Synopsis – Balak, the King of Moab, summons the prophet Balaam to curse the people of Israel. On the way, Balaam’s donkey who has always been faithful seemingly disobeys him three times. The donkey sees the angel that God sends to block their way before Balaam does. Three times, from three different vantage points, Balaam attempts to pronounce his curses; each time, blessings issue instead. Balaam also prophecies on the end of the days and the coming of Moshiach/Messiah.
At the end of this Parasha we see the children of Israel once again seeking the god of Ba’al instead of Adonai. The people fall prey to the charms of the daughters of Moab and are enticed to worship the idol Peor. This is evident by one of the leadership of the people taking a Midianite woman into the meeting. When Pinchas is zealous for Adonai he publicly takes a spear and kills them both, stopping the plague raging among the people.
Theme & Message – Throughout history there has always been those who seek the destruction of Israel. By any means they will do whatever it takes to overcome God’s people. We see in this Parasha the king seeks the service of Bil`am a Prophet. He will pay for his services. But time after time after the sacrifices on the alter Israel get blessed instead of cursed.
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