17

Good question. Or HaChaim (Bamidbar 25:8) asks the same question, and answers that she had the דין of the animal involved in bestiality -- "ואת הבהמה תהרוגו," "and you shall kill the animal" (Vayikra 20:15). וידקר את שניהם וגו'. קשה בשלמא דקירת איש ישראל כמשפט ההלכה, שקנאים פוגעים בו, אבל האשה אינה חייבת מיתה ואינה מצווה, ואם על חששת היותה אשת איש לא ...


14

R. Menachem Mendel Kasher, in Torah Shelaima (vol. 19 pg. 363) quotes several answers: Ein Yaakov (Peirush): this is to tell us that despite not being involved in any of the Bilaam story, Moshe was still told this story in all of its details exactly how it was written in the Chumash, and it has a similar status as Sefer Devarim, in that Moshe wasn't told ...


11

In otzros hatorah page 263 on "vayiftach hashem es pi haton" rabenu bechayeh is quoted asking that Bilam should have been amazed but he was not. He should have marveled at this wonder. However because of his cruelty and evil nature and desire to go curse the Jews, he answered the donkey's question. It continues that from here you can understand why people ...


10

The Midrash (B'midbar Rabba 20:7) implies that Balak truly believed in Bil'am's power to bless because Bil'am had previously proclaimed that Balak would become king (per the interpretation of the Maharz"u ad loc. and Or HaChaim, B'midbar 22:6). Accordingly, the Chofetz Chaim would comment that Balak's choice illustrated his wickedness and spitefulness, that ...


9

Like many Anglicized versions of biblical names, the name Balaam comes through the Greek language of the Septuagint, which renders בלעם as βαλααμ. The reason the Septuagint spells it so differently from the Hebrew MT may either be due to limitations of the Greek language to accurately represent Hebrew, changes in the way Greek and/or Hebrew vowels were ...


8

Rashi on Numbers 22:5, s.v. "Eretz Benei Amo" ("the land of his people"), says Balaam was a special case: ואם תאמר מפני מה השרה הקב"ה שכינתו על גוי רשע, כדי שלא יהא פתחון פה לאומות לומר אלו היו לנו נביאים חזרנו למוטב, העמיד להם נביאים והם פרצו גדר העולם, שבתחלה היו גדורים בעריות וזה נתן להם עצה להפקיר עצמן לזנות:‏ If you ask, “Why did God bestow ...


8

According to the Gemara (Brachot 7a) Bilaam's main power was in his knowledge of the precise time of day when Hashem judges sinners ("becomes angry"). By cursing someone at that time, Bilaam could cause the Midat Hadin to bring judgement against the person he cursed. In other words, Bilaam did not have the power to bless. According to Sforno, Balak was ...


8

Like Rambam, Ralbag also maintains that this incident did not occur in real life, and he explicitly discusses the view of the Sages: והנה דעת רבותינו ז”ל הוא שזה הענין היה כפשוטו ולזה אמרו שפי האתון הוא מן הדברים שנבראו בין השמשות והנראה בעינינו לפי השורשים האמיתיים הנראים מדברי הנבואה ומן העיון שזה הסיפור היה ענין שקרה לבלעם במראה הנבואה Behold, ...


7

Bilaam and Lavan were related (according to Midrash Tanchuma they were the same person) - see here. This Parsha Question Sheet says that Bilaam hated The Jews because: Bilam thought that Ya’akov made him poor by robbing Lavan’s assets . As a source, they quote the Sanhedrin 105a, however, I did not see it there. This does fit well with the idea that Bilaam ...


7

This law applies only when we dwell in Eretz Yisrael (end of Chinuch 532). Since at that time they didn't live in Israel, the law of yefas toar was not in effect. Postscript: I found this answer in Sifsei Chachamim to Rashi, Bemidbar 31:50, as well as another answer: That a yefas toar is only permissible in a milchemes reshus, but this was a milchemes ...


7

The Matnas Kehuna actually writes that the point of the medrash rabba so as not become impure, actually means so as not to become dirty. שלא יטמא. כלומר שלא ילכלך ויטנף אותו. Pirush Maharzo quotes this Matnas Kehuna but offers a different explanation. He suggests that considering how Kozbi was speared, the blood under discussion was actually blood from ...


7

The word טֹּבוּ is a verb (not an adjective like טוֹב), conjugated for past (perfect aspect). Compare the conjugation of אֹרוּ (I Samuel 14:29). This is the conjugation normally used to describe a current state. See the entry in the Even Shoshan dictionary: Some more examples: מַה־יָּפִית֙ וּמַה־נָּעַ֔מְתְּ אַהֲבָ֖ה בַּתַּֽעֲנוּגִֽים׃ How fair you are, how ...


6

Parashath Bilaam is written with stories that Mosha Rabbeinu never experienced, for example the story with the donkey, no one was there but the donkey bilaam and the maloch. Also the sacrifices and such is from the perspective of bilaam and not Mosha Rabbeinu. Therefore, the gamoro in BB is saying that Mosha Rabbeinu did write it even though the perspective ...


6

I don't have a source for this, but I always assumed the idea was not Bilaams personal performance, but rather how the nations interacted with Bilaam. "I gave you a prophet and you asked him to help win wars and deliver curses. Couldn't you have asked him for some directions on how to live a meaningful life?" G-d's response to the unasked question is don'...


