Balaam
Are the Jews Destined to be Alone?

Are the Jews Destined to be Alone?

There are two ways to verify the “truth” of the Bible (though, as we all know, the Bible is true whether we prove it or not). One way is to search back in time through archaeology or historical evidence to verify whether events described...

read more
How a Prophet Became a Contract Killer

How a Prophet Became a Contract Killer

The Torah portion of Balak features Balaam, an elder with a global reputation as a philosopher, magician, and moral degenerate. Balaam lived in Aram-Naharaim, the area between the northern sections of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, now...

read more
Where Did Balaam Go Wrong?

Where Did Balaam Go Wrong?

“See that big guy over there? Aren’t you glad I saved you from him?” “What are you talking about? He never touched me.” “Yeah, but what he wanted to do to you was really awful.” “You mean he wanted to beat me up?” “No. What he wanted to...

read more
The Blessing of Privacy

The Blessing of Privacy

In today’s world of social media, nothing is private. People post and share everything about themselves, from what they ate for breakfast to their most personal and intimate moments. Sometimes it seems like privacy and personal space is a...

read more
What did Balaam see that changed his mind?

What did Balaam see that changed his mind?

Have you ever gone into a camping goods store and been overwhelmed by the beauty of the tents? Of course not. Clearly, Balaam was not commenting on the handiwork of the Hebrew tentmakers when he complimented the beauty of the desert...

read more
Jewish Aloneness: A Blessing or a Curse?

Jewish Aloneness: A Blessing or a Curse?

Being alone can be either a wonderful experience or a punishment. Parents frequently resort to the classic ‘Go to your room!’ as a disciplinary measure, but many children relish the solitude. I spent many IDF reserve-duty hours guarding...

read more
The Portion of Balak

The Portion of Balak

This week’s portion demonstrates the scope of the Israelites’ reputation during their desert travels. Balak, the king of Moab, hears what befell the Amorites when they stood up to God’s people and decides he does not want to meet a...

read more