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Torah Talk for Parashat Balak

June 26, 2018 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

In this parasha, Balak, the king of Moav, asks Bil’am to curse the Bnei Yisrael after he sees them defeat various nations in battle. As Bil’am sets out to fulfill this task, his donkey sees an angel of God and refuses to move any further. Bil’am hits the donkey. God speaks through the mouth of the donkey to tell him not to curse the Bnei Yisrael. Instead of cursing them, Bil’am blesses them.

According to the Talmud in Tractate Bava Batra 15a, Bil’am was one of the “seven prophets [who] prophesied to non-Jews, namely, Bil’am and his father, Iyov [Job], Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, Zophar the Naamathite, and Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite [Iyov’s four friends].” However, when Bil’am’s death is recorded in Sefer Yehoshua (the Book of Joshua), it describes him differently. Read more >