Emunah and miracles – Shabbat Kodesh Parshat Balak

If I went to Berlin Zoo, watched the animals, and suddenly a donkey started speaking to me in fluent Hebrew, I admit it would give me a tremendous shock. I would ask the animal to wait at least until I managed to take a video, show it to my congregation and tell them what I have witnessed. A נס גלוי. An open miracle.

Now, we know Bilaam was a wicked person, but didn’t he have a little thought of Teshuva, Repentance, as this extraordinary scene of his donkey’s speech… unfolds before him? 

I am afraid the simple answer, (and lesson) is — No.

Our Emunah, our faith, our Character is something we are in part – born with, and in another part – result of working ourselves up the spiritual road. Miracles happen, and will strengthen the Emunah of the believer, and improve his character further, but it won’t change our basic character. This is in our own hand, and so for the ultimate prophet Bilaaam, nothing has changed.

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Chaim Michael Biberfeld