What Happens Behind the Scenes

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

This is actually the first time that what happens behind the scenes is revealed to us. In every weekly Torah portion, there is a description of things that happen openly and in public – Noah builds an ark, the Nation of Israel receives the Torah on Mount Sinai, the spies return from the Land of Israel disappointed. Each time the Torah tells us what is happening in actual fact. But this time the description of events comes from an entirely different and hidden domain. Balak the king asks Bilaam to curse Israel, Bilaam hesitates but eventually agrees. Balak takes Bilaam to different places to utter a curse, but each time Bilaam does not succeed in doing so and from his lips come nothing but blessings which are some of the most famous Torah verses. Each morning after a curse turned into a blessing the day before, the Children of Israel wake up as usual, but without any knowledge of the spiritual struggle that was waged behind the scenes.

This Torah portion teaches us that momentous events which have a profound influence on reality are occurring all the time yet we are simply unaware of them.

We too would be glad to peek behind the scenes since it’s clear that something great – a pandemic – is happening but we cannot understand the meaning of it nor of the worsening corona crisis in Israel at present.

Here’s hoping that we too will merit that the curses now at work will be turned into eternal blessings.

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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