Questions tagged [parashat-balak]

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

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Star coming from Jacob?

“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh; There shall step forth a star out of Jacob, And a scepter shall rise out of Israel, And shall smite through the corners of Moab, And break down all ...
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Moshe Rabbeinu and Bil'am - Last Words

Both Bil'am (by Balak) and Moshe (by Pharaoh) are told, Leave, never dare to come back. By Bil'am (Bamidbar 24:11) וְעַתָּ֖ה בְּרַח־לְךָ֣ אֶל־מְקוֹמֶ֑ךָ And now, flee to your place... Moshe you know ...
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Let Hashem stop Bilam advising Bolok to arrange sinning with Ba'al Pe'or

Why does HKB”H intervene (in Parshas Bolok ) to stop Bilam cursing the Jewish people but does not intervene to stop Bilam giving the advice to sin with Ba'al Pe'or .
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Korach, Chukas, Balak - The mouth of the earth, well & donkey

I noticed something this week when reciting Pirkei Avos... In Perek 5, Mishna 6 - the mishna famously says: עֲשָׂרָה דְבָרִים נִבְרְאוּ בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת בֵּין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת, וְאֵלּוּ הֵן, פִּי ...
Dov's user avatar
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How many Jews sinned with the Moabite girls and Ba'al Peor?

The Passuk (Bamidbar 25:9) tells us that 24,000 Jews died in the plague following the sin of the Moabite girls and Ba'al Pe'or. Is that the total sum of Jews that sinned or were there more? I had ...
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Did Balak know Gd told Jewish people he wouldn't destroy Moav

Did Balak know that Gd told the Jewish people that he wasn't going to attack Moav? If so, please support your answer.
pine5900's user avatar
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Who is the subject of Bilaam's prophecy?

The gentile prophet Bilaam says: [I] heard the words of God, and know the knowledge of the most High, [and] saw the vision of the Almighty... I see him, but not now; what I behold will not be soon: A ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
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In Numbers 23:19, what is the significance of God being compared to a "MAN that lies" and a "SON OF man that relents?"

I am looking for a meaningful explanation to Numbers 23:19. What is the significance of God being compared to a "(ish) MAN that lies" and a "(ben adam) SON OF man that relents?"
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Looking for a meaningful interpretation to Numbers 23:10 - "Who counted the dust of Jacob or the number of a fourth of Israel?"

Would anyone be able to explain (or link me to) a meaningful interpretation to Numbers 23:10 - "Who counted the dust of Jacob or the number of a fourth of Israel?" Why the comparison to ...
Moshe's user avatar
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Could the trop of מה-פעל אל be a me'ayla?

כִּ֤י לֹא־נַ֙חַשׁ֙ בְּיַעֲקֹ֔ב וְלֹא־קֶ֖סֶם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל כָּעֵ֗ת יֵאָמֵ֤ר לְיַעֲקֹב֙ וּלְיִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל מַה־פָּ֖עַל אֵֽל׃ ‏ Bamidbar 23:23 The word פעל is mile'eil (according to R' Breuer's conclusion ...
Heshy's user avatar
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Significance of Parshas Noach, Chayei Sarah, Yisro, Korach, Balak, and Pinchas

This question was asked regarding Parshas Balak (Parasha named after Balak?), however, I'd like to see a source or reason that explains why the Torah chose these 6 individuals to name the Parsha/Sedra ...
Moshe's user avatar
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Proper understanding of "לֹא יִתְחַשָּׁב"

Numbers 23:8 as translated by Sefaria: כִּֽי־מֵרֹ֤אשׁ צֻרִים֙ אֶרְאֶ֔נּוּ וּמִגְּבָע֖וֹת אֲשׁוּרֶ֑נּוּ הֶן־עָם֙ לְבָדָ֣ד יִשְׁכֹּ֔ן וּבַגּוֹיִ֖ם לֹ֥א יִתְחַשָּֽׁב׃ As I see them from the mountain ...
Big Mouth's user avatar
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Mouth of the donkey ("פִי הָאָתוֹן"): how can the Rambam seem to contradict the mishnah in Pirkei Avos?

