If you've read Torah you know the story: Evil king Balak wants to destroy the Israelites. Balak sends prophet-for-hire Balaam to the encampment with instructions to rain curses down from heaven on the Israelites. Balaam tries, and fails, three times. Each time, when he opens his mouth to curse, blessings spill out, praising the Israelites and their God.
In the end, Torah doesn't really have much more to say about Balaam after his failure. But something about his story and my own failings made me identify strongly with him, and so I asked my own questions:
1. Where did the curses go? I have yet to find a satisfactory answer to this question. Simply vaporizing into blessings isn't enough. When I cursed, the curses came flowing out of me and wrecked relationships and nearly ended my career; what was different for Balaam? I don't know. Maybe someday it will all become clear.
2. What happened to Balaam to change his words? No idea, really. The Torah talks about God somehow stepping in, imposing God's agency to subvert Balaam's; but again, I'm not satisfied with that pat answer.
So anyway, here's the song I wrote, posted here for this week's parsha. maybe you'll come up with your own answers -- or more questions. Enjoy.