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Weekly Torah Commentaries >> Sefer Bamidbar >> Balak

Parsha Balak

The PRECISE Moment

1. Why was Bilaam commissioned to curse the Jewish People?

2. Balak, King of Moav, researched the power of the leader of the Jewish People .

3. He discovered that his power lies in his mouth.

4. He therefore summoned Bilaam to curse the Jews.

5. Balak believed that Bilaam's ability was greater than the power of Sichon the Giant.

6. Sichon could not conquer Cheshbon; it was only due to to the curse of Bilaam they were defeated.

7. Balak didn't understand that Moshe's power was that he was rooted in holiness.

8. Throughout the Torah there are personalities representing Good and Evil. 

9. They are necessary to maintain a state of free choice.

10.Moshe was the counterbalance to Bilaam.

Daily "SEEs The Moment!"

1. The Jewish People were sustained in the desert with the manna.

2. One miraculous characteristic:

it was absorbed in their inner organs -not expelled from their bodies.

3. In the 40th year in the desert they said to Moshe they were going to die from the manna.

4. It would expand in their innards & their intestines burst.

5. G-d sent poisonous vipers to bite them; He said, "You are ingrates who descend from an ingrate".

6. Adam is depicted as an ingrate when he said to G-d "It is the woman you gave me".

7. Chava was given to Adam as a helpmate to perfect himself, yet he accuses G-d as the One who is responsible for his failing.

8. What is the difference between an ingrate and one who is unappreciative?

9. The unappreciative truly doesn't understand that he is the beneficiary of another's goodness.

10. The ingrate perceives something that is truly good as something extremely detrimental.

11. This was the Jew's reaction to the manna & Adam's retort to G-d.

12. The Rabbis enacted the blessing of the "The True Judge” when one hears bad tidings.

13. Though the tiding is perceived as negative & detrimental it is in fact the ultimate good.

14. Had they not enacted this, and one asks "why", one would be considered an ingrate.

1. To be a prophet one must be a Jew .

2. Why was Bilaam chosen by G-d to be the prophet of the nations?

3. Bilaam as a prophet, in a certain context, is compared to Moshe.

4. Why did G-d put him on a pedestal?

5. Bilaam, as depraved and evil,had no relevance to be a receptacle for divine communication.

6. G-d endowed him as a prophet so nations would have no defense for their errant behavior saying they had no prophet to show them the proper path.

7. Now that G-d chose Bilaam to be their prophet what chance did they have?

8. Gemara: At the giving of the Torah at Sinai the world quaked;all nations believed the world was coming to an end.

9. They went to Bilaam with their concern.

10. He said,"G-d made a covenant that he would not destroy the world."

11. They responded: "Only by water not by fire."

12. Bilaam said: "You fools, don't you realize G-d is giving his Torah to the Jewish people?"

13. Upon hearing this they left- returning to paganism.

14. At that moment Bilaam fulfilled his role as prophet showing them the proper way.

1. Why did Avraham hitch his donkey before the Akeida?

2. Having been declared "Prince of G-d", it would have been appropriate for his servants to attend to that chore.

3. Chazal: (Intense)"Love Supersedes Protocol ".

4. Bilaam was a pompous ,self centered,arrogant person who suffered from megalomania who was a world statesman -yet he hitched his own donkey.

5. His behavior appears not to conform with his persona.

6. Chazal : (Intense )" Hate Supersedes Protocol."

7. Why do these two states of emotion dismiss protocol?

8. Two classifications of people contributed to the Mishkan.

9. One who gave out of the "Generosity of His Heart", the other- was "Inspired By His Heart".

10. Ohr Hachaim Hakadosh: The inspired one gives beyond his means because he is consumed by the objective to the point where nothing matters other than the objective.

11. Similarly, one who possesses intense love or hate is only focused on the object of his love & hate.

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A graduate of Ner Israel Rabbinical College, Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky cherishes the close relationship he established with Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman zt"l, Rosh HaYeshiva of Ner Israel and one of the leading Torah sages of the previous generation. Rabbi Kalatsky was ordained by Rabbi Ruderman, and is qualified to preside over all areas of Jewish law.
Erudite in all areas of Torah, Rabbi Kalatsky is uniquely qualified to address a broad range of issues in Judaism – from definitive law and philosophy to Talmudic analysis. Rabbi Kalatsky’s Torah proficiency, coupled with his gift to interact with and advise people in their personal lives, has established him as a sought-after Torah personality.

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