NOTE: I heard this question raised in R' Hershel Schachter's parsha shiur (YUTorah - Balak 5779 from 23:28-24:17) The Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim 2:42 writes: וכן ענין בלעם כולו 'בדרך' ודברי ה'אתון' ...
alicht's user avatar
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Why was Balak afraid that Israel would overcome him?

Despite the fact that Moav knew that Israel was not allowed to conquer Moav (See Ramba"n on B'midbar 22:3), why was Balak afraid that they would "lick out" his land? I may have trouble understanding ...
DanF's user avatar
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9 votes
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Why didn't Balak request Bilam to bless his own people?

When Balak summons Bilam, he says, "For I know that whomever you bless will be blessed and whomever you curse shall be cursed." This implies that Balak understood that Bilam's main strength was in ...
DanF's user avatar
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Visualizing the story of Bnot Moav (Parashat Balak)

Jews are the people of [the] book, but I'm more a person of movies. I'm trying to visualize the stories in the Torah, like directing a movie and I find it difficult with some. In our story there are ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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How did Bilaam know that illicit relations was the way to trip up Klal Yisrael?

As recounted by Rashi to Numbers 25:1 and Sanhedrin 106a- after Bilaam's "cursing" of Klal Yisrael was unsuccessful, he advised Balak that the way to take down Klal Yisrael was to entice ...
alicht's user avatar
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Fairness of G-d’s choice of Moses and Bilam? [duplicate]

The Gemmorah claims that Bilam was given as a prophet to the nations comparable to Moses. I, however see some unfairness in this choice: Moses was born good - he was already circumsized and the ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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Why does Torah picture Bilam favorably?

As a follow-up to "was-bilam-evil": Plain reading of the Torah text makes an impression that Bilam intended and did everything G-d asked him and only that. Hence the original question. IIRC, the ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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What is the form of טבו in מה טבו אהליך יעקב?

In the verse (Num 24,5): מַה־טֹּבוּ אֹהָלֶיךָ יַעֲקֹב מִשְׁכְּנֹתֶיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל׃ What's the meaning of טובו, could it not be written מה טובים אהליך יעקב?
Ben's user avatar
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How was Elazar HaKohen allowed to marry the daughter of Puti (Yisro)?

Rashi (quoting Sanhedrin 82b) states that Pinchas' mother was the daughter of Puti (Yisro). We know that a kohen may not marry a convert (Shulchan Aruch Even Haezer 6,8), and if a kohen does marry a ...
ezra's user avatar
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Why miracle of no blood dripping on Pinchas, if Zimri and Kozbi were still still alive?

The Midrashim [Bamidbar] Rabbah and Tanchumah, and the Targum Yonasan Ben Uziel write that When Pinchas killed zimri and Kozbi many miracles took place. Two of the miracles are listed as follows: ...
RibbisRabbiAndMore's user avatar
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Was Bilam evil?

In a plain reading of the text it seems that Bilam acted righteously. He always did as Hashem commanded, prostrated immediately before the angel that he met, blessed the Jewish people and forthrightly ...
bondonk's user avatar
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3 votes
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Why does the Torah not specify that Bil'am advised Balak until later on?

The end of parshat Balak tells us the story that B'nai Yisra'el involved themselves with licentiousness by relating with the daughters of Midian. Only later, In Bemidbar 31:16, when Moshe gets angry ...
DanF's user avatar
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5 votes
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How did Pinchas kill Zimri? (technically)

It says (Rashi on Chumash, Sanhedrin ) "He miraculously struck exactly at Zimri’s male and her female parts " I can understand how this could have killed Cozbi (by puncturing her vital inner organs) ...
hazoriz's user avatar
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Why does Hashem' anger flare when Balaam goes with the Moabite officials? [duplicate]

"God came to Balaam at night and said to him, "If these men have come to call for you, arise and go with them, but the word I speak to you-that you shall do. In the morning Balaam arose, saddled his ...
Yemimah's user avatar
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Hang up people to cause the anger of the Lord to turn

