1. "And Balak the son of Tzipor saw" (Bemidbar 22:2). Rabbi Shimon said, He "saw." What did he see? HE RESPONDS: It is definitely a real vision. He perceived through the gaze of Chochmah and he saw with his eyes, MEANING THE EYES OF CHOCHMAH. He noticed through the perception of wisdom, as it says that "Abimelech, king of the Philistines looked out at a window" (Beresheet 26:8). What is the meaning of: "out at a window?" It is as it is written: "The mother of Sisera looked out at the window" (Shoftim 5:28). It is assuredly the window of Chochmah at the rim of the edges of the stars. THAT IS THE WINDOW THAT IS MENTIONED WITH REFERENCE TO SISERA'S MOTHER AND ABIMELECH, and these are the windows TO Chochmah, MEANING THAT THERE EXIST MANY WINDOWS and there is one window where all wisdom are. Whoever looks at the essence of wisdom can look through it. Here too: "And Balak...saw" through his wisdom, MEANING HIS OWN PRIVATE WINDOW.
2. "The son of Tzipor" is as they said, THAT HE WAS A DESCENDANT OF JETHRO WHO WAS ALSO CALLED 'TZIPOR.' However, he was literally "the son of Tzipor (lit. 'bird')," MEANING THAT ALL HIS DEALINGS WERE WITH BIRDS, since his witchcraft dealt with different kinds of that bird. He took a bird, struck about with grass, and let it fly in the air. He performed acts and whispered incantations, and the bird would return with the grass in its mouth, chirping at him. He would then put her into a cage and burn incense before her, and she would inform him certain things. He would then perform witchcraft and that fowl, MEANING THE BIRD, chirped and flew swiftly to the one whose eyes were open, who gave her his message, and she would return. All his words came through that bird.
3. One day, he performed his acts and took the bird. She flew away and left, tarried and did not return TO HIM. Balak was saddened and, before her return, saw a flame of fire that flew AFTER THE BIRD and scorched her wings. He then saw what he saw and was afraid of Yisrael. What is the name of that bird? It is known (Heb. yadua). None of those who make use of and know how to make use of that bird know its witchcraft as well as Balak knew it.
4. All of the wisdom that he acquired came from that bird. This is what he used to do: he bowed down before THE BIRD, burned incense, covered his head, bent over and spoke. He would say, 'The nation,' and the bird would reply to him, 'Yisrael.' He would say, 'Much,' and the bird would respond, 'Many (Heb. rav)' in commemoration of the great one (Heb. rav) that traveled among them. They whispered to each other seventy times, BALAK AND THE BIRD. He would say, 'Poor,' and the bird would say, 'Great (Heb. rav).' He then was afraid, as it is written: "And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many (Heb. rav)" (Bemidbar 22:3), assuredly rav.
5. In the variety of witchcraft of ancient Kasdiel, we first found that this bird was produced at specific times from silver mixed with gold. SILVER IS THE SECRET OF THE RIGHT COLUMN, CHASSADIM, AND GOLD IS THE LEFT COLUMN, CHOCHMAH, AND THEY USED IT TO PRODUCE AND PUT TOGETHER THAT BIRD TO BE LIKENED TO HOLINESS, AS A MONKEY TO PEOPLE. JUST LIKE IN HOLINESS CHOCHMAH OF THE LEFT IS BLENDED WITH CHASSADIM OF THE RIGHT, THEY WANTED TO DRAW IT THAT WAY. HOWEVER, SINCE THEY DID NOT HAVE THE POWER OF UNIFICATION OF THE CENTRAL COLUMN, EVERYTHING RESULTS IN THE ASPECT OF REFUSE. The head, THE FIRST THREE SFIROT OF THE BIRD, is made of gold, MEANING THE REFUSE OF GOLD. Her mouth is made of silver, MEANING FROM SILVER REFUSE, and her wings, CHESED AND GVURAH, from light copper, THAT IS LEFT, blended with silver, THAT IS RIGHT, SINCE EACH ONE IS COMPRISED OF RIGHT AND LEFT. The body is of gold with round points of silver in her feathers. Her legs, NETZACH, HOD AND YESOD, are from gold and they place in her mouth the tongue of that bird Yadua, SINCE THE TONGUE IS DA'AT. AND SINCE THE KLIPOT HAVE NO DA'AT, THEY HAVE INSTEAD KNOWN (HEB. YADUA).
