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Sacred Privacy

Sacred Privacy

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Nothing is left to the imagination. The media—social or otherwise—has everything on display, and people publicly report every explicit detail of their daily lives. In a world filled with “TMI,” who notices privacy policies anymore?

In this week’s Torah portion, Balak, King of Moab, was desperate for Balaam, master sorcerer, to curse the Jews. However, instead of cursing them, he blurted out: “How great are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel!”

What caused Balaam to be so caught off-guard that he blessed the Jews instead of cursing them?

It was privacy. Balaam was awed by the unique layout of the Jews’ encampment. Each family tent faced a different direction, so that no family could see into the door of another family’s tent. The inner workings of each family were left unseen, and personal details were not public information. The Jews were simply living their unassuming lives, and it saved them from misfortune.

Because privacy is a vessel for blessing.

Thoughtstream: Today, I will instill the value of privacy in my children, teaching them that privacy is sacred.

(Adapted from Rashi on Numbers 24:5; Shulchan Shabbat: Bamidbar, p. 243; and Likkutei Sichot, vol. 13, p. 78.)

Sara Blau is a teacher and extracurricular director at Beth Rivkah High School. She is a wife, mother, and author of several children“s books.
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