Numbers 22:2-25:9

Commentary on Parashat Chukat-Balak, Numbers 19:1 - 25:9

For complete text in English and Hebrew, click here: Numbers 22:2-25:9

Balak, the king of Moab, asks Balaam to curse the Israelites after he sees them defeat various nations in battle. Balaam’s donkey sees an angel of God and refuses to move any further. Balaam hits the donkey. God speaks through the mouth of the donkey to tell him not to curse the Israelites. Instead of cursing the Israelites, Balaam blesses them.

Click here for a summary of Balak
Click here for a summary of the Haftarah
for Balak

God speaks to Balaam
through his donkey.

Text Studies

Social Action and Environmentalism

The Word or the Sword?
The Gift of Speech
Adina Gerver, AJWS
Not Seeing is the Sin
Rabbi Neal Loevinger, KOLEL
No & Maybe
Evan Wolkenstein, AJWS 
No Rest(s) for the Wicked
Rabbi Laurence Edwards, URJ 
Distance & Proximity
Julie Appel, AJWS 
  The Nature of Balaam’s Prophecy
Ilana Stein, Canfei Nesharim 
Seeing Their Faces But Not Their Doors
Alana Suskin, 

From the Denominations

Pluralism and Outreach

Spirit Strength
Rabbi Ismar Schorsch, JTS 



Open Your Eyes
Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, Women of Reform Judaism



The Place From Which We Pray
Rabbi Aaron Gruman, Orthodox Union 
Balaam Versus Pinhas
Rabbi Kerry Olitzky, Jewish Outreach Initiative 


Instructed to Curse, Inspired to Bless
Dr. Reuven Kimmelman, CLAL 

Family and Fun

Parashat Balak for Families
Torah Topics for Today 
Torah Topics for Today 
Torah Topics for Today 
Parshat Balak Quiz
Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies 
Parshat Balak Challah
Julie Seltzer 

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Discover More

Balaam the Prophet

The infamous story of the prophet with the talking donkey demonstrates the Bible's awareness that powers of divination were not limited to Israelite seers.