In exclaiming Who can count the dust of Jacob! Bala’am recalled God’s promise to Abraham: I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth. Our Tradition frowns on counting things because blessing rests best on that which is not counted and it is said that the evil eye focuses too quickly on that which is counted. The mystics explain that Bala’am was frustrated because wanting to curse the Jewish people, he tried counting them but found that he was unable to do so. This means that Bala’am saw there was no relationship between the Jewish population and the impact they would have: to count them was of no use – Who can count the dust of Jacob!