Making Sense of Bilam's Blessings

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Date:
Jul 6, 2022
Length:
33 min 19 sec
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11
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40
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Parsha:
Balak Chukat 

Description

In engaging in the study of the curses-turned-blessings of the wizard Bil'am, we typically approach our task with two assumptions. First - that Balak's aim in hiring Bilam was to eradicate Am Yisrael. Second - that each of Bil'ams curses-turned-blessings stands alone, as he had no way to know that Balak would ask him to try again from another vantage point. We demonstrate the likelihood that both of these are misconceptions and using a fresher understanding of both Balak's stated aim as well as Bil'am's literary strategy, we propose a new understanding of these marvelous and elegant blessings.

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Learning on the Marcos and Adina Katz YUTorah site is sponsored today by Barry and Marcia Levinson in honor of Rabbi Eliron & Devorah Levinson and their children, and Rabbi Aviyam & Rina Levinson and their children and by the Spira Family l'ilui nishmas Chanoch ben Moshe Chaim and by Aaron & Raquel Brody l'ilui nishmas R. Yehudah Yudel ben Harav Eliezer Zev and by the Katzman Family of Great Neck wishing Shana Tova to Klal Yisrael