Deze week is het begin van sjabbat en ma’ariv om 20:25 uur. Einde van sjabbat is om 23:01 uur.
De kidoesj wordt aangeboden door Natalya Godschalk, ter gelegenheid van de eerste jaartijd van haar moeder.
Parashat Balak – Rabbijn Mamlok
This week’s Parasha, Parashat Balak, tells the story of Balak, the king of Moav, who wanted to destroy the Jewish Nation. Balak knew that the Jewish Nation was a special nation that could not be fought with swords and arrows due to their special protection by Hashem, and their spiritual nature. Thus, Balak hired a prophet of the secular nations, named Bilaam, to flight against the Jewish nation in the spiritual realm- to curse them.
Bilaam knew that to curse the Jewish nation was no easy task because of Hashem’s great love for them. In order to appease Hashem before cursing the Jewish Nation, Balak brought sacrifices to Hashem each time that Bilaam went out to curse them. But not just one sacrifice. Bilaam knew that together, all of our forefathers (Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov) made seven altars. So, in order to show Hashem that he was better than all of the forefathers, he made seven altars and sacrificed two sacrifices upon them each time that Bilaam went. Bilaam went out in attempt to curse the Jewish nation three times, and thus, in total Balak brought forty two sacrifices. In the end, Bilaam was unsuccessful and when he went to curse the Jewish Nation, in place of curses, blessings fell from his lips.
Generations later, Ruth from the nation of Moav, whom we read about on Shavuot, converted to the Jewish Nation. Among the descendants of Ruth was King David, the greatest of the Jewish Kings and his son Shlomo, who built the Bait HaMikdash (the Holy Temple) and thus brought many sacrifices to Hashem. Balak merited such Holy descendants because of the sacrifices that he brought, even though his intentions were not the right ones. Although he sacrificed for the wrong reasons, nonetheless, he was rewarded for the action itself.
From here we see that when we do something good, even if it is not for the right reasons, we are rewarded nonetheless. Of course, it is always better if our actions are in line with the good intentions of our heart. But from here we see that Hashem rewards good actions, even if the intention is not completely pure because “acharai HaPeulot, nimshachim HaLivavot”- Our intentions follow the deeds of our heart. That is to say, if we do the right things for the wrong reasons, eventually we will come to do the right things for the right reasons. And if someone like Balak received such a reward for actions with impure intentions, how much more so will we, the children of Hashem, reap the rewards of our actions, even if our intentions are not completely in line…yet.
Kinderdienst Sjabbat Pinchas – 16 juli
Volgende week, op sjabbat Pinchas, 16 juli zal er weer een kinderdienst zijn.