When Balak’s first attempt to have Bilam curse the Jews failed, he suggested trying again from a different location (23:13). When that failed as well, he suggested again to move to another location (23:27). Why would he think moving locations would help, and what can we learn from this?
Rav Meir Tzvi Bergman explains that Balak arrogantly thought that the curses depended on his or Bilam’s location, rather than on the content of the request or situation. In contrast, when Avraham davened (prayed) for Sedom, it was from the same location (Genesis 19:27). Avraham’s approach was that if the prayer wasn’t answered the first time, he needed to either improve himself or improve the request. This introspective approach is what’s needed to achieve success. On the other hand, blaming locations and blaming others will only lead to failure, as Balak aptly demonstrated for us this week.