title.jpg (23972 bytes) subscribe

Back to This Week's Parsha | Previous Issues


In this week's parashah, we meet some of our formidable enemies. Balak, King of Moav, was a very dangerous person. He wanted to smite us by the sword. But Hashem protected us from him.

A much more dangerous fellow was Bil'am, the evil prophet of the nations. He wanted to annihilate us by means of the power of his fatal, supernatural curse. But Hashem turned his curses into blessings, because He loves us (cf. Devarim 23:6).

But, with Hashem's help, we have to protect ourselves from the most dangerous people who could totally destroy us, chas veshalom. Following is a highly motivational poem which was once given to me by Avi Shulman, of Monsey, NY. Its message is very important for us to internalize and to pass on to our children and friends.

The Most Dangerous People
The most dangerous people are not the ones
Who hit you with clubs or rob you with guns.
The robber doesn't attack your character or trait
Or tell you that your potentials are limited by fate.

It likely will be a well meaning friend,
Someone close to you - even a kin
Who means your benefit and merely crushes
Your will to win.

No, they don't rob you at the point of a gun
They simply state
In very bold terms,
"It can't be done."

When you point to those who already are
They smile and say, "They're superior by far
In personality, in skills, and in ability too,
They're way ahead of what you can do."

Their advice is free and fast to come,
"Be practical, do things you know -
Don't undertake new challenges, new ideas,
They may require you to grow."

These people judge you by their own experiences
A result more piercing than the blade of a knife
Their failure, their weaknesses, their limits -
The bitter harvest of their own life.

It matters not that their reasoning is wrong
Their words untrue,
For you feel surely
They must know you.

So you're robbed of your dreams -
Your hopes to succeed.
Deprived of so many of life's joys -
You could have received.

Robbed of your faith that says,
"I am, I can, I will."
Robbed of your spirit
"I will give it my best; I'll do it…until."

So the deadliest of men
Is not the one with a gun
But the one who convinces you
"It can't be done."

For that taken by a burglar
Can be restored and acquired anew,
But who can replace your belief,
Your will to win in you?

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel