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Torah Commentary Blog

Parashat Balak (July 23, 2016)
by Warren Klein

MONDAY, JULY 11, MARKED THE 18TH ANNIVERSARY OF MY BAR MITZVAH, AND THE PARASHAH, THAT I READ WAS BALAK. Balak is the king of Moab who wants Balaam to curse the Israelites because he fears their numbers, but instead Balaam ends up blessing them three times. One of the blessings includes the Mah Tovu, which is incorporated into our morning liturgy. During Balaam’s journey to see Balak, God sends an angel to which only the ass reacts and leads Balaam off his path. Balaam becomes increasingly angry and beats the ass until the Lord opens the ass’ mouth to say to Balaam, “What have I done to you that you have beaten me three times?” God makes Balaam see the angel, and Balaam now reveres God and therefore can only bless the Israelites and not curse them, as Balak intended.

Continue reading Warren’s commentary »


Comments
Balak
Warren - you were an insightful bar mitzvah boy, and I enjoyed your adult
take on this portion, too!

Nehmer.Sherry - July 21st


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