The prophet Bilam (Balaam) is not an isolated individual, an anomaly in Scripture. He was not the first or last emissary to the Gentiles. God did not leave them without guidance. Bilam is a foreshadowing of the ministry of Saul of Tarsus, aka the apostle Paul, whose experience on the road to Damascus echoes the account in the Torah reading בָּלָק Balak of Bilam’s experience with a “recalcitrant” she-donkey.
Where we came from and who our parents are doesn’t necessarily define who we are or who we will become. We need to recognize the good around us and become wise to the frequent folly of “following your heart.” This is what we can learn from the life of Esau, the brother of Ya’akov and son of Yitzkhak, detailed in the Torah section תּוֹלְדֹת Toldot or Toledot, covering Gen. 25:19-28:9.