it out and hand it to him, knowing exactly where it was. But when he came to send it through his son, or servant, or messenger, they would turn things topsy-turvy, not knowing their locations. Similarly, when G-d takes the souls of the righteous, He does so gently, and when He takes the souls of the wicked, He relegates (the task) to cruel, evil angels, who wrest out their souls. And thus is it written (Proverbs 13:11) "and a cruel angel will be sent against him," and (Iyyov 36:14) "Their souls will die amidst turmoil." (Devarim, Ibid. 6) "And He buried him in the valley, in the land of Moav": If "in the valley," why "in the land of Moav"? And if "in the land of Moav," why "in the valley"? To teach that Moses died within the inheritance of Reuven and was buried in a field in the inheritance of Gad. "and no man knew his grave": Some say that even Moses did not know the place of his burial, it being written "and no man knew his grave," "man" signifying Moses, as in (Bamidbar 12:3) "And the man, Moses, was exceedingly humble." And it once happened that the emperor's house sent (a deputation, telling them) "Seek out the grave of Moses." They went. When they stood above, it (his grave) seemed to be below. When they stood below, it seemed to be above. They then divided themselves into two groups (one above, and one below), but to those who stood above, it seemed to be below; and to those who stood below, it seemed to be above — this in keeping with "and no man knew his grave." (Ibid. 7) "And Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died": He was one of the four who died at the age of one hundred and twenty: Moses, Hillel the Elder, R. Yochanan b. Zakkai, and R. Akiva. Moses was in Egypt for forty years, in Midian for forty years, and led Israel for forty years. Hillel the Elder went up from Bavel (to Eretz Yisrael) at the age of forty, attended upon the sages for forty years, and led Israel for forty years. R. Yochanan b. Zakkai was in business for forty years, attended upon the sages for forty years, and led Israel for forty years. R. Akiva was a shepherd for forty years, learned (Torah) for forty years, and led Israel for forty years. Six "pairs" whose years (of life) were the same: Rivka and Kehoth; Levi and Amram; Joseph and Joshua; Samuel and Solomon; Moses and Hillel the Elder; R. Yochanan b. Zakkai and R. Akiva. "his eye did not dim": This teaches us that the eye of the dead (with the exception of that of Moses) does dim. "and his moisture lo nas": R. Eliezer b. Yaakov says: Read it not "his moisture did not depart, but "his moisture does not depart" — even now, ("lo nas" being susceptible of both readings). If one touched Moses' flesh (today), moisture would "blossom" from it. (Ibid. 8) "And the children of Israel mourned Moses in the plains of Moav thirty days: and "and the days of the weeping of the mourning of Moses ended": "the days of weeping": two; "mourning": three. "thirty days": What is the nature of these (thirty days)? We are hereby taught that they mourned him for thirty days before his death. And whence is it derived that the days of Naziritism are thirty? It is written here "days" and elsewhere, (in respect to Naziritism, Bamidbar 6:4) "days." Just as "days" here is thirty, so, "days" there is thirty. (Ibid. 9) "And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom": Why? "for Moses had placed his hands upon him": There is no obedience greater than this. "and they did as the L-rd had commanded Moses": But He had not yet placed his fear upon them, it being written (Joshua 4:14) "On that day the L-rd exalted Joshua" — On that day He placed his fear upon them. (Devarim, Ibid. 10) "And there shall not arise in Israel again a prophet such as Moses": But among the nations, there did arise. And who was he? Bilam the son of Beor. But there is a difference between the prophecy of Moses and the prophecy of