Balak: “Balak" *
Numbers 22:2 - 25:9

Oh the L-rd is good

Blessing all people with His words and deeds

Upon the hearts of the chosen
and upon the lips of those who once wanted them dead

And after anger and thought

Fear and curiosity

Heaven’s poetry comes alive
in the mouth of Balak

Who had wished them dead

And so Balak was lead
to sweetly utter words of blessing

Stanzas which remove all harm from Jacob
the landscape of Israel opened to his view

For G-d is ever with them
freeing His people from the chains of Egypt

For they are a people who rise like a lion
ever leaping like the ruler of all beasts

First feasting on prey

Humanly welcoming drunkenness
upon the blood of those slain

Then spiritually

And with heart

Resting in peaceful slumber

For indeed the children of Israel are one

* Balak was a king of Mohab

Rabbi Tad Berga

(Rabbi Tad Berga is a published writer and poet who holds an MA from the University of Oxford, England, the MTS from Duke, and his rabbinical ordination from the Rabbinical Seminary. He is a board certified chaplain and bereavement counselor who currently serves Seasons Hospice in Pinellas, Florida. )

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