Portrait of Hacham Shimon Agassi

Portrait of Hacham Shimon Agassi
Portrait of Hacham Agassi painted by Mrs Ruth Gila, Beit Meir , Israel

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

 במדבר 22.21

Bilaam's Ass!

21.’And Bilaam arose in the morning and saddled his (female) ass and he went with the Ministers of Moav- וַיָּקָם בִּלְעָם בַּבֹּקֶר וַיַּחֲבֹשׁ אֶת אֲתֹנוֹ וַיֵּלֶךְ עִם שָׂרֵי מוֹאָב (2521 = 10 =1).

The verse can be divided so:
·         And Bilaam arose in the morning and saddled his (female) ass- וַיָּקָם בִּלְעָם בַּבֹּקֶר וַיַּחֲבֹשׁ אֶת אֲתֹנוֹ (1786+6 words=1792=19=10=1 or 2906=17=counting final Mems as 600);
·         And he went with the Ministers of Moav- וַיֵּלֶךְ עִם שָׂרֵי מוֹאָב (735+4 words=19=10=1).
Rashi comments here that hatred breeds deviation as Bilaam out of hatred went and saddled his own ass early in the morning, a task which usually would have been performed by his servant (Sanhedrin 105.b). Hashem called him “wicked one!”- רשע as the blessed Abraham before him did the same but out of love for Hashem and not out of hatred of Israel (Genesis 22.3).

3.’And Abraham arose early in the morning- וַיַּשְׁכֵּם אַבְרָהָם בַּבֹּקֶר (2048=14=8 or + 3 words=17=8 counting final Mems as 600), and saddled his donkey-וַיַּחֲבֹשׁ אֶת חֲמֹרוֹ(981=18), and he took his two young men with him-וַיִּקַּח אֶת שְׁנֵי נְעָרָיו אִתּוֹ(1628=17=8), and Isaac his son, and he chopped (split-Rashi) the wood for the burnt-offering- וְאֵת יִצְחָק בְּנוֹ וַיְבַקַּע עֲצֵי עֹלָה(1136+6 words=11428=), and he stood up, and went to the place of which G-d had told him-וַיָּקָם וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אָמַר לוֹ הָאֱלֹהִים (1313=8 or 3473=17=8 counting final Mems and Kaf as 600 and 500).
Rashi comments here that Abraham acted swiftly to perform the commandment of Hashem (Pesachim 4.a; Tanchuma 22). He saddled the donkey himself and did not order his slaves to do so as he was performing the commandment out of love which upsets the natural course of one’s actions (Beraishit Rabbah 55.8).

The opposite is true of Bilaam. He committed the same act but out of hatred as his mind was warped with perversion.

Rashi adds that Bilaam’s heart was one with the Ministers of Balak went he set out with them-to curse Israel.

This verse and comment of Rashi come to support my opinion that Bilaam now no longer saw himself as an agent on a mission from Balak but on his own “holy” war to destroy the Dynasty of Abraham once and for good. He wanted revenge and he wanted it desperately!

The verse obviously implies that Bilaam work up early to have sexual relations with his ass.

We see from this verse the proof of the words of the Sages (Rabbi Eliezer HaKapher Avot 4.21):

Jealousy and lust and honor remove a man from the world

הקנאה והתאווה והכבוד מוציאים את האדם מן העולם

1522=10=1 or + 8 words=1530=1+8

 3852=18 (final letters)

Bilaam (Lavan) was jealous of his uncle Abraham and he was full of self pride as he thought that Hashem had agreed to curse the decedents of Abraham in his merit and he was perverted in his lust. He was thus on a suicide mission but he didn’t realize it because he had a “ruptured eye”-שְׁתֻם הָעָיִן .

The gematria of the words “And Bilaam arose in the morning” - וַיָּקָם בִּלְעָם בַּבֹּקֶר is 602=8.

The gematria of the words “and he saddled his ass”- וַיַּחֲבֹשׁ אֶת אֲתֹנוֹ is 1184+3 words=17=8.

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