Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9)

Posted on Jul 6, 2014

by Rabbi Paul Falk.   This weeks Torah portion is called Balak if you are reading the first few lines, they would translate Now Balak son of Zapor saw what Israel had done to the Ammorites.

This one Torah portion is special to me. Most of the Torah up to this point is a documentary, where the focus stays on one family.  The relationship of the people of Israel and Yahweh.  We don’t see the other three hundred and some degrees of what Yahweh is doing in the rest of the world.

What is intriguing is it starts off with this idea of the Ammorites.  If you didn’t read earlier, you would not know that the Ammorites had just had a war with Moab.  This was just talked about in regard to Heshban.  Heshban was stolen away from the Moab.  Israel comes in and they annihilate the Ammorites,  and take over Heshban.  So the opposing peoples to the Israelites were concerned about that annihilation.

Why do the mysteries of the secret things belong to Yahweh.  Why is the scripture a puzzle.  You have to look in different books and find them mixed throughout different books.  Why do that?

What if I told you that Balaam is one of the most notorious individuals in scripture.  Mentioned as one of the 3 most wanted, or most decrepit individuals that have come upon creation. He is a false prophet.  He leads people to idolatry.  He is the anti-Moses.  Someone who has a complete relationship with Yahweh, but uses it for his own purposes.  (more in audio)