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July 14, 2024

Archive for June 16, 2013

Balak Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion


Numbers, 22:2-25:9
This Week’s Torah Portion | June 16-22, 2013 – Tammuz 8-14, 5773

In A Nutshell

The portion, Balak, begins with the people of Israel conquering the land of the Amorites. Balak, king of Moab, understands that the children of Israel are nearing him, and prepares to face the nation that came out of Egypt. He sends messengers to Balaam, son of Beor—who was famous for his great wisdom and power of his curses—and asks him to curse the people of Israel.

Balaam leaves for the land of Moab having accepted the harsh stipulation to say only what the Creator will permit him to. Along the way his mare stops. Balaam beats her but the mare won’t move. Balaam cannot see the angel stopping the mare. The mare opens her mouth and speaks to him, and instead of cursing Israel he blesses them.

Balak is furious with Balaam. As a compensation, Balaam tips him that Israel has a weak spot: the daughters of Moab. Balak sends the daughters of Moab and the people of Israel fornicate with them so much that even Zimri, son of Salu, one of the presidents of the tribe of Shimon, takes a Midianite woman.

This situation leaves Pinhas, son of Elazar, with no choice. He takes a spear and stabs them to death, thus stopping the plague that has spread in the nation claiming twenty-four thousand lives.

Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

This story does not happen on the corporeal level. It is not about a process unfolding between two nations, but rather an internal correction process that one experiences. The story itself comes to show us how to correct the evil inclination. It is not a tale about children or grownups, nor is it a story about nations, countries, wars, prostitutes, or mares. All it describes is the correction of the evil inclination. It is the only thing that the Torah (Pentateuch) describes from the very beginning, from Adam—who began the correction—to the end.

The text speaks of a person who went through this path as Adam HaRishon (Adam), as Abraham, and as Moses, and who went through the whole process in Egypt and in the desert. During the gradual correction of the desire, a person gradually nears the land of Israel until one is faced with the “conquest” of the land.

The “desert” is a desire that a person still cannot use correctly, and therefore cannot see the fruits of the work with it. These corrections precede the ones known as the “land of Israel.”

The spies discovered that the land of Israel is a desire that, if aimed entirely at the Creator, yields beautiful fruits [Israel means Yashar El (straight to God)]. A person who approaches that correction initially acquires the land of the Amorites followed by the land of Moab, which is a higher degree. Man’s egoistic desire known as “the king of Moab,” Balak, begins to seemingly rebel against him because it does not want the corrections.

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Glossary – Balak – Weekly Torah Portion

Glossary of Terms Used in the Balak Weekly Torah Portion


The force that governs a degree.


The forces by which actions are performed on a certain degree, a certain state of a person. A person’s state is called a “degree.” The one who governs each degree is called the “king of the degree,” which is usually the Sefira (singular of Sefirot) we call Keter (crown). The messengers are forces acting within that degree. By and large it is the eight Sefirot from Hochma to Yesod.


The egoistic force that works in order to receive, which governs a person, and for whom it acts as a curse.


Our substance, the donkey’s female. It is the actual will to receive that feels and distinguishes between the forces within us.


The force that acts in a degree and is directed by the ruler, the Keter, the king.

Blocked Road

The way by which one is going to correct one’s will to receive, with the intention to reach the next degree, greater Dvekut (adhesion), greater clarity of vision in spirituality, but he cannot reach it. That is, in this manner it is impossible to advance. A person finds that to reach the next degree, one needs a new substance.

Deviating from the Way

Advancing on the path toward bestowal when suddenly something goes awry and a person discovers he has strayed from the path. However, this discovery is already a correction in itself.

How is the discovery of the deviation a correction?

By discovering the deviation, a person knows how to continue. Our effort toward the goal is like a guided missile. The missile must constantly detect its deviations and correct them. If it moves in a straight line it cannot hit its target. It is the same for us: we cannot move in one straight line toward the goal. Rather, we must constantly examine our deviations, and only through them. This may seem like a contradiction, but only in this way do we advance toward the goal.


When the will to receive, Malchut, connects to Keter on a single axis and is ready to follow Keter’s will above reason.

The Creator Plays with the Righteous in the Garden of Eden

“Once the Creator smelled and played with them, and with all their secrets of wisdom, He appears before them and they see that pleasantness of the Creator. Then they all rejoice in great joy until their brightness and light spread. From that spreading, their brightness and light of their joy bear fruit and buds in the world, which are the souls, and those fruits come under the wings of Divinity until the proper time.”

Zohar for AllNew Zohar, Balak, item 6

We are the broken souls in the worlds of BeriaYetzira, and Assiya in this world. We must rise to the state of Malchut of Atzilut, to that Divinity—that correction—by connecting our souls in unity, in mutual guarantee. Along the way we will conquer the Sinai Desert and the Land of Israel.


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