Could someone explain to me how the anger of the Lord is turned by hanging people in view for all to watch? Numbers 25:4 (Mechon-mamre translation): "Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them ...
Levi's user avatar
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Act of Love vs. Act of Righteousness

Devarim 23:6 - דברים כו פסוק ו וְלֹֽא־אָבָ֞ה הוי"ה אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ לִשְׁמֹ֣עַ אֶל־בִּלְעָ֔ם וַיַּהֲפֹךְ֩ הוי"ה אֱלֹקיךָ לְּךָ֛ אֶת־הַקְּלָלָ֖ה לִבְרָכָ֑ה כִּ֥י אֲהֵֽבְךָ֖ הוי"ה אֱלֹקיךָ׃ But the L-RD ...
RibbisRabbiAndMore's user avatar
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How is Teruah connected to friendship and closeness

I came across this article from which I would like to quote something: The concept of Malchuso b'khal adaso allows Bnei Yisroel to transform the teruah from a destructive sound of war into a sound ...
Levi's user avatar
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2 votes
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Bil’am cursing terminology - א.ר.ר, ק.ב.ב and ק.ל.ל

Within the story of Balak and Bil’am I noticed a shift in words for curse and cursing. In Numbers 22:6 Balak asks Bil’am to curse him the Israelites ארה-לי, of which the root seems to be ארר. Numbers ...
Levi's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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Remember Balak and Balaam

My people, remember now what Balak king of Moab devised (plotted against you) and what (how) Balaam the son of Beor answered (responded to) him; from Shittim unto Gilgal, that ye may know (will ...
Levi's user avatar
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1 vote
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Mah Tovu comparison within the verse

Bamidbar/Numbers 24:5 contains the famous verse which is also recited in the Mah Tovu prayer: How goodly are thy tents, O Ya'akov, thy dwellings, O Yisrael - מַה-טֹּבוּ אֹהָלֶיךָ, יַעֲקֹב; ...
Levi's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
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'עם' & 'את' based words in the story of Lot and Avram

I don't know the exact sources but I remembered some commentaries from the Malbim and Vilna Gaon which point out a difference between 'את'-based words and 'עם'-based words (both translated to mean '...
Levi's user avatar
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4 votes
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Is there a difference between a קֻּבָּ֗ה and an אהל?

In Bamidbar 25:8, Pinchas follows the Israelite אֶל־הַקֻּבָּ֗ה. According to Rashi, a Kubah is a tent ( and the Rashbam sort of agrees, saying "inyan ohel" which Sefaria translates as "A kind of tent."...
rosends's user avatar
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Why does it matter that Balak clapped?

In Bamidbar, 24:10, we read וַיִּֽחַר־אַ֤ף בָּלָק֙ אֶל־בִּלְעָ֔ם וַיִּסְפֹּ֖ק אֶת־כַּפָּ֑יו וַיֹּ֨אמֶר בָּלָ֜ק אֶל־בִּלְעָ֗ם לָקֹ֤ב אֹֽיְבַי֙ קְרָאתִ֔יךָ וְהִנֵּה֙ בֵּרַ֣כְתָּ בָרֵ֔ךְ זֶ֖ה שָׁלֹ֥שׁ ...
rosends's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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ויעש בלק כאשר אמר בלעם vs ויעש בלק כאשר דבר בלעם

The first time Bilaam attempts to curse Bnei Yisrael, he tells Balak to build seven mizbachot and to sacrifice a ram and cow on each one. The pasuk then tells us in Bamidbar 23:2 that וַיַּ֣עַשׂ ...
Ploni Almoni's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
168 views

Balak ending on a sad note

The end of parshas Balak is the sin at Shitim with the Bnos Moav, culminating in the sin of Zimri and Cozbi. Pinchas kills them both, stopping the plague. That would have been a good place to stop, ...
robev's user avatar
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2 votes
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Why does Bilaam change Balak's request when talking to Hashem?

