Dvar for Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9)
When Bilam is commissioned to curse the Jewish people, he gets up the next morning to saddle his donkey and begin his task. Rashi points out that Bilam wakes up early to convey his commitment and enthusiasm for his mission, noting the parallel when Avraham did the exact same thing many years prior when he traveled to sacrifice his son Yitzchak. Why is it relevant that Bima’s tactic had been previously used?
Rav Moshe Feinstein (Darash Moshe) suggests that Bilam’s evil ploy didn’t work precisely because Avraham had used that tactic for a good cause many years prior. Had Avraham not done so, Bilam’s enthusiasm might have given him an advantage in our episode. This mention is meant to highlight the importance of countering evil with positivity. When we see someone fighting for an evil cause, we can learn to mimic the passion and transpose a sinister cause with a positive one. If we extract something from the good and the bad, we’ll be twice as likely to succeed in life.