Bilam. Moses did not know who was speaking to him, and Bilam did know, viz. (Bamidbar 24:16) "The speech of the hearer (Bilam) of the words of the Almighty." Moses did not know when He would speak to him until He did so. Bilam did know, viz. "and the knower of the knowledge of the Most High." Moses did not speak with Him unless he was standing, viz. (Devarim 5:28) "And you, here, stand with Me." And Bilam spoke with Him when he was fallen, viz. (Bamidbar 24:4) "The vision of the Almighty shall he see, fallen and his eyes uncovered." To whom may he be compared? To the king's cook, who knows the expenses of the royal table. "whom the L-rd knew face to face": Because it is written (Shemoth 33:18) "And he said: Show me, I pray, Your glory," He said to him: In this world you cannot see it, it being compared to a "face," viz. (Ibid. 20) "You shall not be permitted to see My face." But you will see it in the world to come, where it is compared to a "back," viz. (Ibid. 23) "Then I shall remove My palm, and you shall see My back." When did He show it to him? Close to his death — whence we derive that close to death it can be seen. (Devarim, Ibid. 11) "In all the signs and the wonders which the L-rd sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, and to all of his servants, and to all of his land.": "to Egypt": by itself; "to Pharaoh": by himself; "and to all of his servants": by themselves. (Ibid. 12) "and of all the mighty hand": This is the plague of the first-born. "and of all the great awe": This is the splitting of the Red Sea. R. Elazar says: "in all the signs and the wonders": In Egypt and at the Red Sea. And whence do we derive (what occurred at) Mount Sinai? From "and in all the strong hand." And whence do we derive even (what occurred in) the desert? From "and in all the great awe." And whence do we derive even the breaking of the tablets? It is written elsewhere (Ibid. 9:17) "and I broke them before your eyes," and here, "that Moses wrought before the eyes of all of Israel."
4ד
דיון
1. מה מעמדו של בלעם "בתולדות הנבואה" על פי הספרֵי?
2. מהם ההבדלים בין משה לבלעם? האם הם נוטים לטובת משה או לטובת בלעם?
3. מה פשר המשל שמציע הדרשן בסוף? האם 'טבחו של מלך' הוא משה או בלעם?
5ה
זוהר, פרשת וישלח (מתורגם)
כתוב בבלעם 'וְלֹא הָלַךְ כְּפַעַם בְּפַעַם לִקְרַאת נְחָשִׁים' שכך היא דרכו, שהיה מנחש... זה הוא שכתוב כִּי לֹא נַחַשׁ בְּיַעֲקֹב וְלֹא קֶסֶם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל, כִּי לֹא נַחַשׁ בְּיַעֲקֹב - בתחילה בימי לבן, וְלֹא קֶסֶם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל - לבסוף בימי בלעם... אמר ר' יהודה חס ושלום שהיה בלעם יודע בקדושה שלמעלה כלל, שהרי הקדוש ברוך הוא לא התרועע בעם ולשון אחר שישתמש בכבודו... אלו שהם קדושים ישתמשו בקדושה. ישראל הם קדושים שכתוב (דברים יד) כִּי עַם קָדוֹשׁ אַתָּה, אתה קדוש ולא עם אחר. אלו שהם טמאים, טמאים יזדמנו להם להטמא בהם.

מושגים
  • ספר הזוהר - ספר היסוד של הקבלה. הוא כתוב ארמית וערוך כפירוש על רוב פרשות התורה לפי סדרן, לפי ההשקפה הקבלית.
6ו
דיון
1 מה יחסו של הזוהר לבלעם?
2. מה ההבדל בעיסוקו של בלעם לעומת נביא מישראל לדעת הזוהר? מיהם הטמאים שמזדמנים לטמאים?
3. האם יש דמיון בדרך הדרשה של הזוהר לדרך הדרשה של הספרי?
7ז
"וירא בלק בן צפור" (במדבר כב). זה שאמר הכתוב הַצּוּר תָּמִים פָּעֳלוֹ וגו' (דברים לב), [שלא] הניח הקב"ה פתחון פה לאומות העולם לעתיד לבא לומר שאתה רחקתנו, ולא נתת לנו כמו שנתת לישראל בעולם הזה, [מה] עשה הקב"ה כשם שהעמיד מלכים ונביאים [וחכמים] לישראל, כך העמיד מאומות העולם... כיוצא בה העמיד משה לישראל שהיה מדבר עמו כל זמן שירצה, העמיד בלעם לאומות העולם כדי שידבר עמו כל זמן שירצה, ראה מה בין נביאי ישראל לנביאי אומות העולם, נביאי ישראל מזהירים את האומה על העבירות... ונביא שעמד מן האומות [בלעם], העמיד פירצה [=חטא בנות פעור] לאבד הבריות מן העולם הבא, ולא עוד אלא כל הנביאים היו במדת רחמים על ישראל ועל אומות העולם... וזה אכזרי עמד לעקור אומה שלימה על חִנם, על לא דבר, לכך נכתבה פרשת בלעם להודיע למה סילק הקב"ה רוח הקודש מאומות העולם שזה עמד מהן וראֵה מה עשה.

