In Parshat Balak, the famous and pivotal statement in Judaism is pronounced from the hater Bilaam. He hates us. He wants so bad to curse. Yet he pronounces the most beautiful image: How good our your tents Jacob, your encampments Israel? We say that every morning. If is how we start the day.
There is another reference uttered by Bilaam which is integrated into Jewish thought. Bilaam says in Chapter 23, verse 25 when he describes Israel: The nation is gets up like a Lavi (lion) and like an ari (lion) arises.” Rashi says this describes how a Jew starts his day with mitzvot. This is strikingly similar to the first words of the shulchan aruch which describes the manner in which as Jew should get up in the morning and attack the day. The Shulchan arch says, “one should get like like a lion.” The SD is not sure if this is the actual source, however, it so pretty similar.
Interestingly, both references are connected to what we do in the morning. Again, we say Ma Tovu in the morning and the reference similar to the Shulchan Aruch. What is the connection? The SD does not want to say preachy, pedantic or tendentious(spelling?), but Judasim is a morning religion. It is an ethos of getting up early and do it. It is a go getter religion. It is about action, start something early and working through it. Yes, Jews are about ideas, thoughts, and theories, but at the end of the day, we are charged to get up and go do. Bilaam must have sensed this immediacy. It is like that old US Army recruiting ad ‘We do more before Chatzos than most people do all day.”
Parshas Balak brings out the best of the shikkerdovid. Yasher koach!
Thanks for sending out all the SD torah . I read most of them, and this one rings true especially in Yerushalim where we have been for last month. The sun is so strong and vibrant here that even at 6:00 am you just need to awake immediately. It wakes you right up with no alarm and scream get up and start the day. It sings.. “is time to Daven Shacharit”