Shabbat Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9)

Courtesy of Julie Seltzer and

A talking donkey, an invisible angel, a cursing king and a pagan prophet with a case of divine dyslexia. Only in Torah can you get a story like that. OK, maybe there’s “Shrek”, but it’s not quite the same. Although it has to make you wonder what John Lithgow sounds like speaking Hebrew…

I remember a story from childhood about two little sisters. One would speak and out of her mouth would come diamonds and rubies. Her sister, on the other hand, couldn’t utter a word without coughing up snakes and frogs. No wonder I had such a hard time going to sleep as a kid.

This week we’re going to look at the difference between what we say and what we mean, between what we say and what others understand.

So, limited only by the category of food which you have been assigned please bring food which is a curse to the one cooking, but a blessing to those who eat it. It doesn’t have to be YOU (the cook) who is cursed. Perhaps it was the recipe your grandmother made every year, cursing under her breath even hough everyone around the table sang her praises. Or maybe it is the dish you wish you had never learned to make. The choice is yours.

Not sure what this Torah portion is about? You can find a brief summary in The Edible Torah’s “Condensed Guide to the Weekly Torah Readings”. For more information on what The Edible Torah is all about, along with insight on how to set up a pot-luck Shabbat experience, check out “The Edible Torah”.

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