Balak 5761

Tora - Torah

Parshat Balak 16 Tamuz, 5761 July 7, 2001

Something Old:
To review last year’s Tora-Torah for Balak, just click
Something New:

One of the key elements of advanced Tora Dojo is to develop one’s energy for use in the healing arts. Whether through Qi Gong, energy massage, herbs or acupuncture, healing arts have always been part of the martial artist’s world. I can hear TaShih’s words: “It’s not enough to take the guy apart… you have to be able to put him back together!”

I once knew an amazing energy healer who could only work while on drugs. Sad. He could have succeeded without the drugs but he didn’t believe he could.

I knew another accomplished energy worker who seemed to turn on the “wrong frequency” when he worked and so in trying to heal others he would make himself very ill.

I knew another healer who, early in his life, needed healing so desperately for himself that he would draw energy from plants and leave them harmed in some way. The plants would literally die in his hands as he drew off the life-force for his own healing.

Energy is neutral. Whether the energy we harness is positive or negative depends on our world-view, our technique and our Kavana (or focus). This is worth remembering in martial arts, healing arts and in life.

I came across some words in a Dvar Torah by Shlomo Ressler that spoke of Bilam in our Parsha. In writing about Bilam’s great power to curse Israel, he first notes that the story ends where Bilam tries to curse the Jews unsuccessfully, and ends up being forced to bless them! AND the Rabbis many years later almost included his blessing in our everyday prayers!

If Bilam had so much power, why couldn’t he, or didn’t he, curse Israel? R’ Ressler’s answer is very interesting. It might be that Bilam’s power was that he could focus on the negative, and exploit it. If so, then the Torah is telling us that there’s only one way to reach greatness, and that’s by focusing. For Moshe it was focusing on the positive, and for Bilam it was focusing on the negative. Both are extremely powerful. The point is that a negative side DOES exist within us, and that we need to minimize it as much as possible. It’s our choice to either focus on it, thus magnifying it. Or we could use it constructively. That negative-turning-positive is why Bilam’s blessing of the Jews was so powerful, because it used all the negative power that existed and turned them into positive. Keeping this lesson in mind during “negative times” in our lives will help us use those minor setbacks in our lives, and turn them into major steps forward.

May the force be with you!

And may you receive it, and give it, with a focused mind and an open heart.

"Tora-Torah" is a weekly column on Parshat Hashavua with insights into the inner aspects of the Jewish martial arts as founded and taught by Grand Master H. I. Sober in the International Tora Dojo Martial Arts Association. The copyrighted 'Tora tiger' logo is used with permission of Prof. H. I. Sober.

"Tora-Torah" is written or edited by Michael Andron, PhD. Lao Shih, a Seventh Degree Black Belt in the Tora Dojo Association. He has been teaching Grand Master Sober's system for over 30 years.

Note that the Tora Dojo comments are highlighted in a different color. This should help teachers in their sharing Tora-Torah with younger students at their level of comprehension.

You can find all past issues of "Tora-Torah" at Click "archives", "Tora-Torah" and then select the Parsha you’d like to review.

© 2000 Michael Andron - All rights reserved.