Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Nothing unusual here..

Parshat Balak

Bil’am is heading out to curse the Jews on behalf of Balak. He is cutting through a field riding on his donkey, and the donkey veers from the path. It happens a few times and it upsets Bil’am. He threatens to kill the donkey. All of the sudden the donkey starts to talk and defends his actions. Bil’am responds and explains himself to the donkey.

Can you imagine this happening? I picture the story in my head and what do I see? How would I have responded if my donkey had started to talk to me? I picture myself falling off the donkey, extremely shocked and startled. Yet Bil’am reacts as if this is a perfectly normal situation.

I would assume that Bil’am must have always seen and experienced unusual things, in order for this not to have surprised him. Maybe that is part of the package of being a prophet.


Chaim B. said...

Perhaps your picture is incorrect. Perhaps Bilam heard the voice of the donkey communicating with him in his head, like the voice of nevuah, not that the donkey literally started talking (otherwise, imagine what the reaction of the other travellers would have been!)

Rafi G said...

nice thought. maybe.