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Thought for the Day: Admitting Mistakes

Bilaam, after being sneaky and "tricking" HaShem into letting him go to curse Bnei Yisrael (Bamidbar 22:20, Rashi there), seems to have a change of heart and says (22:34): Chatasi!  Yet, we see that Bilaam continues on his nefarious mission   The Malbim explains that Bilaam was not really admitting he was doing anything wrong.  Bilaam was more "noting" that had he been paying more attention, he also would have seen the malach.

How strange!  He knows that HaShem didn't really want him to go, and then an angel was sent to stop Bilaam from continuing his trip, and finally the malach finally reveals himself to Bilaam -- sword drawn -- and Bilaam basically says, "Oops!  I didn't see you standing there."  Bilaam is so bent on doing what he wants that all the hints (and more) in the world cannot get him to face the simple fact that he is sinning against G-d and needs to stop!  In fact, since his donkey did see the  malach, Bilaam is really saying that if he had been paying attention, he also could be a donkey.

We should set our sites a bit higher; and that starts by being able to admit mistakes and make real changes.

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