Thursday, 7 July 2011

Shir HaShavua - Balak

This week's Parasha is about Balaam, a non-Jewish prophet willing to be hired by Balak, king of Moab, to destroy the Jewish people, yet his eloquent language in praise of them is still part of the Jewish liturgy today.


“Attack, attack” to Balaam said Balak.
“Curse me these people. Get them all back.
They’re all over my land like a great infestation.
Help me get rid of this Israelite nation.”
Said Balaam to Balak. “I’d like nothing more
Than to be the great hero in your forthcoming war.
But before I can curse , and you may think it odd,
I first need to check that it’s okay with God.”

As he slept God appeared to Balaam in a dream.
“You may go to Balak   but I’m not very keen.”
Next day he set off on his faithful donkey
Till they came to a roadblock Balaam couldn’t see.
God’s Angel stood there and said “You shall not pass.”
Balaam’s mount crushed his leg, what a pain in the ass.
Balaam’s anger was kindled and made him see red.
“If I had a sword, Ass, you now would be dead.”
The ass laughed. “You plan to kill people by word.
But to kill me you need a sharp blade?  How absurd”.
Balaam fell to the ground and to God he did pray.
God said “Go to Balak, only speak what I say.
This nation is blessed, and I won’t let you curse
No matter how much Balak fills your purse.”

Well you know what came next. How the hill he did climb,
Saw the whole camp of Israel which he thought was sublime.
Then Balaam built an altar and praises did sing
Which really upset his employer the king.
Balak said; “To curse Jews is why you were hired.
You have failed in this task, so Balaam, you are fired.”

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