When a parashah contains the Torah’s (one and only) famous talking female donkey, it is sure to be interesting. This week, we study Balak, from Numbers 22:2-25:9. The children of Israel are approaching Moab. Balak – King of Moab – hires Balaam, a diviner, “to curse Israel to oblivion”, generally considered an efficacious means to subject one’s enemy in ancient times.
On the journey to curse Israel, Balaam’s donkey sees an angel, causing him to “swerve from the road … and into the fields.” His master, Balaam, is temporarily blinded and does not see the angel himself. Angry that his... Read More