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Parshat Balak


by Abby Gilad

June 6, 2002 | 8:00 pm

Yes, I know that this week is Pinchas, but I must return to the second of last week's two portions, Balak, for what happens there is too relevant to pass by unmentioned. In this famous portion, King Balak sends the prophet-magician Balaam to curse Israel, because he is scared of the people. But, in the end, Balaam ends up blessing the Israelites as he stands on a cliff overlooking their encampment.

This is what I ask all of you to pray for: that the Palestinians see our tents and realize it is easier to bless than to curse; that the Israelis see the Palestinian dwellings and decide it is easier to include than to exclude. This prayer can only be answered if Palestinians and Israelis can come to know each other as human beings: mother, father, child -- and are no longer scared of each other.

We are all children of the same God. And we are all blessed to be living on this earth.

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