We find in Gemara an amazing statement about the Parsha of 'Balak'. The Sages deemed this portion so important that they deliberated if it should be included in the daily prayers - together with the recitation of the Shema. We would be reciting this portion twice a day, were it not for its length, which ChaZaL realized would pose too great a burden for the people. [Berachos 12]
What lessons are imparted by the words of the Balaam - a villainous, non-Jewish prophet - that could possibly put them on par with the most fundamental beliefs of Judaism, as expressed in the sublime verse, "Listen, Israel: G-d is our Lord, G-d is One"? The Talmud itself explains that its special message is to be found in one particular verse:
"Israel crouches, lies like a lion, like an awesome lion - who dares rouse him?" [Bam. 24:9]
Yes, it's a beautiful verse - but what is so significant, so essential, that for the sake of this verse the entire parasha of Balak deserves to be recited together with the Shema twice daily?
The passages of the Shema teach two fundamentals of the Torah:
• acceptance of God's unity and rule;
• acceptance of His mitzvos.

What ties together these two themes? How are acceptance of God's authority and acceptance of His commandments connected?
The connection comes by way of a third, central concept: the eternal nature of Israel. It is through the mitzvos performed by the Jewish people that God's unity is revealed in the world. The Jewish people were in fact created specifically for this very mission, as it says, "This people I created for Me, (so that) they will relate My praise." [Isaiah 43:21]
Balaam's prophecy declares that the nation of Israel "lies like a lion". G-d constantly watches over the Jewish people, so that they may lie down and sleep with the secure serenity of lions, who need fear no other creature.
The endurance of the Jewish people throughout the generations, despite all odds and laws of history, enables them to persist in their mission of proclaiming God's unity to the world. Their indestructible nature is in itself a cause for sanctification of God's Name.
But if this crucial message is contained in a single verse, why not just add this one verse to the daily prayers?
The Talmud answers that we cannot just add this verse alone to the Shema. The Torah should not be arbitrarily broken up into smaller sections. If the verse were detached from the rest of Balaam's prophecy, it could be misconstrued as extolling Jewish nationalism for its own sake. The purpose of the unique fortitude of the Jewish people is not for national wealth or military prowess. This verse must be kept in proper context. The eternal nature of Israel is in order that they may promulgate G-d's unity in the world, throughout the generations.
May we all sanctify G-d's name and examplify His Unity in the World!!

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