Parshat Balak

Balak (Numbers 22:2–25:9) – Did Balaam go against G-d’s wishes and what can be learned from the story.

Shorashim Overview and Study Guide

Parshat BalakBalak, the king of Moab , is concerned as are all the nations around him by this people who have come out of the desert.

How do we know that the nations have become frightened from the book of Joshua?

Why is Balaam summoned as opposed to rallying the forces together?

At first Balaam refuses to go with the messengers for G-d has told him in a prophetic vision not to go.

What can be learned from this prophetic vision that comes only at night?

The messengers of Balak offer more enticements and fame and Balaam waits to hear more from G-d..G-d allows him to go with the messengers


Though G-d gave him permission, the way in which Balaam goes on this mission seems to anger g-d and he sends an angel to bar his way. Balaam does not see the angel but his donkey who suddenly begins to talk does.

Why  a donkey and why does it begin to talk?

Finally they reach their destination and look down upon the children of Israel, yet Balaam tries to curse but his words come out as blessings. He attempts to do so from three different vantage points.

Why was that necessary?

Balaam’s final blessings refer to the coming of the messiah and the final battles.Though unsuccessful in cursing the people of Israel he attempts to get Balak to send the maidens of Midyan to seduce the people of Israel

Why was this his solution?

Some of the people  are enticed to worship the idol Peor. One oif the Israelite leaders brazenly takes a midianite princess before Moshe and Aaron.

What statement was he trying to make to Moshe?

Pinchas , the son of Aaron takes up the vengeance for G-d  and kills them both, stopping the plague that had begun to kill the people.

Listen to this week’s podcast:

Parshat Balak

3 thoughts on “Parshat Balak”

  1. Moshe — are you the same Moshe Kempinski who was a leader at TLS in the States back in the mid to late 70’s???

    I attended TLS back then. I am looking to reconnect with people I may have known back then. Is this you?

    Rachel Stern

  2. Are you on Facebook? there is a Facebook group for people who participated in TLS, There are many photos of the TLS events. Lots of people we knew way back when — younger of course. Rabbi Basil Herring, Rabbi Haskell Lookstein, Chuck Bernstein, a”h, and more. If you are on Facebook, let me know your FB page URL and I can hook you up to the TLS group. Best to email me directly at [email protected]

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