Parshat Balak

(Numbers: 22:2-25:9)
(Haftara: Micah 5:6-6:8)
1. [22:12] Balak, the king of Moav, wants Bila’am to curse the Israelites. God first tells Bila’am not to go to Balak. Shortly after that [22:20], Bila’am asks again and God tells him that he can go, but only say what God tells him to say. Later in the parsha [23:19], we are told that God does not change his mind. Why did God tell Bila’am to go after he had told him not to go?

2. [23:23]”…there is no magic in Israel…” Why is magic such a negative thing to us?

3. [23:9] “…a people will live alone, and will not be counted among the nations”. Rashi says on this pasuk, “When they are happy, no nation is happy with them”.
This is presented as a blessing. How is this a blessing?

4. [Haftara: Micah 6:8] “…what does God ask of you: only to do justice, to love chesed, and to walk humbly with your God”. We know that God asks more from us than this. We have the whole Torah with its 613 mitzvot and many Rabbinic mitzvoth. What does Micah mean when he says that this is all that God asks of you?

5. This is the only parsha in the Torah (after Avraham) that is not centered in the camp or in the life of the Israelites. It seems that there is no real need for this parsha. Why is this parsha in the Torah?
[23:24] “A nation will rise like a lion cub, and like a lion it will be elevated…”

When a Jew starts to do the service of God, he or she may do this hesitantly and lack confidence (like a baby lion), however, very soon one receives help from Heaven—”he who comes to purify himself, is helped”. Then he or she becomes much stronger and is elevated.

–Rabbi Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezritch
This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava—Eli Zucker
And this study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer

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