9 As I see them from the mountain tops, Gaze on them from the heights, There is a people that dwells apart, Not reckoned among the nations,
kee may-ROSH tzu-REEM er-E-nu u-mig-va-OT a-shu-RE-nu hen AM l’-va-DAD yish-KON u-va-go-YEEM LO yit-kha-SHAV
ט כִּי־מֵרֹאשׁ צֻרִים אֶרְאֶנּוּ וּמִגְּבָעוֹת אֲשׁוּרֶנּוּ הֶן־עָם לְבָדָד יִשְׁכֹּן וּבַגּוֹיִם לֹא יִתְחַשָּׁב׃
23:9 There is a people that dwells apart, not reckoned among the nations
This chapter is one of three that describe the failed attempt by Balaam to curse the People of Israel. His plan is foiled by Hashem, and instead of a curse, Balaam utters a reluctant compliment, “There is a people that dwells apart, not reckoned among the nations.” For better or for worse, the Jews have always been set aside from among the nations and singled out for special treatment. Today, Israel receives a disproportionate amount of coverage by the media, most of it negative. However, we must recognize the inherent lesson of this solitude: the People of Israel have been singled out for a holy purpose. They were chosen by Hashem to remain faithful to Him and to fulfill the biblical mandate of teaching His truths to the world. While for most of history, the Jewish Nation has indeed been an isolated “people that dwells apart,” that reality began to change with the establishment of the State of Israel. For the first time, millions of non-Jews have started to stand together with the People of Israel, rejecting the curse of Balaam.