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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

A Vision

Parshat Balak is a strange look into the world of prophecy. It is about the role that God plays in prophecy and a declaration of love of the people of Israel through the mouth of an enemy. In the center of this strange message is a scene where a person fails to notice an angel which a donkey can plainly see. Vision is mandatory, but it is selective, as it is for all of us.

What is a vision? Often times we speak of people who possess Divinely inspired vision. Perhaps our own vision is not of the Divinely inspired type, but is a way of foretelling the future in a way that you dream it; the way that you envision it or internally sense it.

Perhaps a way that we are all considered B'Tzelem Elokim, created in the image of the Divine, is the spark of vision that each of us carries within us. When we have the time to think, to consider, to imagine our lives, both individually and collectively and what those lives will be, perhaps that is our piece of the Divine, our small piece of prophecy. Where does that vision live within you? Is it buried under the business of life?

What is your vision?

Not your parent's

Not your friend's

Not your neighbor's

Not your mentor's

Not a columnist's

Not what is written

or what was written before,

but what is dreamed

what is wordlessly imagined

before the dawn light.

Just yours.

What is the vision in your heart,

in that far and dusty corner,

the part that is buried under

endless tasks and diversions,

that vision

that is double locked

so close inside of you,

yet as difficult to reach as

another planet.

Is it lost?

Is it sleeping?

Hibernating in your inner

holy of holies?

What’s your vision,

Shall we call it a dream?

Are visions of life transmitted to you from

one generation to the next?

From holy visions of long ago,

or are visions born within us

from where we might never know?

Is a vision a hope?

an aspiration?

Can we ascribe it words?

Or is vision potential itself



No more, no less

Does a vision come to you

in the morning

or in the night?

When you go lie down

and when you rise up?

Do you dream it?

Do you hear it?

Do you whisper it to yourself?

Do you shout it like a prophet?

Do you deny it?

Send it to the desert like the goats

of long ago?

Or, do you care for it?

Nurture it?

Are there words in your vision

or is it wordless??

Do you express it?

Expect it?

Repress it?

Repent it?

Does it represent the you that you want to be?

The us? The them?

The we?

Just you

or the many?

Is it there waiting to be found?

Is your vision a well of potential?

Does it have a beginning and an end

or is it Eyn Sof (without ending)?

Do you live with it?

Embrace it?

Do you deny it?

Negate it?

Do you will it to be?

Do you keep it safe and vaulted away

or do you work for it,

with it?

Do you think of your vision at all?

Do visions make us or break us

Do they live and grow despite us?

Or do they grow with us?

Do they whither and dry

if they are not attended to?

Discover the vision within you

Safely sleeping or hiding.

If you haven't discovered it,

begin to search for it

in the early hours of the morning

as dawn arrives

for it is there,

a vision waiting to be found.

"....And if not now, when?" (Pirkei Avot 1:14)

Numbers 24: 3-5. (Translation from Sefaria)

Taking up his theme, he said: Word of Balaam son of Beor, Word of the man whose eye is true,

Word of him who hears God’s speech, Who beholds visions from the Almighty, Prostrate, but with eyes unveiled:

How fair are your tents, O Jacob, Your dwellings, O Israel!

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