Sedra Balak, 120 Words – You Know You Are Loved When …
When we are upset and cranky, we kick the proverbial cat. Those we love most, often being the hapless victim.
Gd loves us but we do enough to anger Him, at least momentarily, every day. [Rashi 23:8]
Bilam’s curses are notoriously successful, but he is impotent in spite of his his very best efforts to curse the Jews. By divining Gd’s moment of anger he fans the spark into gigantic conflagration. However, Gd is not co-operating. Bilam is frustrated, Gd refuses to become angry even momentarily. [Rashi 23:8]
Our relationship with Gd is anthropomorphic. It is as meaningless to describe Gd getting angry as it is to describe Gd having a head or feet, or a bad day. Nevertheless, Gd, in the Torah, encourages us and describes himself/herself/itself anthropomorphically. We understand and relate to Gd as we understand and relate to those we love.
This episode and our Sages perspectives are all designed to teach.
Various things upset and anger Gd, but when the consequences, even though they be legitimate, are too painful for love to permit, Gd will not become angered even momentarily. The greatest manner of serving Gd is to be like Him – so let us quell and quash even our legitimate anger – the consequences are too horrible. An angry person saw himself in a mirror, whilst in his rage – and was shocked by the ugly image that he could hardly recognise.
Our Sages say – when we are angry it’s like we are worshipping an idol – can we imagine ourselves worshipping an idol?? That is their point – when we are angry we do not know ourselves. Let us be like Gd by ensuring that our love is known by never permitting ourselves to be angry.