Parashat Balak • Numbers 22:2−25:9

“Who is wise?” our sages ask in Pirkei Avot. “One who learns from everyone.” This quote forms part of the summer theme campers at URJ Camp Kalsman are studying and is particularly poignant in the context of this week’s Torah portion. Balaam, a prophet sent to curse the Israelites, is enlightened by one so humble as his donkey.

Wisdom can be found throughout our world if we but open our eyes. Sometimes we recognize ourselves to be in the presence of a great scholar and open ourselves to drink in knowledge as if we were parched. At other times, we are forced to learn lessons despite our kicking and screaming. We all seek wisdom — let us all be open to learning from all our fellow creations.

Rabbi Aaron C. Meyer