Torah Tidbits

27 August 2014 / 1 Elul 5774
Issue 1007
Parshat Balak
July 12, 2012

Chizuk and Idud

CHIZUK and IDUD for Olim not yet Olim respectively

People who have not made aliya tend to focus on how many difficulties they will face. They see family pressure, financial pressure, cultural pressure, pressure, pressure and more pressure.
In Parshat Balak, Bilaam hit his donkey three times when it stopped upon seeing an angel that Bilaam could not see. After the third time the donkey said: “What have I done to you that caused you to hit me these shalosh regalim (three times)” (Bamidbar 22:28). Rashi comments here that the donkey was hinting that Bilaam would not be successful in taking action against the nation that celebrates three pilgrimage festivals - the shalosh regalim. Why would the donkey specifically use this as a rebuke?
When the Beit HaMikdash stood, hundreds of thousands, likely millions of Jews descended upon Jerusalem three times each year for the shalosh regalim. There weren’t five star hotels, restaurants, or even hot showers. Yet, the Mishna in Avot (5:7) tells us that “no man ever said to his friend that there was insufficient place to stay in Jerusalem.” They were simply and joyfully celebrating the holidays in God’s presence. The donkey was in effect saying to Bilaam, “the Jews will handle uncomfortable conditions three times every year without complaint and yet you keep kvetching over a small delays.”
When it comes to Ererz Yisrael and aliya there is no pressure, there is no kevetching, there is only the joy of being in God’s holy land. This is so clear that even Bilaam’s donkey can see it.

In This Issue of Torah Tidbits

Candle Lighting and Havdala

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