We are honored to feature this article, written for First Covenant, by Rabbi David Eidensohn, of Monsey, New York.

For more about Rabbi Eidensohn, see below.


The Donkey of Bila'am 

By Rabbi David Eidensohn

Perhaps the strangest story in the Bible is about Bila'am’s (Ba'alam's) donkey. See the Book of Numbers, chapter 22, etc. Bilaam rode his donkey to curse the Jews on behalf of Balak, the King of Moab, when Israel was about to enter Cana'an. The donkey refused to walk normally, and ended up crushing Bilaam’s leg against a stone wall. Bilaam beat the donkey in rage at this, and the donkey then spoke and said, “Why are you hitting me? Don’t you see that there is an angel with a sword blocking the road?”

Bila'am tried to curse the Jews, but God forced him to bless the Jews, which he did. The most beautiful passages about Jewish redemption are his words.

The two miracles of the donkey’s speaking and Bila'am’s blessings in place of curses mark this story as one of the most unusual in the Torah. When we reflect that this is the story that produced the Hebrew liturgy's central passages about Redemption and the Future World, we realize that the process of the Future Redemption is one where slowly, the sun will rise, until the “donkeys” will rebuke the wicked, and the wicked will be forced to concede that Israel and the Torah are right.

When I grew up almost all so-called "intellectual" people believed firmly that the universe was an accident and that people were evolutionary products. Today, the senior secular physicists propound the Anthropic Principle, that the universe was designed for people. Sounds like Creation, and it is, but the donkey has not spoken the full sentence at this time. Yet it will.

In recent times, anti-Semitism, which once was general, has fallen into disrepute, at least in public, in almost all of the world. Jews have crawled out of the ghettos and now are recognized with respect in their own land. A hundred years ago Jews in Russia were regularly killed and beaten. A generation ago, when the War of Attrition in Egypt with Israel was going strong, five Soviet jets attacked the Israelis and were shot down. No Israel jets were hurt.

Communism and Western anti-Semitic religions have largely collapsed. The sun is rising, even if it seems to be covered by the clouds at times. The process is there.

Noahides and gentiles cannot help but being inspired by the obvious beginning of the End. Here, too, the light is going on, as the mighty powers of religions that insist that the Jews are damned weaken, until they, too, must protest anti-Semitism, at least, officially.

Sinai, says the Talmud, is a word that originally meant “hate.” The nations hated Israel for its special mission, for its status as the clerics of the human race. In fact, the higher and more cultured the nation, the greater was its hate of Jews. The task of the Jews, and the Noahide movement, is to assure sensitive and cultured gentiles of their important place at the Table of God. All of us await the day when, “And God will be the King of all of the earth. On that day God will be One and His Name One.”

The international Noahide movement must provide the tools for searching gentiles to find God. Indeed, even lost Jews are inspired by gentiles who are Torah-loving Noahides. How fast the sun goes up, and how clearly the donkey speaks, and how many blessings emanate from those who hate, depends greatly on the few struggling leaders of the Noahide world.

The Torah was given in seventy languages, and it was written in the Seventy Languages of the world on stones for the gentiles of Cana'an. It is time for us to recopy these stones and get people to read them. The time has come for us to place our faith in the unfolding process of the End, and to hasten it by organizing, teaching, and inspiring. The highest heavens and farthest reaches of the universe await the attempts of Noahides to shine light in the darkness.


This is an edited article. First Covenant style fully spells out the word that the writer, following the hyper-respectful Orthodox convention, spells as G-d.


Rabbi Eidensohn is a disciple of the the greatest Lithuanian Talmud scholars leaders of the past generation: Rabbi Aharon Kotler, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein and Rabbi Yaacov Kaminetski. His Kabbala mentor was Rabbi Dr. Shmuel Toledano.

Rabbi Eidensohn appears regularly on radio shows as a guest-expert on family and marital issues. He has declared this, our First Covenant website, and our Covenant Connection newsletter "terrific."

Rabbi Eidensohn has ten websites, has written eight books, and has made hundreds of tapes. See www.rabbidavideidensohn.com

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