Parshat Balak, “Being Able to ‘Sees’” The importance of being able to see more than one thing at a time is particularly important to us – as we learn in this Parshah:
“And he took up his parable and said, ‘Balaam the son of Beor has said, and the man whose eye is open has said…”
נְאֻם בִּלְעָם בְּנוֹ בְעֹר, וּנְאֻם הַגֶּבֶר שְׁתֻם הָעָיִן.
Rabbis understand to mean Balaam had one eye – literally and figuratively.
What did Balaam do? He was able to communicate with God and he did give the mah tovu blessing to the Jewish People.
But… we understand that he still sought to defeat the Jews by non-supernatural means and was eventually killed because of it. Our tradition understands him to be an evil character.
How could this be? He was able to see God and the truth about God. But, he was unable to see that he himself was not a good man.
In Judaism it is very important to see with TWO EYES, one to recognize God and to know what God wants. But even more important, two to see how well you are fitting into what God wants. It’s easy to point out the flaws in everyone else, and how they fall short of God’s wishes, but we must be able to cast an eye on ourselves also.
Being able to see how well we measure up is more than just “half” of what we need to see. We are truly “blinded” if we are unable to perceive our own faults and shortcomings. Being able to see these, and then also being able to see what we should aspire to achieve and be like (in God’s eyes) allows us to have “complete vision” and “clear eyes.”