A Talking Donkey!
Bilam, the heathen prophet, was on his way to curse the Jewish people at the behest of Balak, the Moabite king, who was terrified as they approached his land on their way to the Promised Land.
This is how the Torah describes Bilam’s communication with his donkey on the way to meet Balak to curse the Jewish people:
“The donkey saw G‑d’s angel standing on the road with a sword drawn in its hand, so the donkey turned aside from the road and went into a field.
Bilam beat the donkey to get it back onto the road. G‑d’s angel stood in a path through the vineyards, with a wall on one side and wall on the other side.
The donkey saw G‑d’s angel, and it pushed itself against the wall. It pressed Bilam’s leg, against the wall and he beat it again.
G‑d’s angel went further ahead, and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn right or left.
The donkey saw G‑d’s angel, and it crouched down under Bilam. Bilam became angry, and he beat the donkey with a stick.
G‑d opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Bilam, “what have I done to you that you hit me these three times?”
Now, in Hebrew the standard word we would expect the Torah to use for “times” in this context is p’amim. Yet, here the Torah uses the word “regalim,” which actually means legs. Rashi explains that 
G‑d (through the medium of the donkey) was, in effect, scolding Bilam by telling him why do you wish to harm the Jewish people who go by foot on their pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem three times a year?”
Indeed, the Biblical word for Holidays is regalim, which means feet, because it involved the process of traveling, specifically by walking.
What is it about the three pilgrimage Holidays that features so prominently in this week’s parsha?
A Chair of Three Legs
Some commentators refer to the argument used by Moses when G‑d suggested that He would wipe out the Jewish people who sinned with the Golden Calf and make Moses the father of a new nation.
Moses’ response was “if a chair of three legs cannot stand, how much more so a chair that stands on only one leg.”
Moses, of course, was referring to the three Patriarchs, corresponding to the three pilgrimage Festivals, who form the solid basis for the Jewish people.
G‑d essentially said to Bilam, through the medium of his donkey, “How can you consider cursing a people who observe the three Festivals, considering the fact that they represent the firm foundation upon which the Jewish people stand? You cannot undermine them because they have a solid foundation.”
Transcend Nature
The Chassidic Master Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk offers a novel interpretation to the donkey’s allusion to the “three pilgrimage Festivals.” 
When Jews came to the Beis Hamikdash in Jerusalem, despite the fact that they were packed in so tightly that there was no room to move, they never had a problem prostrating themselves. Moreover, our Sages tell us that no one ever complained that there was no room for them to sleep when they were in Jerusalem. The Jewish pilgrims were able to transcend the physical constraints and discomforts of a tight space. No matter how crowded it was, they never felt crowded.
The donkey thus intimated how the Jewish people were superior to Bilam who complained bitterly when his leg was pressed against the wall. “’How then,’ the donkey asked, ’could you think that you can prevail over the Jewish people who transcend nature?’”
Shalosh regalim = Bereishis
One may take this explanation a step further by referring to the gematria-numerical value of the words shalosh regalim-three times, which is the same as the word Bereishis, the first word of the Torah. They both equal 913.
The simple translation of Bereishis is “in the beginning.” However, Rashi translates it as “Because of the ‘beginning’ G‑d created the world.” G‑d created the world for the sake of the Torah, which is called “the beginning of His way,” and for the sake of the Jewish people, who are called “the first of His Grain.”
Hence, G‑d’s message to Bilam was, how can you consider cursing the people for whom the entire world was created? By cursing them you will be undermining the very raison d’etre of Creation.  
The fact that this hint is connected to the words that also mean three Festivals suggests that the three Festivals have something to say to us about why the world was created for the sake of Torah and Israel.
Three Festivals of Transcendence
The three Festivals are, of course, Pesach, Shavuos and Sukkos.
Pesach is the holiday of liberation. Without freedom, the Jewish people could not fulfill their mission, to achieve which the world was created. The objective of creation of a world governed by nature is to, ultimately, break out of its boundaries. The Jewish people, as the medium to accomplish that, cannot be part of the natural system. Pesach is not just about liberation from slavery; it also describes when the Jewish people were given the power to be free of any constraints, even the constraints that are built into nature.
