For an explanation of the methodology of this series, see the introduction.

"Moab became terrified of the people for they were numerous, and Moab became disgusted because of the children of Israel." (Num. 22:3)

Peshat (basic meaning):

Rashi: Moab became terrified [in Hebrew, 'Vayagar']
[this is] a term denoting dread, as in, "Fear for yourselves [in Hebrew, 'Goru']." (Job 19:29)
Moab became disgusted [in Hebrew, 'Vayakotz']
They became disgusted with their own lives, as in, "I am disgusted [in Hebrew, 'kotzti'] with my life." (Gen. 27:46)

Remez (hinted meaning):

...when Moab saw Israel succeeding in all matters, they cringed before them.

BeRahamim LeHayyim:: "became terrified [in Hebrew, 'Vayagar']"
This word appears twice in the Bible: (1) here, Moab was scared and (2) Saul saw that David was very successful and he was intimidated by him." (I Sam. 18:15) Just as Saul was scared by David's success, so too here when Moab saw Israel succeeding in all matters, they cringed before them.

Derash (interpretive meaning):

Ohr HaChayim: If the Moabites had not been afraid of Israel because of their numbers or detested them because they had divine support, they never would have made peace with Midian and accepted a Midian prince to be king over them. To make these points clear, the Torah informed us first about Balak seeing, Moab being afraid, and the Moabites detesting Israel. The combined reactions of the Moabites and the Midianite Balak led to the desperate decision to invite a Midianite prophet to curse Israel.

Maggid Mesharim:
"Moab became terrified of the nation because it was numerous"
[The Hebrew for these last words,]"ki rav hu," can also be rendered, "because He [G‑d, ruler of Israel] was great." The term "rav" [can also] mean "great" and hints to G‑d. Moab was scared of Israel because he perceived that they were connected to a great ruler over the entire Sitra Achra/Realm of Impurity. Since Israel attaches to G‑d, the others would be subjugated to them.

Sod (esoteric, mystical meaning):

Zohar Balak 185:
From here on, woe to you Moab, since your protector has been broken. Therefore, as soon as Moab saw that their defense was breached, then "Moab was very [in Hebrew, 'me'od'] afraid of the people." (Num. 22:3) What is the "me'od"? It hints to death.
...they toppled chiefs and rulers Above...and also knocked down the chiefs and rulers below.
"Because they were many [in Hebrew, 'rav']". At earlier times, [Esau] was the elder and the elder became small, as it is written: "Behold, I will make you [Esau] small among the nations." (Obadiah 1:2) Israel became great instead of Esau, as is written about him [Esau]: "And the elder [shall serve the younger]." (Gen. 25:23) It is because they saw that Israel were dominant above and below, that is written: "All that Israel had done to the Amorites." (Num 22:2) It should have said, 'That which Israel had done'. What is "all that"? It is to also include above and below, that they toppled chiefs and rulers Above from their domination and also knocked down the chiefs and rulers below. Therefore, "All that Israel had done." That is why [rav here means] "Because they were many " instead of 'the rav', which would have meant the holy firstborn as is written: "Israel is My son, my firstborn." (Ex. 4:22)

You might say that G‑d desired it that way, yet it was not according to justice. Come and see that Esau was a kelipa of the Other Side. As soon as the skull/husk [Esau] came out and was removed, the brain was found. The foreskin [Esau] was first found outside [of Rebecca's womb]. The circumcision [Jacob] that is most dear was revealed later. [Therefore, the fact that Esau was born first doesn't signify his being the firstborn, for the husk has no significance relative to the fruit inside. He was born first just as the husk appears before the fruit.]

BeRahamim LeHayyim:
"The more, the merrier." True, but also characteristic of the potential of negativity. Check out the shelves of your local Quickee-mart. Look at the amount of choice and selection of potato chips, probably one of the most unhealthy foods out there. Are we better off with now with such diversity?
...our Sages connect the word me'od to the Evil inclination...
"Rav/Many" does not mean better; on the contrary, it can sometimes mean worse. And so can "me'od/very". All the days of creation are called "tov/good", save day 2 [related to gevura, when division was apparent] and save Day 6 which is called "tov me'od/very good". While me'od is a permutation of "Adam/man", our Sages connect the word me'od to the Evil inclination, the Angel of Death, a negation of Him. So "very" good is sometimes kind of a "very bad", at least from man's perspective.

The rav we are dealing with here concerns the portion of Esau, the wicked brother of our father Jacob. Uncle Esau initially refused Jacob's attempt to give tribute saying, I have "rav/plenty". As compared to Jacob-Israel, who said "I have 'dai/enough'," and for whom the focus is singular, oneness, unity: G‑d is One, and in the language of the Zohar: G‑d, the Torah, and Israel are one. The penchant for "Rav/plenty" is of the portion of Esau, who is considered a kelipa that swallows up light, preventing it from escaping.

Contrast the brilliant insight of my study partner, Reb Avraham Yehuda ben Yitzhak: when we think of G‑d as "the Other", we fall into the trap of "avodah zara/idolatry". G‑d is unity, and we are united with Him, with a G‑dly portion in all of us. Really! Seek union, blend opposites, bring harmony. What we say at the end of the Standing Prayer several times each day, "He who makes peace above" [up there], "He shall make peace upon us" [down here], perhaps to perform a unification with those energies that seem distant with those that are close.

What can we do to avoid the traps of secular/profane culture which says More is Better!

Keep your eyes on the prize — the oneness of the All. Am Israel Hai, Am Israel Had...Israel is a living people, all Israel is one people.

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