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Balak in a Nutshell

Balak in a Nutshell

Numbers 22:2–25:9


Balak, the king of Moab, summons the prophet Balaam to curse the people of Israel. On the way, Balaam is berated by his donkey, who sees, before Balaam does, the angel that G‑d sends to block their way. Three times, from three different vantage points, Balaam attempts to pronounce his curses; each time, blessings issue forth instead. Balaam also prophesies on the end of the days and the coming of Moshiach.

The people fall prey to the charms of the daughters of Moab, and are enticed to worship the idol Peor. When a high-ranking Israelite official publicly takes a Midianite princess into a tent, Pinchas kills them both, stopping the plague raging among the people.

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Discussion (17)
July 27, 2016
To Noss
The words of Bilaam were actually G-dly, as he himself had not control over what he was saying.
Eliezer Zalmanov
July 24, 2016
Why do we pray with the words of a rashah, an evil man?
July 22, 2016
Some of us
Some of us are capable of being like Baalam.
We all have our gifts; some are spiritual, some material. Question is, what's in your heart?
June 30, 2015
I met a youthful nonogenerian notzri he looked septuagenarian with big Coptic cross around neck my magen David tucked below collar. My loquacious shidduch had hailed him how she loves people and meeting new ones and life stories. A new saba in knickerbockers for her ever growing collection. I took him for a priest. Turns out he is a Marine fighter pilot who taught us to fly the A4. He perfected a bombing approach angle speed altitude that hit over and over within 5 feet. This man was a key to our victories.
July 3, 2014
The best defense is a good offence
Sarge is correct. Moreover, projecting our values onto a group that wants to kill all Jews is the true essence of negligence. The IDF needs to do some serious cleanup up of Hamas and its supporters. Bombing a few buildings from a photo op is a joke. Hopefully my input will get past the delicate senses of the moderator.
Sheldon H. Steinlauf
July 2, 2014
Spear Them
We need more Jewish leaders like Pinchis that take immediate decisive action instead of having meetings, running at the mouth, and all the other diplomatic PC CAism.
THE SARGE Brooklyn U.S.A.
Brooklyn U.S.A.
July 9, 2012
On Ba'alim's identity
Ba'alam (Bilam) the 'sorcerer' hired by Balak to curse us was NOT necessarily Baal Peor who led the people into idol worship in an unconnected episode! Ba'al is just a generic term meaning 'lord'...of... Ba'al Peor simply means 'ruler of the mount of Peor'. it is not a 'name', sort of like 'gospadin' in russian. Our first ' 'Ba'al' the so-called 'sorcerer' seems to be in good conversation with '' . Certainly, he is blessed with the holy interchange and is allowed to act as a vehicle for the holy words Ma Tovu, o lecha jakov, mishca notecha Israel...etc. He was not an Israelite, but yes, '' is the Father and King to all who honor and bow to him....
spencer shear
nyc, ny
July 8, 2012
Bilaam shows that without G*d's direct revelation we cannot know His will for us. Yet even with the revelation of God we must accept His will, His power and foremost, His Holiness and Righteousness. Bilaam represents all who have this knowledge of the Divine yet still strive to do things our way whereby our worship of the Lord becomes merely self serving and so we are cursed by creating a god in our own image. Bilaam like Cain are more interested in their own good works rather than Faith and trust in G*d which in the end becomes self serving works of self.
canada, montreal
July 11, 2011
RE: Who was Pinchas
The plague had spiritual roots. G-d had unleashed it against the people as a direct result of the idolatry and adultery that they were performing with the Midianite women. Pinchas was the grandson of Aaron. He saw what was happening and knew that something needed to be done. When Zimri, a prince of Israel, publically flaunted his Midianite consort, Pinchas killed them both. The plague then stopped.
Menachem Posner for
Montreal, Quebec
July 8, 2011
I do not understand exactly how the plague was stopped. Who was Pinchas