Tagged Questions

The weekly Torah portion of Balak (Numbers 22:2–25:9)

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8
votes
2answers
892 views

Did Kozbi deserve to die?

In the end of Parshas Balak (Bamidbar 25:8), Pinchas kills an Israelite who was cohabiting with a Midianite woman in front of the Jewish people. I understand that the Israelite deserved to be killed ...
6
votes
3answers
92 views

Moav or Midian - who seduced the Jews at Shitim?

Who were the women seducers in Shitim who caused the Jewish people to stray after their gods (Baal Peor), discussed in Parshas Balak and Pinchas? On the one hand, it seems like the women came from ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

What nationality was Bilam?

In Numbers 22:5, the Torah is unclear as to where Pethor is. If it wants to tell us where Pethor is, then tell us, but one can only figure out where Pethor is if one knows of which people was Bilam. ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

Why did Bilaam hate Israel?

Why did Bilaam hate Israel? Even after prophetic visions seeing how praiseworthy of a people they are he still tries to curse them. Even after singing their praises in prophetic song. You can say ...
10
votes
3answers
585 views

Why is Bil'am not surprised that his mule is talking to him?

During the scene in parshat Balak, it says that "God opened the mule's mouth" and it asked Bil'am why he hit him. Bil'am answers the donkey. It seems that he is not surprised at all that the donkey is ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Pairs in Balaam's blessings

In all of Balaam's blessings, nearly every phrase is repeated in similar wording. For example: Arise, Balak, and hear - listen closely to me, son of Zippor. God is not a man that He should ...
5
votes
1answer
335 views

If prophets can only be “good guys” how come Balaam become a prophet?

I've heard that in Judaism, God don't just randomly appoint people to be a prophet. The prophet must be some "good" guy or pious or whatever. If that's the case, why is balaam a prophet? He's not ...
10
votes
2answers
167 views

Why give gentiles an evil prophet?

Rashi in Bamidbar 22:5 addresses Bilam's being a prophet: "Why did the Holy One rest his Divine Presence upon a wicked gentile? So that the nations of the world should not have an excuse [as to why ...
7
votes
1answer
233 views

Why do some transliterate “Balaam” when the Hebrew is “Bilaam”?

I've noticed that most translations render the gentile prophet's name Balaam, while the Hebrew is Bilaam (difference in first vowel). JPS does this in its translation, and people even do it here on ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

Why was the Shechinah bestowed upon Bil'am? [duplicate]

In the beginning of Parashat Balak, Rashi writes: If you ask, “Why did God bestow His Shechinah on a wicked gentile?” [The answer is] so the nations should not have an excuse to say, “Had we had ...
5
votes
3answers
175 views

Who is Tzippor?

Parashat Balaq indirectly references "Tzippor" five times (by introducing Balaq as "ben Tzippor"). I don't believe Rashi brings down any background regarding Tzippor. If the Torah refers to Balaq as ...
6
votes
3answers
160 views

Why might we think that Moses did not write Parashat Bil'am?

In Bava Basra 14b, a ברייתא is quoted as saying "Moshe wrote his book (i.e. the Pentateuch), Parashat Bil'am, and [the Book of] Iyov." Why did the ברייתא even raise the issue of Moshe's authorship of ...
2
votes
0answers
54 views

What happened to Balak?

What ever happened to Balak after the Bil'am affair? Bil'am is referred to often as Bil'am HaRasha' (the wicked), and he is blamed for the entire encounter as well as the Ba'al Pe'or incident. But ...
7
votes
3answers
212 views

Why was Kozbi not an eshes yefas toar?

Why was Kozbi bas Tzur not considered an eshes yefas toar (a non-Jewish woman who is taken captive during wartime and is permitted to her captor) who would then be permitted to Zimri? This question ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Did Bilaam have free will?

By God preventing Bilaam from cursing the Jews, was that not an impingement of Bilaams free will?
4
votes
2answers
133 views

Parasha named after Balak?

I've heard from Harav Mansour Shelit"a as well as other Hachamim that Yitro was rewarded by getting a Parasha named by him. With that in mind, why did Balak get a Parasha named after him?
6
votes
2answers
218 views

What is Zimri's sin?

Note: This is Zimri that was speared by Phinehas for sleeping with a foreigner. Wikipedia says that he committed idolatry. However, the Bible only mentions that he slept with a foreign woman. Nothing ...
1
vote
3answers
139 views

How many people died before Pinchas killed Zimri?

In the mass death at the end of Parashas Balak, how many people died before Pinchas killed Zimri?
-4
votes
1answer
176 views

Zimri age at the time of sin?

What was Zimri's age at the time he had relations with Kozbi?
1
vote
2answers
109 views

Why did they eat?

It says that before the Jews had relations with the Midyanite women that eventually led Pinchas to kill Kozbi and Zimri they ate of their Idolatrous sacrifices and then it says and they bowed to their ...
4
votes
2answers
81 views

Action in Balak and Reward in Pinchas

Why is it that in Parashas Pinchas we see the reward of Pinchas (Bamidbar 25:7), even though his to-be-rewarded action was in Parashas Balak (Bamidbar 25:12)? Why wait a Parsha to say what reward he ...
1
vote
2answers
82 views

Cursing and Money

The Posuk says that Billam said even if you give me all the money in the world I can not curse the Jews, Rashi says this indicates that he was a lover of others money.There is a small problem with ...
9
votes
2answers
345 views

Different types of Nevuah

What are the differences between the "typical" navi's prophecy, Moshe Rabbeinu's prophecy, and Bil'am HaRasha's prophecy? (Answers with sources [and preferably links to sources] only please!)
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Hilchos Shel Billam [closed]

What Halacha do you learn out from Billam?
8
votes
3answers
181 views

Donkey Talked and an Angel Appeared - Who Knew?

Why is no mention made of the reaction, of Balak’s officers who were accompanying Bilaam, to the talking donkey or the revelation of the angel?
5
votes
2answers
77 views

Balak The King Since when?

In the First Posuk it says: וירא בלק בן ציפור (And Balak the son of Tzippor Saw) no mention of his ...
0
votes
1answer
97 views

From Cursing to Blessing

What was Billam's thought process? At first he was going to curse the Jews; after Hashem tells him no, he says 'OK, in that case, let me bless them'? If you want to curse someone, your second option ...