Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Parashah Roundup: Balak 5768

by Steve Brizel

The Personalities of Bilaam and Balaak

  • R. Ephraim Buchwald, based upon a Medrash and the views of Rav Samson Rafael Hirsch zt"l warns us that if we do not look out for the individual in each student, Balaak and Bilaam will emerge from our own midsts: link
  • R. Isaac Bernstein zt"l explores the relationship between Balaalk and Bilaam: link (RAM)
  • R. Nachum Sauer discusses the view among Chazal that wanted to include Parshas Bilaam in Krias Shma: link (RAM)
  • R. Zev Leff explains why Bilaam was prevented from cursing the Jewish People: link
  • R. Shlomo Riskin reveals why the Mishnah in Avos tells us that Bilaam is considered evil: link

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  • R. Berel Wein suggests that Balaak and Bilaam represent the negative and dangerous role of secular humanism: link
  • R. Jonathan Sacks tells us that God told Bilaam's core problem was an inability to understand the importance of “no.”: link
  • R. Yisocher Frand, based upon a historical incident related to him by R Shimon Schwalb zt"l, asks whether Bilaam was an agent of God: link
  • R. Yitchak Etshalom compares the personalities of Avraham Avinu and Bilaam HaRasha: link
  • R. Zvi Sobolofsky explains why Chazal viewed Bilaam, despite his status as a prophet, as the Rasha, par exellance. link

  • Bilaam's Coments-Blessings or Curses?
  • The Maharal (as prepared by R. Eliezer Kwass) shows how that the three attacks on Bilaam's donkey correspond to the three Pilgrim Festivals: link
  • R. Aharon Lichtenstein exhorts us to live up to the fact that we are a separate and distinct nation: link
  • R. Asher Brander shows us that God can see the neshama tehorah that resides in every Jew, no matter how far the person is removed from Torah observance: link
  • R. David Hirsch, based upon a famous essay of Rav Soloveitchik zt"l, explores the many halachos related to the Kedushah of a Beis HaKnesses: link (audio)

  • Kannaim Pogim Bo
  • R. Dovid Gottlieb discusses the halachic and hashkafic implications of this often stated Halacha and vigilante justice. link (audio)

  • Sof Zman Special
  • R. Baruch Simon offers his observations on the importance of acquiring a Kinyan Torah in the Beis Medrash, Pilpul Chaverim, and approaching the learning of Halacha with the Shulchan Aruch as the “final stop”,( while offering Mazel Tov on the simchos of two talmidim Kdarko BaKodesh!): link (audio)

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