Your dwellings, O Israel!
So the foreign prophet Balaam proclaimed
As he gazed down upon the Israelites
Encamped as one people.
Called upon to curse them for Balak,
The King of Moab,
Balaam could only utter words of blessing.
What if our speech was so directed
By similar inspiration?
What if we only saw
The good before us
And in each other?
Would challenge, conflict, and disagreement
Most likely, difficulties in our lives would remain
But the ways in which we would face unexpected changes, negativism, and unfounded pessimism might be greatly different.
Before us, we would see, instead
New opportunities that would test our patience and courage,
A fresh approach on how we define goodness and satisfaction each day,
And reasons to embrace hope at all times,
Knowing that we can turn to one another for the strength to face new vistas together.
Balaam said of the Israelites: “Blessed are those who bless you!”
May we see that when we find b’rachah, blessing, in ourselves, and in our fellow community members, our tents will be good and our dwellings places will emanate SHALOM, wholeness and peace.