Friday, July 07, 2006

blog roundup for parshat Balak

Category: Homiletics
Rafi G. at Torah Thoughts discusses the theme of stubbornness in the parsha in pesukim and Rashi.

Category: Analysis
Sedra Shorts (Parshablog) suggests that Balak's fear was that he would never get back the land that they had captured from Sichon and Og which had formerly been Moabite territory. I see a slight difficulty in this focus on Israel's past actions in trying to mesh this with Moav's next words to Midian.

Rafi G. at Torah Thoughts takes note that Bilaam did not react in surprise when his donkey began to talk, and suggests that this is part and parcel of being a prophet - one comes to expect unusual things. If I recall correctly, commentators have made a similar point about Avraham's household, in terms of Hagar and/or in terms of Lot.

Category: Misc.

Rabbi Lazer Brody discusses a pasuk in Bilaam's curse => blessing,
"It is a nation that will dwell in solitude and won't be considered among the nations" (Bamidbar 23:9).
in the context of assimilation, a separate spiritual plane for Israel, and economic reliance upon Hashem directly.

Shlomi P has a roaming summary of events and threats to the Israelites in the past few parshas, up to Balak, concluding with Jewish survival as dependent on "connecting to the eternality of Torah."

Really related to parshat Chukat and the dvars posted in the "straightforward Dvar" category of the blog roundup for that parsha (but I didn't see it until after posting), Choshevei Shemo posts on the relationship between Gilad Shalit , the parsha, the gemaras learned in the Daf Yomi cycle during the 9th of Tammuz, and the Tamid offering.

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