In Parshat Balak, Balak tells Bilaam that הִנֵּה עַם יָצָא מִמִּצְרַיִם הִנֵּה כִסָּה אֶת עֵין הָאָרֶץ, however, when Bilaam is repeating this to Hashem, he says הִנֵּה הָעָם הַיֹּצֵא מִמִּצְרַיִם ...
Ploni Almoni's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
460 views

Was Bilaam the grandson of Laban?

In Bamidbar 22:5 "...Bilaam the son of Beor..." I can't remember where I may have seen it, that Laban (brother of Rachel) had a son named Beor. Could this be the same Beor as mentioned in Parsha Balak?...
B A Malinowski's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
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Explain the difference in usage of G-d's name in parshat Balak

It seems that Bil'am refers to G-d using the name אדונ-י but when G-d appears to him, the name אלוהי-ם is used. For example, compare: Bemidbar 22:8 Bil'am uses יי ; next verse (9) when G-d speaks to ...
DanF's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
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Why is YHVH called "a man of war" in Shemot 15:3?

In Shemot 15:3 in the song of Moshe he declares that YHVH is "a man of war"; however, in Bamidbar 23:19 it says, "G_d is not a man , that He should lie". What is the explanation for this contradiction?...
B A Malinowski's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
600 views

Since Pinchas was a Cohen why was he allowed to kill Zimri and Cozbi?

Since it says in the Torah that a Cohen is prohibited from being around dead people, then how come Pinchas who was a Cohen was permitted to kill Zimri and Cozbi. "And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak ...
Halloween 's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
201 views

Hashem's apparent inconsistency with Bilam

Does anyone know of a convincing explanation of Hashem's behaviour with Bilam? It looks like He couldn't be more inconprehensible if He tried. First, He starts off by refusing to allow Bilam to go at ...
user12991's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
263 views

Explain the "mechanics" of Bilam's blessings

I am trying to understand the actual "mechanics" of Bilam's blessing B'nai Israel, in view of these verses: Devarim (Deut.) 23:6 says that G-d "converted" Bilam's curses to a blessing. My ...
DanF's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
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How could Zimri be Shelumiel?

After mulling over this question for a bit, I realized that there's a big problem with that Gemara quoted there. Shelumiel is listed back in Bamidbar 1, before the sin of the Meraglim. By the time the ...
DonielF's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
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What is the nuance expressed by Bilam in B'midbar 23:12?

When explaing G-d's command to Balak, in B'midbar 22:38, Bilam says "what G-d places in my mouth is what I shall speak." In B'midbar 23:12, his phrasing is, "... Whatever G-d places in my mouth is ...
DanF's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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Why wasn't Zimri executed before Pinchas acted?

At the end of Parshat Balak we get the following sequence: The people, en masse it appears, go after Ba'al Peor. God tells Moshe to execute all the leaders in response. Moshe tells the judges to kill ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
398 views

Were Zimri and Cozbi inside or outside?

Bamidbar 25:6 says: וְהִנֵּה אִישׁ מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּא, וַיַּקְרֵב אֶל-אֶחָיו אֶת-הַמִּדְיָנִית, לְעֵינֵי מֹשֶׁה, וּלְעֵינֵי כָּל-עֲדַת בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל; וְהֵמָּה בֹכִים, פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד.‏ ...
Daniel's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
259 views

Why was it so important for Hashem to create the 'mouth' of the ass

We read in Balak that the ass 'spoke' to Bilaam. This was a special miracle that an ass could speak, made during the six days of creation. Hashem doesn't make miracles for nothing. What is the great ...
cham1's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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How can we chastise Bilaam for using the same word as Hashem did?

The medrash Tanchuma on parshas Balak #9 says ויאמר בלעם לאתון כי התעללת בי(בלק כ׳ב כ׳ט). אף על פי שמדבר בלשון הקדש גוי לשונו סרוח. The Etz Yosef explains that התעללת is an impure expression as we ...
user6591's user avatar
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