Home BRI Women Parshat Matot-Masei: How Can You Know What’s Good or Evil?

Parshat Matot-Masei: How Can You Know What’s Good or Evil?

by Chaya Rivka Zwolinski

In Parshat Matot the Torah teaches that Moshe Rebbeniu sent the army together with Pinchas to battle the Midianites. During the battle both Pinchas and Bilaam flew in the air.

What was the difference?

Bilaam, who wanted to destroy the Jewish people, used sorcery and the energy of the sitra achra  (the other, evil side) to fly. Pinchas used holy prayers, involving Hashem’s name. Since he relied on Hashem, Pinchas was able to soar through the air and kill Bilaam.

Rebbe Nachman says that a person has to know how to differentiate between the deeds of the tzaddikim that are sourced in holiness, and the deeds of the wicked that are sourced in the other side. It can be confusing. When we see a miracle, when we see great success, we have to remember that it doesn’t necessarily come from the side of righteousness and holiness.

We can easily get tripped up. Right now, it looks like the whole world has gone crazy! Evil is paraded about as “good” and good is castigated as being evil. It isn’t always so clear have to learn how to recognize the true tzaddikim, we have to learn how to recognize pure and holy methods and motives.

May you have a day in which you can easily tell the difference between holiness and its opposite.

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