In the previous Parshah, we read about how when other nations attacked the Jews, they were badly defeated and their lands were conquered? So in this week's Parshah we learn that Balak, the king of Moav, has seen what's happened to those other nations and he's terrified. But he knows that he if he tries to fight the Jews, he will lose. So he thinks of a better plan. He will hire a prophet to curse the Jews, and then he will able to be victorious over them.

So he hires Balaam, a non-Jewish prophet, to curse the Jews, and Balaam saddles his donkey and sets out on his journey. G‑d sends an angel to block his path, and Balaam's donkey, seeing the angel, goes off the road to bypass the angel.  Balaam, who doesn't see the angel, beats the donkey for going off the road. The donkey then opens its mouth and starts speaking to Balaam, asking why he is beating her! Then Balaam sees the angel who tells him that he should know that he will not be able to curse the Jews and will only be able to say what G‑d allows him to.

So Balaam arrives at his destination, and King Balak and all the dignitaries are there, waiting for Balaam to come and curse the Jews. Balaam begins to speak, and instead of cursing the Jews, he blesses them! Balak tells Balaam, "What did you do?! I hired you to curse the Jews, and instead you're blessing them!" Balaam replied that he can only say the words that G‑d puts into his mouth.

Balak takes Balaam to another mountain, hoping that a change of place will allow him to be more successful in cursing the Jews. But when Balaam opens his mouth again, he says more blessings! This time, Balak just says, "Enough! Don't curse them and don't bless them. Just don't say anything!" But Balak really wants it to work , so they go to one last place. There, once again, Balaam opens his mouth and out come blessings.

Finally, Balak gets really angry, saying, "I hired you to curse my enemies, and instead you blessed them three times!" Balaam answers that he can only say the words that G‑d puts in his mouth and then ends off with a prophecy about the time of Moshiach.

Unfortunately, the Jews then begin to sin by serving idols and being with non-Jewish woman. A man named Zimri takes a Midianite woman to his tent, and a fierce plague starts spreading, killing many Jews. Pinchas, the grandson of Aaron, knows what he must do. He takes his spear and kills Zimri and the woman, and the plague stops.

Stay tuned. Next week we hear about Pinchas' reward for this heroic deed.