6. They place that bird in that one window, OF THE ONES MENTIONED ABOVE, AND DURING THE DAY they open the window in the direction of the sun THAT RULES BY DAY. At night, they open the window in the direction of the moon, WHICH RULES BY NIGHT, and they burn incense and perform witchcraft. DURING THE DAY, they conjure the sun TO BESTOW ITS ABUNDANCE and at night they conjure the moon. And so they perform for seven days. From then on, that tongue is already rattling in the mouth of the bird, BUT IS STILL UNABLE TO SPEAK. THEN they puncture her tongue with a golden needle and she speaks great things on her own. Everything that Balak knew came from that bird. Therefore, HE WAS CALLED 'the son of bird' and he saw what other people were unable to know and could not see.
7. It is written: "Hashem said, 'I will bring back from Bashan, I will bring them back from the depths of the sea'" (Tehilim 68:23). We must pay attention to the Faith in the Holy One, blessed be He, since all His words are spoken with truth and great Faith. As soon as He utters something, it is immediately completely accomplished. If a person who is narrow of heart says that it will take several years, and a certain time to fulfill his wish, that is what happens, with THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, in accord with His dominion that all the universe is filled with His glory, it is surely so. A person's words are of small consequence and all his words are of a temporary nature. Similarly, he himself is of a temporary nature, LIKE A PASSING SHADOW. However, he is sanctified with repentance and prayer and good deeds and many tears, SINCE the Supernal One who is higher than all the world lights His lamp and contracts His Holiness to that person to do his wish.
8. NOW HE EXPLAINS THE VERSE: "Hashem said" is in the future to come. The Holy One, blessed be He, will arise and bring back from Bashan all those whom the wild beasts killed and devoured, SINCE "MI (ENG. 'FROM') BASHAN" IS SPELLED WITH THE SAME LETTERS OF MIBEIN SHINEI (LIT. 'FROM BETWEEN THE TEETH OF') THE BEASTS. There exists in the world a dwelling place where all the great beasts and the great high mountains are, and these are hidden in those, THE BEASTS HIDE IN THE MOUNTAINS. THAT PLACE IS CALLED 'BASHAN.' There is the strong wild desert donkey. This is Og, who dwelt among the wild desert asses. There lies his strength, because he was the King of Bashan, MEANING THE KING OF THAT AREA, and none of the world's kings could fight with him due to the powerful might of Bashan. Moses came and waged war with him.
9. Sihon was the desert colt and Moab's security depended on him. "For Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites" (Bemidbar 21:13), MEANING THAT HE WAS HIS NEIGHBOR AND GUARDED HIS BORDER. Come and see: When Yisrael destroyed the city of Sihon, the proclamation went forth in the Heavenly Kingdom, MEANING AMONG THE SEVENTY CHIEFTAINS OF THE SEVENTY NATIONS: Gather together, you mighty who rule over other nations, and see how the Emorite kingdom is destroyed.
10. At that moment, all the rulers who were appointed over the seventy nations gathered and wanted to restore the kingdom of Sihon to its prior state. As soon as they saw Moses' might, they retreated. That is the meaning of the words: "Wherefore they who speak in similes say, 'Come to Heshbon'" (Ibid. 27). These are the appointed ministers over the nations, who gathered and said, "Come to Heshbon." Who is he who destroyed it? Let it "be built and established" (Ibid.) as originally, and let the kingdom be reinstated as before.