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Balak: The Extent of Hashem’s Mercy

The storyline The story of Bila’am, the gentile prophet, is most peculiar. It begins when Balak, the king of Moav, recognizes that he is in danger. The Jewish nation had just destroyed Sichon, and Moav was next. Out of desperation, Balak sent messengers to Bila’am, saying, “Please, curse this nation so that we can remain in our land.” Bila’am was more than willing to curse the Jews — he hated them more than Balak did,…






Balak: Hashem Knows the Future

Bilaam was a gentile who was allowed to be a prophet of HASHEM. Rashi asks  Why did HASHEM allow His Shechinah to rest on a wicked gentile? Prophecy is a great gift limited only to HASHEM’s beloved. Rashi answers according to the Gemara: “HASHEM decided to give the gentile nations prophets so that if in the World to Come they would claim, “Had we had prophets to show us the right way, we too, would…






Balak: Through The Eyes of History

The plot to destroy the Jews Parshas Balak ends with the daughters of Moav enticing the young Jewish men to sin. This quickly led to idol worship, and many Jewish men served Baal Peor. At the height of the debacle, Zimri, one of the heads of shevet Shimon, took a Moabite princess and brought her into the encampment of the Jews, making a public spectacle of the act. Because he was a leader of the…






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