Category Archives: Balak

Parshas Balak 5775

And the malach of Hashem stood in the path of vineyards with a fence on this side and a fence on that side. (Bamidbar 22/24)

Zera Shimshon asks why is it important for the Torah to mention that the Malach stood in a path of vineyards between two walls. Why wouldn’t it have been enough to say simply that the Malach stood on a path closed in by two walls?

He answers in light of the Medrash Rabah (Parshas Noach) that says that after Noach left the ark and planted a vineyard he met a female demon. She said to him, “Let’s be partners (in the vineyard). But be careful, she warned, because if you take from my portion I will strike and injure you.”

In other words the Medrash teaches us that vineyards and wine are not something simple but they haveĀ  two parts, one portion is kosher and the other one belongs to the Satan. Therefore when someone drinks wine he has to heed the advice that the female demon gave to Noach and be very careful not to “cross lines” and take from the “other” half.

According to this, Zera Shimshon explains, the reason that the Malach appeared to Billum in a vineyard was to allude to him that he is similar to a vineyard in that he also has two parts. One the one hand Hashem gave him prophecy but on the other hand there is an evil part of him that belongs to the Satan. The Malach, who was a Malach of Mercy, was warning him not to fall into the hands of Satan but to carry out the wishes of Hashem.

According to this, adds Zera Shimshon, we can also understand why the Malach appeared to Billum between two walls. It is to allude to him that he has to be very very careful to stay on the right side of the partnership in him and not to go to the side of the Satan.
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