Monday, July 09, 2012

Parshat Balak, 5772/2012 thoughts

Slightly belated.  Basics here.

Limited blogging time, so here's the standing-on-one-foot version:  In my opinion, the craziest thing about this parshah is that Bil'am doesn't think it's the least bit strange that his donkey suddenly starts speaking.  My husband would love to know the origin of this story.  Any takers?

Another quick thought:  The story about Baal Peor may be the earliest rant against intermarriage, or at least against socializing with pagans.  (I swiped this idea from some divrei Torah read online or in Jewish papers--I'd give credit if I could remember the author[s].)

Woodrow's take.

See also these earlier Balak-related posts of mine:


Anonymous Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

You could relate to it like Rambam - the whole thing was a prophetic dream, hence Balaam's lack of amazement.
Or since the guy spoke with God, a donkey isn't so unusual.

Mon Jul 09, 03:42:00 PM 2012  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Garnel, that's an interesting perspective, be it yours and/or the Rambam's.

Tue Jul 10, 11:02:00 AM 2012  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"Or since the guy spoke with God, a donkey isn't so unusual."


Well, yes, but . . . In theory, a prophet is *supposed* to be able to speak with G-d, or at least hear G-d's direct communication, but a donkey?! Not. Okay, maybe we'll give the donkey some leeway, since the text tells us that G-d opened her mouth. I suppose one can always think of this as a divine miracle. But clearly, Bil'am doesn't see it that way, since he says that if he had a sword, the poor donkey would be dead already.

Tue Jul 10, 11:11:00 AM 2012  

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