Seeing the Whole Story

Parshat Balak begins with the words “And Balak ben Tzippor saw all that Yisrael had done to the Emori. And Moav became terrified of the people of Israel because of their great numbers” (Bamidbar 22:2-3).

The Gur Aryeh says that Balak did not witness the victory but rather heard about it. When the pasuk says the Balak saw, it is referring to intellectual vision. He saw from the fall of the Emori that his country would not be able to withstand Israel.

According to Rav Avraham Naftali Glanti, Balak saw what Yisrael did to the Emori (Yisrael defeated the Emori with the edge of the sword and took possession of their land). However, Balak did not see (or did not want to see) what the Emori did to Yisrael first (Sichon gathered all his people and went out against Yisrael in the wilderness).

Today we have the same problem with the media. Front page headlines declare that Israel is accused of killing or injuring innocent civilians. However, there is no report about the fact that the IDF was retaliating after being attacked first! Most of the time you will only find out the whole story a few days later buried in the corrections column.

We must do our part to find out the whole story and take a stand against biased reporting.