The Talking Donkey, The Evil Prophet and Shalosh Regalim
Speaking of the “Three Foot-Festivals,” it’s time for another Shazak Flashback.
Let’s rewind back to Parshas Balak, when the evil King Balak and Prophet Bilam team up with a wicked, devious and diabolical plan to completely crush, crumple, destroy, demolish, shatter and totally wipe out the Jewish nation:
Soon after, the donkey saw the angel for a third time – this time in a narrow part of the road, fenced in on both sides by stone walls. The donkey could not move not to the left and not to the right. So it simply stopped in its tracks, sat down, and refused to budge.
“Now what in the world is going on here?!” yelled Bilam, as he struck his donkey for the third time. “Get moving, donkey, or else!”
But the donkey would not move. Suddenly, HaShem caused the donkey to speak, just like a human being, “What have I done to you, Bilam?” asked the donkey.
“Huh?” said Bilam, looking around. “Who said that?”
“Listen to me, Bilam. I am a simple donkey, yet you can’t get me to go where you want me to go. How do you expect to be successful in cursing the Jews – a people who are blessed? They are all holy – the children of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov – and the entire world exists only for their sake.”
Bilam was speechless!
“And why did you hit me?” asked the donkey. “Don’t you know? That stick hurts! And you struck me not once, but three Regalim – three times!”
Have you noticed something familiar in the “Donkey vs. Bilam” conversation? The donkey told Bilam, “You struck me not once, but three Regalim – three times!”. These are the very same words that Moshe now uses to describe the three special holidays – Pesach, Shavuos, and Sukkos. Shalash Regalim.
No coincidence. Reading between the lines, the donkey was telling Bilam an important message: “Bilam, you are trying to destroy the nation which celebrates the three Jewish holidays. They get plenty of “points” from HaShem for keeping these holidays, so give it up now Bilam – you’ll never succeed!”
And one more thing:
Remember, when the angel caused the donkey to crush Bilam’s foot?
“OUCH!” cried Bilam.
That was also another message (from HaShem via the donkey) to Bilam. It’s as if to say, “Bilam, it’s you who gets hurt when crushed and crunched. Not My people. When they go to Jerusalem during the three festivals there are so many guests which causes a major crunch – yet, not one time did anyone complain! I’m warning you Bilam… you’re fighting a losing battle!”