Gathering Sources: Balak

Some thoughts and resources for exploring the Torah portion, Balak (rarely spelled differently, sometimes: Balaq), Numbers 22:2-25:9. This is part of a series of weekly “gathering sources” posts, collecting previous material on the weekly Torah portion, most originally part of a 2010 series called “Opening the Book.”

Balak is next read in most of the Diaspora the week of Shabbat July 20, beginning with mincha July 13.

Something to Notice: Seeing and Gazing

A Path to Follow: Moabites and Ammonites

Great Source: “Opening the Tent

Language and Translation: Theme, Parable, Rhapsode

Michel Wolgemut, Wilhelm Pleydenwurff
– Bil’am et l’Ange Balaam, the Angel and the Ass;
Woodcut from the Nuremberg Chronicle

See also

Balak, Dead50, and Frederick Douglass

” The Tents and Dwellings and YOURS (and they’re plural)”

Devarim: A Path to Follow

These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel, on the other side of the Jordan, concerning the Wilderness, concerning Arabah, opposite the Sea of Reeds, between Paran and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Di’zihab; eleven days from Horeb, by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea.
Devarim/Deuteronomy 1:1-2 (Stone translation)

“These are the words” launches Moses’ long rebuke of the people. The first verse, according to commentaries beginning with the Third Century Sifrei Devarim, uses place names as code for sins:
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