Story Exegesis on Parashas Balak

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In many ways, this is a tale as old as time. Imagery found in the Torah, true as it can be. A prophet takes the center stage, barely prepared for the raw power he faces off against.

The prophet wasn’t the smallest bit afraid, which is of some dismay, and brings us full circle to the true family message of the beauty of a humble man and the terror of a vicious beast. We read the story ever just the same year after year, and find new meanings in metaphors that are ever a surprise, yet we nonetheless walk away from the event ever as before, just as sure of the tale as we are sure as the sun will rise.

It is a showdown…

The best type of archetype stories that children love to hear, a showdown of the messenger of G-d and the messenger of the pagans. In a battle pit against one another, the messenger of G-d takes barely even a footnote in the actual story itself, yet the Jewish heritage and tradition to the story shows how critical a role this small indentation is.

This is an antihero tale as well, as we see who the main villain is cast to be brings forth a twist and keeps to the how fate has been cast, unable to yield against infinite force against him. Just as it is a tale of the path to the happiest place in the world, it is also a counter-culture view from today’s society. Whereas we have Gandalf the Grey standing against a fiery beast to declare that the evil shall not pass, we instead find the true origin: a tale of an evil man, in many ways an assassin for hire, doing his worst to try to stop the ultimate good from passing through the way.

With no further ado, it is my honor to tell the tale, true as ever and often overlooked in the whole of history, of Parashas Balak, the story of a sorcerer hired to stop the Jewish people.

Spoiler alert: he failed.

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