Balak: Open Our Eyes
Parashat Balak contains one of the most fascinating narratives in the entire Torah. The parashah introduces us to Balaam, a non-Jewish prophet, who is hired by Balak, the king of Moav, to curse the Israelites because he is terrified as he sees them approaching his lands. Balaam saddles his donkey and sets out on his journey to Moav. Not wanting Balaam to curse the Israelites, God sends an angel to block his path, and Balaam’s donkey, seeing the angel, goes off the road to bypass the angel. Balaam, who doesn’t see the angel, beats the donkey for going off the road. The donkey then opens its mouth and starts speaking to Balaam, asking why he is beating her!