By Rabbi David Cohen
G-d said to Bilaam, “You shall not go with them! You shall not curse the people, for it is blessed.” (22:12)
At a certain point Bilaam offered to bless the Jews. Hashem replied, “They do not require your blessing. They are a blessed people.” Rashi analogizes this to a bee whose honey is very tasty and beneficial, but, accompanying procuring the honey, is the chance that one might get stung. “We want neither your honey nor your sting.” Apparently, they go together.
A Rasha such as Bilaam generates curse even through his blessing. Anything to do with him is dangerous. This was the man who taught the world the idea of employing moral seduction as a tool for taking down a person – even a nation. Such a man could not be trusted – even for blessing. No good can ever be derived from someone so evil.
Furthermore, associating with Bilaam, even through the medium of blessing can be dangerous, just as in the case with the bee. While one is enjoying the honey, his mind is not on the bee – until he has been stung; then, it is too late; the damage has been done. While the Jewish People would be concentrating on Bilaam’s blessing, he would be occupying himself with destroying them. By the time they would have realized this, they would have been stung.
How careful do we Jews have to be, especially living in L. A. (a magnet for some of the most corrupt people in the world), of who we surround ourselves with.