Jewish Flintstones – Balak 5777
Yes, even the Flintstones were Jewish! And I’ll prove it to you.
This week’s Sedra records the attempt by Balak to hire the sorcerer Billam to curse the Jewish Nation. Unfortunately for him, it was money poured down the drain, as instead of curses, what flowed from Billam’s mouth were some of the most powerful and rich blessings written in the Torah. He tried multiple times, he tried to change his vantage point, he tried offering up sacrifices, but nothing worked and all he was able to say were blessings.
All of Billam’s blessings were said as parables, and one of those looked at the ancestry of our Nation. He describes our forebears Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaackov together with Sarah, Rivka, Rochel and Leah as the sturdy rock mountains upon which our Nation rests. The powerful foundations which keep the Jewish People standing tall and strong regardless of the buffeting winds of change that have accompanied us throughout the millennia.
And here come the Flintstones, for instead of using the usual word for rocks and mountains, even and har, Billam uses the word tzur, which actually means a flint-stone! And as Billam told Balak at the very beginning of his quest; “only the words which Hashem puts in my mouth, can I say”, there is obviously a reason why he used tzur instead of har.
The unique quality of a flint stone is that although one can extract a spark from it, there is no evidence from the outside that this spark is there. In fact, if you break the flint stone into many small pieces, if you take it apart, you still can’t see the spark, although you can still produce one. Soak the stone in water and it makes no difference, the spark is still inherently there.
The reason is that the power of that spark is not just invisible, it is in fact not there within the flint, it is the flint. The potential is so much a part of the fabric of the flint that trying to extract it is a futile task. It is not a divisible part of the whole, it is the entity itself. That is why that word was chosen by Hashem to describe our ancestors, to portray the image of the foundations of the Jewish Nation. Avraham and Sarah, Yitzchak and Rivka together with Yaackov and Rochel and Leah are the DNA of each and every Jew. We don’t just wear our heart on our sleeve, we are our heart. And the beating heart of the 21st century Jew is the same as that of our father’s and mother’s heart 3000 years ago; one that is inherently made up of a spark. A spark that does not go out. A spark that cannot be divided from the flint. A spark that cannot be drowned, destroyed or ever be dulled. Strike a Jew, any Jew anywhere in time or place and what you will discover is the spark of G-dliness. And that spark can, and does, ignite a fire that will continue to burn.
Yes, the blessings of Billam were beautiful back then and they should inspire us today to go out and ignite the fire of another Jew. For remember, that no matter how many candles you light up, nothing gets detracted from your own flame.