מושגים
  • מדרש תנחומא - קובץ מדרשי אגדה על התורה הנפוץ והמקובל ביותר אחרי מדרשי רבה. הקובץ נערך באמצע המאה ה-7 לספירה. הוא מיוחס לרבי תנחומא בר אבא - אמורא ארץ-ישראלי. הקובץ מבוסס על המחזור התלת–שנתי של קריאות התורה, כפי שנהגו בארץ ישראל ומשוקעים בו מדרשים מתקופות שונות.
(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!
8ח
דיון
1. גם מקור זה משווה בין משה לבלעם. במה הוא שונה מן המקור הראשון?
2. נסו להגדיר את ביקורתו של המדרש על בלעם.
9ט
ר' חִסדאי קְרֵשְׂקַשׂ, אור ה', מאמר שני
ולזה מה שדרשו: בישראל הוא דלא קם, אבל באומות העולם קם. ומנו? בלעם, הורו בזה שנבואת בלעם היה שלא על המנהג הטבעי, לְמַה שהֲשגת הנבואה צריכה הכנה והשלמת אשר היה חסר מהם [= תכונות ומידות שהיה חסר] אותו רשע ההוא. ולזה כִּנה אותו הכתוב בקוסם, אלא שבהיותו אצל בלק נתנבא על דרך נס ופלא...
10י
דיון
1. כיצד מפרש ר"ח קרשקש את ספרי דברים? האם אתם מסכימים לפירושו?
2. האם לדעת קרשקש הנבואה קשורה לשייכות לאומית-דתית, או שהיא נגזרת מאישיותו של האדם? מהי עמדת המקורות אחרים בשאלה זו?
3. האם גם לדעתכם בלעם הוא מקרה יוצא דופן? האם אומות העולם "זכאיות" לנבואה או שזו מדרגה השמורה לישראל בלבד?
11יא
יחזקאל קויפמן, תולדות האמונה הישראלית
... אלא שבאגדת בלעם החרטום [=המכשף] והנביא מסומלים בדמות אחת, כפולה ומפולגת. בלעם הקוסם כחו גדול לברך ולקלל בקסמים ולחש כשהם לעצמם... לקללה הוא מתכונן כקוסם; אבל בלעם הוא גם נביא, איש אלהים בסגנון ישראלי, ובתור נביא הוא רק מביע דבר אלהים; ...בלעם הנביא כאילו מתגבר על בלעם הקוסם הארמי... הנחש הוא אלילי ותועבת ה' מפני שתכליתו היא לגלות את סוד האלהים בדרך לא אלהית: על ידי צירוף נחשים ואותות…הוא מדובב בחכמתו אותות, כמו שהוא מדובב בכשפיו מתים. הנחש הוא אחת מצורות המרי האלילי באלהים, פרי גאותו של האדם האלילי ובטחונו בכחו וחכמתו, פרי שאיפות "להיות כאלהים". על הישראלי להיות "תמים" עם ה' אלהיו ולשאול רק בו (דברים יח).
12יב
דיון
1. מהי, על פי קויפמן, תפיסת המקרא ביחס לעיסוקי הקסמים והכשפים של בלעם? האם הוא ראוי להיות נביא?
2. מה המסר שמעבירה התורה דרך סיפור בלעם, ביחס לניחוש, כישוף, קסמים ונבואה?
3. האם לדעתכם יש הבדל בין ניחוש ודומיו לנבואה?
14 יד
15טו
דף הנחיות למנחה:
בלק דף למנחה הדס.doc