Balak Balaam Baal and …..Balfour
An Astonishing Discovery in Parsha Balak
If one were to ask a reasonably well-read Zionist to justify the creation of the Jewish state in what was British Mandate Palestine one reply (admittedly of several others), would be the Balfour Declaration. In fact even if some UN declaration is given as the justification, it would just take the asking “well, how was that decided?” And we’d be back to the Balfour Declaration.
Great Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour produced an official document to be handed to British Zionist Federation. It was officiated on November 2, 1917. (* Cheshvan 17)
His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
The text of the letter was published in the press one week later, on 9 November 1917. (**Cheshvan 24 erev Shabbat Mevarchim (Kislev).
The importance of the Balfour Declaration is that it is fundamental to the entire legal chain upon which the State of Israel is internationally recognized. The Declaration was incorporated into the Sèvres Peace Treaty. This is the treaty analogous to the more famous Versailles Treaty imposed upon Germany and Austro-Hungary. At Sèvres, it was the Ottoman Empire that faced the victorious Allies. From there, the Levantine provinces of the Ottoman Empire were carved into British and French Mandates. As is well known, the British took “Palestine” and the territory to be known as “Iraq” and “Kuwait”. Palestine was to be divided into a western Jewish homeland, (from the river to the sea!) and an Arab eastern kingdom, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. (Trans means across (from), as in Transylvania. Sylvan refers to the forest. Transylvania is the land beyond the forest. Thus Transjordan was the land beyond the Jordan River. In 1946 when the five Arab armies tried to throttle Israel in the cradle the Jews managed to survive. They did lose what is now falsely called “The West Bank”. It was at that time that King Hussein changed the name from Transjordan to Jordan.)
WHAT DISCOVERY? Just a moment is required to make the point. There has been a constant disagreement between secular and religious Zionists. At times it is sotto voce yet it smolders always potentially able to enflame itself. The disagreement is about whether the right to the Land is based on the legalities entrained from the Balfour Declaration through Sèvres to the League of Nations to Independence from Britain, and finally to UN recognition. All secular Israelis will point to this legalistic chain as their right, their deed. Many religious Jews will rely on this argument as well. But there are those who see the Hand of G-d as the hand that moves History.
IT MATTERS because if it is International recognition that is responsible for the State of Israel, then it is vital to keep the “international community” mollified.
None doubt that it was the success of Israeli arms that made good the international recognition. But though many witness of the ’67 War felt the Hand of G-d moving, that generation is passing.
A new generation arose that did not experience the miraculous survival at Independence, nor the seemingly random events that Israeli soldiers saw in ‘67, each either to Israel’s benefit or the Arabs’ detriment.
The new MTV generation, with Gay Pride in Tel Aviv and all the neo-paganism of the decadent West would be scandalized to even hear anyone say that it was G-d, the G-d of Abraham Isaac and Jacob that returned the Jewish People to the Land.
In order to live the decadent Post-Modernist life, none of the justification for possession of the Land is attributed to G-d. Having the appearance of morality despite its absence, the trendy Post-Modern will forebear the “might makes right” justification. All that remains is International Law, and that is based as demonstrated above on the Balfour Declaration.
SO WHAT DID I DISCOVER IN PARHA BALAK? As always I read looking for new Messianic innuendos. After poring over Balaam’s oracles the remainder of the Parsha is anti-climactic and read quickly. Not yesterday, however.
Balaam was unable to curse that which G-d blessed. Only Israel itself can curse Israel. Sexual paganism tempted the Israelites. The daughters of Moab drew out the men. Israelites attended the feasts to their pagan gods. And especially they attached themselves to Baal.
Numbers 25: 3 And Israel joined himself unto the Baal of Peor; and the anger of HaShem was kindled against Israel.
Looking at it in Hebrew is startling. VaYiTzaMeR YiSRaeL L’BaÅL PÅoR VaYiChaR- ǍaF Hashem B’YiSRaeL. To differentiate Alef from Ayin I used Ǎ for alef, and Å for Ayin.) וַיִּצָּ֥מֶד יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לְבַ֣עַל פְּעֹ֑ור וַיִּֽחַר־אַ֥ף יְהוָ֖ה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
It is notable that the Hebrew letters for P and F are interchangeable. Pey פּּּ with a dot, (dagesh) and without is Fey פ. So it is possible to read our verse as “Israel joined himself to BalFor”. Balfour. It is also interesting to notice that Balaam’s name is B’LÅM. Ayin, Å, is far less common than Alef. So the Ayin in Baal’s name BaÅL and B’LÅM’s is significant. If we separate Balaam’s name into two syllables BL ÅM it is possible to read it as “Baal people”.
The anger of Hashem is being kindled even now. The debauched Israeli youth culture, though no worse than that in America, will be judged harshly. And given America’s historic blessings, America’s judgment too will be harsh.
Is there a Pinchas in the house? I am certain the Pinchas Principle is straining at the leash, awaiting only the Word.
* ** The dates for the official dating of the Balfour Declaration November 2 1917 and its publication November 9, 1917 are of interest. The first was Cheshvan 17. It was on Cheshvan 17 that Noah and his wife sons and daughters-in-law entered the Ark. And the rain began. Noah put his life and that of his family fully into G-d’s Hands. Those Zionists who look to International Law put their faith in Balfour. On November 9, 1917 it was erev Shabbat Mevarchi. This is the Sabbath before the next New Moon. In this case the new moon was to be Keslev. http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/54766/jewish/The-Times-of-our-Lives.htm for significance of Shabbat Mevarchi.