Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
Today, one of the ways to check on the character of someone is to check his relationship with the social networks. How much does he surf and where does he go? How many issues does he bring up each day? What are the issues? And perhaps the most important question is - which issues does he not bring up?
In this week's Torah portion, Bilaam looks at the nation of Israel and the following blessing bursts forth from his lips: "How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel!" (Numbers 24:5). Why does Bilaam become so emotional? Rashi explains that Bilaam has encountered the concept of privacy for the first time. An entire nation that wanders in the sweltering desert heat and knows how to separate between the public and private sectors. Each tent is constructed in a manner that its occupants cannot see into the opposite tent or, in Rashi's words: "For he saw that the entrances were not facing each other."
Everyone does not need to know everything about everyone else. Everyone does not look at the omelet that someone else made for breakfast or what that person just bought for his living room. Bilaam came from a world without boundaries or personal space, but saw that it was possible to live otherwise. There are so many buttons to press that say "publish" or "share," but no button that says "don't publish, keep it to yourself, build an internal world," although such a button would be the most meaningful of all. What do you leave for yourself? What stays between you and family members, between you and your friends, between you and yourself, between you and God?
You are invited to share (: