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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Balak

Parshat Balak: Midrash and Archaeology in the Talmudic Village

by Dr. Steven Fine Posted on October 26, 2016

Billam’s Donkey (Hebrew)

by Rabbi Elchanan Samet Posted on October 26, 2016

Oh, Say Can You See?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on August 15, 2016

Speech is central in the story of Balak and Balaam, from Balaam’s blessings to the talking donkey. But as much as this parasha is about talking, it is also about seeing. “And Balak the son of Beor saw, va’yar, all that Israel had done to the Amorites.” (Bamidbar 22:2). Balak not only saw what Israel Continue Reading »

The Power of Love To Conquer Hatred

by Rabbi Avi Weiss Posted on May 25, 2016

Could it be that Bilaam, the gentile prophet, saddled his own animal when he set forth to curse the Jews? (Numbers 22:21). For someone of his stature, a prophet, it certainly seems beneath his dignity. Ibn Ezra, who is known for his literal readings of the Torah goes against his usual trend and offers a Continue Reading »

Children Should Not Be Punished for the Sins of Their Parents

by Rabbi Avi Weiss Posted on May 21, 2016

In this week’s portion, Balak King of Moab hires Bilaam to curse Israel (Numbers 22:5,6). A review of the history of Moab’s relationship with Israel reveals a terrible decline that in this portion reaches one of its lowest points. Moab is a descendant of Lot. Lot is the nephew of our father Abraham. We first Continue Reading »

Believing is Seeing

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on July 1, 2015

The Rabbis tell us in Pirkei Avot (5:22) “Whoever has….an ayin tova, a good eye….is a student of Avraham; whoever has an ayin ra’ah, a bad eye….is a student of Balaam.” Avraham sees well, whereas Balaam sees poorly. How so? On the face of it, the stories of Avraham and Balaam are parallel. Both Avraham Continue Reading »

A Thought on the Parasha

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on July 2, 2014

Download the PDF of the Parasha Sheet “Whoever has… an ayin tova, a good eye… is a student of Avraham; whoever has an ayin ra’ah, a bad eye… is a student of Balaam,” the Rabbis tell us in Pirkei Avot (5:22).  Avraham sees well, whereas Balaam sees poorly. How so? On the face of it, Continue Reading »

Seeing Too Much of Yourself in Others

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on July 6, 2012

Parashat Balak is the only parasha in the Torah which provides us with an outsider’s view of Children of Israel. As such, it affords us with a perspective not only on how others see us, but also on how others see, that is, on other ways of seeing. The parasha begins with Balak, King of Continue Reading »