Kenneth Cohen

Then and Now

The story of Balak and Bilaam is fascinating from the aspect that it is prophetic of the future. Much of what took place then, is occurring in our times.

The Baal Haturim wrote of how envious the nations of the world were of Israel. It was not only the miracles that took place, with the sun standing still for Moshe Rabbeinu, and his conquering the giants, Sichon and Og, and taking their territories.

They saw how Israel saw great success in all of its endeavors. They saw that Israel possessed men of great wisdom, and they clearly saw how the G-d of Israel was with them.

This filled these nations with great fear and awe of Israel. It even led to two archenemies, Moav and Midyan, to make peace. Perhaps they would be able to neutralize Israel’s power, if they worked together.

We are witnessing similar phenomena today. Israel is both respected and hated for its incredible success. It is known that there are outstanding minds leading the world in science and technology. And more importantly, leading in Torah, and in teaching morality, to an upside down world.

Despite the dominance of a secular, leftist media, Israel is growing by leaps and bounds, in spirituality. Only blind scoffers are unable to see the guidance of the Al-mighty. He neither sleeps nor slumbers, in His protection of His chosen people.

This script that played before in Bilaam’s time, is happening again in our time. It did not end well for Bilaam. The world must never forget his own words, when he realized too late, that “Those who bless us will be blessed. And those who curse us, will be cursed.”

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at