This week we were all reminded of the mesirus nefesh made by lone soldiers who leave their families in Chutz La'Aretz, and go volunteer to defend Am Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael as part of the IDF. I would like to make the CIS family aware that one of our very own, Greg Artman, is in Israel as a member of the IDF, and we should all keep him in our daily tefillos, praying for his well being. We will be having a line in the bulletin each week reminding us of Greg's mesirus nefesh, and for us to daven for him.
Below is a beautiful write up of a famous Rav Pam Dvar Torah on this week's Parsha. It has an important lesson for the 3 Weeks. Have a great Shabbos!
Bilam, en route to try to annihilate klal Yisrael through his curse, is stymied when his trustworthy donkey keeps halting in its tracks. The third time this happens, he finally sees what the donkey had been seeing all along: an angel had been standing in its way, with a sword drawn, ready to kill Bilam.
Interestingly, although an earlier verse states that this angel was sent lesatan lo – to impede him (22:22), Rashi notes that this angel was actually a malach shel rachamim, a merciful angel. Hashem sent it to try to dissuade Bilam from doing something that would cost him his life. In order to do so, the angel had to threaten him with a sword.
Rav Pam observed that angels of mercy often appear in our lives in different guises, sometimes it is a broken shidduch, an illness, or being fired from a job. We can’t always recognize those angels for what they are, but they are there to stop us in our tracks – for our own good.
We won’t always see the reasons in this world. Yeshayah HaNavi (12:1) prophesied that when Mashiach comes, we will say, “Odecha Hashem ki anafta bi – I thank You, Hashem, for You were angry with me.” It may take until Mashiach’s times, but we will ultimately thank Hashem for sending us what we originally thought was a difficult situation, because in hindsight, those events will turn out to have saved our lives or made them more palatable.
We must always bear in mind: no matter how bad things seem, don’t judge anything by its cover – not even angels.