Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9)
22:2 Why isn’t Balak referred to as king in this verse instead of in verse 4?
What did Balak see?
2:3 Why does the verse use “am” (people) and then “B’nei Yisrael” “Children of Israel”?
22:5 What is the significance of the name Bilaam?
The entire world knew that the Jews left Egypt. Why did Balak need to mention it now?
Why did the Torah find it important to mention that Pesor is by a river?
2:6 The word “li” (for me) seems superfluous. Why is it here?
Why is the singular “hu” used here instead of the plural “heim”?
Why didn’t Balak ask for the ability to annihilate the Jews instead of just to chase them away?
Balak wanted Bilaam to curse the Jews. Why did he mention Bilaam’s power of blessing?
Why is “is blessed written in the past tense in Hebrew and “will be cursed” in the future tense?
Why would G-d give supernatural and prophetic powers to an evil person?
22:8 Why did Bilaam tell the messengers to spend the night with him and then he would give them an answer?
22:9 What did Bilaam infer from this verse?
22:11 This verse does not say "drive it away from the land" as verse 22:6 does. It only says "drive it away". Why?
22:18 Why didn’t he say “great or small” instead of “small and great”?
22:21 What does this verse have to do with Abraham?
22:22 Why is it necessary to state that he was riding on a she-donkey?
Why does the Torah make a seemingly insignificant point that two men accompanied him? Where else in the Torah do two men accompany someone?
22:25 Why did the she-donkey crush Bilaam’s leg against the wall?
What does the saying “Falsehood has no feet” have to do with this verse?
22:28 Why does the Torah use the term “regalim” for the word “times”
22:30 Why wasn’t Bilaam riding a horse instead of a donkey?
What does this verse tell us about people who believe in their own self-importance?
According to the Gemara, what else did the donkey say to Bilaam?
22:33 What happened to the donkey? Why? What do we learn from this?
22:34 If Bilaam was not aware of the angel’s presence, why was it a sin?
What does this have to do with how we treat relatives and friends?
23:1 Why is the word “here” used twice in this verse?
Why seven altars?
23:2 Why didn’t Balak and Bilaam also offer lambs on their altars?
23:3 What is the word “shefi” an acronym of?
How did Bilaam hope it would lead to the destruction of the Jewish people?
Why did Bilaam say "Perhaps"?
23:8 What was Bilaam’s proof that G-d had not cursed the Jewish people?
23:9 Rashi explains that “rock-like” and “hills” refers to the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. What does this have to do with Bilaam’s inability to curse the Jewish people?
The word “Behold” seems superfluous. Why is it in the verse?
What did Bilaam mean with this description of the Jewish people?
23:10 Why did Bilaam wish that his end be like Jacob’s?
23:13 Balak wanted to destroy the entire Jewish people. Why did he ask Bilaam to curse them from a place where Bilaam could only see some of them?
23:16 What did G-d put in Bilaam's mouth? Why?
23:24 What does this verse have to do with the Shemah and Tefillin?
What does "drinks blood and consumes the blood of the slain" refer to?
24:1 What does "he set his face toward the wilderness" mean?
24:3 Rashi interprets “open eye” to be “blind in one eye”. Why did Bilaam praise himself with his blindness?
24:5 Why do we open our daily prayers with this verse?
Why do some synagogues not start their daily prayers with this verse?
24:11 Why did Balak tell Bilaam to flee?
24:14 What does this verse have to do with King David?
What does this verse have to do with assimilation?
24:20 Why is Amalek referred to as the "first of nations"?
24:25 To where and to what did Bilaam return?
25:2,3 What was the form of worship to Ba’al Peor?
How was this possible for the Jews to do?
What caused the people to bow to their gods?
25:4 Why is G-d apparently commanding Moses to hang the leaders of the people instead of hanging the sinners?
What does "opposite the sun" mean?
25:6 Why were the Children of Israel weeping?
Why does the verse say “the Midianite woman” instead of “a Midianite woman”?
Why does the verse say “before the eyes of Moses and before the eyes of the entire assembly”?
25:7 Why didn’t Moses and Eleazar take any action?
25:8 Why does the Torah mention the exact point at which the spear entered the man and the woman?
Additional Questions For Discussion:
1. What do the names of Moav and Ammon indicate about their mothers and the way in which they were conceived?
2. What are the Three Weeks?
3. What are some things that the Shulchan Aruch advises us to avoid and forbids us from having during this time period?