This week the regular annual cycle is a double-parsha (Chukat, Numbers chapters 19 through 21), and then parsha Balak, chapters 22 through 24…and a bit more. Admittedly, Mark Call of Shabbat Shalom Mesa thinks that’s a bit much for one week’s study, but at least it’s an interesting combination, for reason’s we’ll explore.

Parsha ‘Balak,’ in particular, and the lesson that follows, is perhaps one of the most “problematic,” and no doubt confusing to some, in all of Scripture. How can a man who appears to commit a violent act, some might even say murder, be given a ‘Covenant of Peace,’ and Eternal Priesthood, by Yahuah? And, yet, the parallels in the cycle today should — at the very least — outright shock us.

First, the story itself, in the Erev Shabbat overview and reading:

The double-parsha really DOES resonate with the “times and seasons” today, this year, however. From elements of “do this because I SAY so,” that have to do directly with death, to the story of a man who clearly HEARD from YHVH, but somehow didn’t actually listen, are about as clear a warning as we should expect. But, even more, as Mark suggests in the strongest possible way, it’s vital to understand how a people who were so specifically blessed by Yahuah were able to be seduced into cursing THEMSELVES!

Double parsha Chukat/Balak:
How to Dupe People into Cursing THEMSELVES, and Where’s Pinchas When We Need Him the Most?

The combined full two-part teaching is here: