Balak: The Donkey, and Other Players By David Hartley Mark

Balak ( בלק) Torah: Numbers 22:2 – 25:9 Haftarah: Micah 5:6 – 6:8 Balaam’s Donkey: It is odd that I am among the most famous creatures in the Bible—sad indeed, given all the unknown human innocents who die in this Holy Book, and in this Holy World which God created, and from which he seems […]

Torah Study Parsha Balak with Brian 06/17/13

Monday Night Mitzvah Torah Study: Parsha Balak with Brian We discuss why it’s just a really bad idea to try to curse what HaShem has blessed, talking donkeys, why ignorance isn’t bliss, and why a certain 1st century C.E.Jew could not be what he claimed he was.

Parsha Balak by David Hartley Mark

This parsha/Torah reading, one of my favorites, is one of three in the Chumash/Pentateuch named after gentiles, the other two being Noah and Jethro—we are uncertain as to whether the latter, Moses’s father-in-law, converted himself to monotheism: the Midrash/Legends say yes, but the text itself is silent on the matter. Since earliest childhood, the dialogue […]

Magic and Judaism: How Is It Possible? (Parsha Balak)

Download the notes for Parsha Balak or read below. Parsha Balak (Numbers 22:2-­‐25:9): Judaism and Witchcraft Balak, the king of Moab, summons the prophet Balaam to curse the people of Israel. On the way, Balaam is berated by his ass, who sees, before Balaam does, the angel that G‐d sends to block their way. Three times, […]