Shavuos is the anniversary of the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. In order for us to elevate and transform nature we must have the element of Torah which also transcends nature. While Torah was studied by the Patriarchs and others before it was given to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai, there was a fundamental difference between the dimension of Torah accessed after Sinai as compared to the element of Torah studied prior to the revelation at Mount Sinai.
Before Sinai, the Torah empowered people to realize their full spiritual potential. One could not rise above nature by transforming nature itself. For example, an object that was used to perform a mitzvah remained a physical object, whereas after Sinai we have the power to transform a physical object or activity into a Divine one. This change occurred on Shavuos.
The third Festival, Sukkos, is a manifestation of the way the Jewish people enjoy a supernatural level of protection from G‑d. Whereas the nations of the world have tried to destroy and crush us or cause us to assimilate and lure us away from Torah, G‑d has protected us in His Sukkah against all odds.
Moreover, the Sukkah symbolizes the future era of peace and tranquility during the Messianic Age, when all the nations will live in peace with the Jewish people. At that time the purpose of Creation will have been realized through the cumulative efforts of the Jewish people over our history. The entire world will then bask in G‑d’s transcendent light.
Hence, the three pilgrimage Festivals facilitate the world reaching its ultimate spiritual goal. With the freedom from the forces of nature on Passover, the transcendent level of Torah revealed at Sinai and the guarantee of our survival and success of Sukkos, we will justify the entire world’s existence.
G‑d therefore questions Bilam, through the miraculously articulate donkey, stating how could you undermine these people for whom the entire world exists and who have the power vested in them through the three Festivals? 
Countering Moshiach’s Donkey   
The 20th century work Mei Marom advances the theory that Bilam’s use of a donkey was his way of countering the prophet Zecharyah’s vision of Moshiach as a “poor man riding on a donkey.” (Zecharyah 9:9)
According to Tikkunei Zohar (#60), the imagery of Moshiach as a poor man riding on a donkey was meant to signify that although a donkey is a non-kosher animal it has an inner holiness symbolized by the image of a poor and humble man. While the body (i.e., the donkey) is interested in its own needs and wants, the soul is humble and receptive to G‑d’s needs and wants.
This image was intended to suggest that Moshiach will come even when the Jewish people exhibit non-kosher signs on the outside because their inner personalities are pure and holy.
However, Bilam’s objective was to contaminate even the inner good, for Bilam was the antithesis of a poor and humble man. Bilam describes himself as “a man with an open eye.” Rashi comments that this meant that one of his eyes were missing.
When the Torah describes Bilam as blind in one eye it is understood to mean that while he had one eye that could perceive G‑d’s greatness, he was blind to his own imperfections. His spiritual abilities actually enhanced his sense of greatness and arrogance.
Commentators explain that his blindness in one eye was more than just an anatomical anomaly. A person has two eyes in order to reflect on two matters. With one eye we should reflect on G‑d’s greatness. With the second eye we must look inwards, at ourselves, to realize our own insignificance.
Bilam’s partial blindness was the reason for his downfall. The more of G‑d’s majesty he was able to see, the greater his ego became. He was utterly blind to his own inadequacies.
It was this gaping hole in his personality that he wanted to impose on the Jewish people so that they would resist the Messianic Redemption.
When G‑d wanted to demonstrate to Bilam that the Jewish people were worthy of Moshiach because of their inherent humility, He referred to the pilgrimage Festivals. On those occasions, as was mentioned earlier, no one complained about the crowded conditions because they felt an overarching sense of unity. No one felt superior to another of his fellows. If the Jewish people had this level of unity, which comes from humility, they were worthy of Moshiach and Redemption even if they were riding a donkey; this was so even if externally they were not spiritually sophisticated. Bilam’s riding on a donkey could not cancel out Moshiach’s coming as a poor man riding on his donkey.