Torah, “Numbers,” 22:22 – 22:27: God’s wrath flared because he was going, and an angel of the Lord stationed himself on the road to thwart him, and he was riding on his she-donkey, and his two servants were with him. The she-donkey saw the angel of the Lord stationed on the road with his sword drawn in his hand; so the she-donkey turned aside from the road and went into a field. Balaam beat the she-donkey to get it back onto the road. The angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, with a fence on this side and a fence on that side. The she-donkey saw the angel of the Lord, and she was pressed against the wall. She pressed Balaam’s leg against the wall, and he beat her again. The angel of the Lord continued going ahead, and he stood in a narrow place, where there was no room to turn right or left. The she-donkey saw the angel of the Lord, and it crouched down under Balaam. Balaam’s anger flared, and he beat the she-donkey with a stick.
We see that the space for a person to exist becomes narrower. First it is a field, then a road, and after that an even narrower place through which it is not possible to pass.
This is an indication of Dinim (judgments) and of the difficulty of maintaining the laws. First the person uses the ego without any limitation in all situations in life; then he gradually discovers how the ego brings him closer to a realization, moving him against his will towards realizing the goal of creation.
It is possible to say that in the beginning, the ego pulls a person forward and seduces him with egoistic benefit, assuring him that everything will be his and for his sake. This is what Balaam wanted, and so he continued walking with his donkey, and then begins the realization stage, the restriction of the ego.
The restriction of the ego happens gradually, by levels: Shoresh, Aleph, Bet, Gimel, Dalet, in which these levels become narrower. The more that the ego comes closer to realization, the more compressed the conditions become, and ultimately the ego surrenders under the desire of the person and becomes the basis on which the person must carry out all of his actions. That is, he begins to work with the ego in its opposite direction.
The ego is ready to be used with an intention for the sake of bestowal, and not in the form that it originally wanted to work, for its own good. So the action of restriction is to show a person the direction in which he must go.
Question: Must a person understand this temporally?
Answer: Even if he doesn’t hear and doesn’t understand, ultimately the continuous increase in suffering will cause him to hear and will give him a clear and precise direction. We see how humanity has developed and has become wiser as a result of everything that has happened throughout all of history, whether voluntarily or not, even though it happens very slowly and very unpleasantly.
Question: If Balaam had listened to the voice of the Creator, then it would not have been the way of suffering for him?
Answer: No, he would still have gone through all this suffering, otherwise it would have been impossible to advance! Baal HaSulam wrote that there is an ideal correct way and an ideal incorrect way, but the true way is between them, and it is called Derech Eretz (the way of the land).
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 8/12/15