Thursday, June 24, 2010


Balak was a bad, bad man.

So why is a whole Parsha named after him? Doesn't the gemara tell us not to name our sons after Rashaim? Isn't there a source from the Torah that we should not mention the names of Rashaim or Avoda Zara?? And he gets a whole parsha??!!

The gemara says that if the name of Avoda Zara is mentioned in the Torah, than it is allowed for us to call it by its name.

Okay, so it is not technically forbidden to recite the name of Avoda Zara, or a Rasha, if it was stated in the Torah. But that doesn't mean we should go ahead and name a whole Parsha after him!

The Rebbe explains that the reason one is allowed to say the name of an Avoda Zara if it has appeared in the Torah is because you are bringing out how False it is. Torah is Emes= Truth. By declaring it with the way the Torah sees it, we are showing how one who practices it is punished, and how it is totally Nisbatel (nullified). In a way, the Rebbe says, we are mocking the Avoda Zara.

So, too, with Balak. The most complete way a Rasha is taken care of is that not only does he not hold any importance, but he actually helps the Jewish people. This is how all the nations of the world will treat the Yidden when Moshiach comes. Who better than to exhibit this idea than Balak!?

Balak hired Bilaam to curse the Yidden. Not only were they not cursed, but they received some of the best and most hopeful brachos they have ever received. Bilaam even made a prophesy about Moshiach- one of the only places in the Five Books of the Torah.

So Balak brings out this point that Rashaim won't be disbanded or obliterated (although that's a big plus); they will be there to help and do all they can to ensure the continuance of Judaism and of the Jewish people.

May this happen really, really soon.