6

According to Rabbi Munk, Beor, the father of Bil'am, was the son of Lavan. There are meforshim who say that the wall that his leg was squeezed against was the rock that Lavan and Yaakov put up as "Gal Aid" to guarantee that members of either family would not cross to harm the other. According to this, he was of the same nationality as Lavan. Rabbi Sacks (...


6

Summary: The Gemara says that a zealot may kill various sinners including one who has relations with a non-Jewess. The sinner may defend himself. But the Rosh writes that bystanders may not kill the zealot and would be considered murderers if they do. The Mishna in Sanhedrin (9:6) writes that there are three sins for which zealots kill the offender: ...


6

Targum pseudo-Jonathan (Numbers 22:5) writes: לבן הארמי הוא בלעם The Talmud Bavli (Sanhedrin 105a) writes: הוא בעור הוא כושן רשעתיים הוא לבן הארמי The Zohar (Vayishlach) writes: ולבן הארמי...אבוי דבעור הוה ובעור אבוי דבלעם So Bil'am is either Lavan, Lavan's son, or Lavan's grandson, depending which Midrash you want to go with. (Or he's just a guy ...


6

Gemara in Yevamos 60b asks almost exactly the same question about Pinchas marrying one of the midyanite girls after capture from war: תניא ר' שמעון בן יוחי אומר גיורת פחותה מבת שלש שנים ויום אחד כשירה לכהונה שנאמר (במדבר לא, יח) וכל הטף בנשים אשר לא ידעו משכב זכר החיו לכם והרי פנחס עמהם Rabbi Shimon bar Yochanan said a Giyores that converted to Judaism ...


5

I heard Rabbi Frand give this Derasha in person, but I found it online, so here it is: If a person had any doubts about whether what he was doing was right or wrong, and his car suddenly stopped and told him "Don't Go" (and not just one of those recorded voices saying "Your seatbelt isn't buckled...") -- would that not cause the person ...


5

Levi (Louis) Ginsburg in his commentary to the Yerushalmi (p. 289 in this pdf) explains that apparently there were people who claimed that the story of Bilaam was not realy part of the Torah but was added to it from an external source (he brings proof that such a claim existed from other sources in Chazal). Therefore, Chazal wanted to refute this and said ...


5

Due to the fact that Rus came from him, who is the for-bearer of Dovid HaMelech and Mashiach. (Source, source.) Balak realized that everything is controlled by Hashem. (Source.)


5

Perhaps there was nothing particular about this act that justified her execution. However, it was still justifiable. The Beis Yosef Y.D 158, followed by the Rema (Darkei Moshe 158:2) and the Shach (158:2) understand, based on Tosefos to Avoda Zara 26a s.v. ולא מורידים, that when the Mishna says אין מורידים, it means that even though your average gentile ...


5

Midrash Rabbah (20:26) Records 12 miracles that happened during this story. Two of them that are answer your question are as follows: Blood did not drip on Pinchas, so that he did not become impure G-d kept them alive so that they would not die and make Pinchas impure


5

The Malbim answers: מה טבו אהליך יעקב האהל הוא אהל עראי והמשכן הוא הקבוע,‏ ובמדבר שכנו באהלים אבל היו מוכנים אז לכנס אל הארץ ולשכון במשכנות קבועים ובלעם ראה כל זה, ואמר על האהלים שבמדבר מה טבו אהליך יעקב ועל מה שמוכנים לשכון במשכנות בארץ ישראל אמר מה טובו משכנותיך ישראל ושם ישראל גדול משם יעקב, כי כשיכנסו לארץ יהיו במעלה יותר גדולה ויקראו בשם ישראל:&...


5

While I might normally put these as comments, I think this can warrant an answer. Firstly, it is possible that even with piercing just their sexual organs, they may have died from blood loss from the wounds that may have occurred. Secondly, the Gemara (Sanhedrin 82b) which you quoted says the following: א"ר יוחנן ששה נסים נעשו לו לפנחס אחד שהיה לו לזמרי ...


4

Hat tip to jake for his comment above regarding what became of Balaq's descendants. The Talmud Bavli in Masekhet Horayot (10B) states (Original, English): בשכר מ"ב קרבנות שהקריב בלק הרשע זכה ויצתה ממנו רות דאמר רבי יוסי ברבי חנינא רות בת בנו של עגלון בן בנו של בלק מלך מואב As a reward for the forty-two sacrifices which the wicked Balak offered he ...


4

There are various opinions in the Midrashim regarding the heritage of Bilaam. The idea that is quoted by 'sabbahillel' in the name of Rabbi Sacks is a Gemara Sanhedrin 105a. The Gemara also says identifies Be'or as Lavan. Bilam would therefore be Lavan's son. (source) The Zohar identifies Be'or as a son of Lavan, making Bilam the grandson of Lavan. (...


4

Being righteous or not, is up to the individual person. G-d can give a person (i.e. Bilam) the gift of prophecy, but then it is up to him how he uses these gifts. Itro is an example of a gentile that searched very hard, and found the truth. When a person chooses a certain path, and has a strong will to go in that path, he/she get help and assistance ...


4

In Batei Midrashos here (second paragraph) he notes that Bilaam thought that Bnei Yisroel would be redeemed from mitzrayim and given the Torah through him. When all of this happened but through Moshe Rabbeinu it made him intensely jealous.


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