The taste of Shabbat – Balak 5777
Rav Mordechai Elon
Why was the king of Moav given the honour of a parsha in his name? It is not the first time a parsha has been called after someone not from our people – both Noach and Yitro preceded Barak, but they were both important positive leaders: Noach was the forefather of the whole would, and Yitro was the archetype of how the nations will discover and believe in God. Barak is an embarrassment, even for the the nations of the world. The Parsha could have been called after Bilam, a philosopher and prophet, or even after one of the more important kings – Sichon or Og. Why on earth is the parsha named after Balak? Who are you Balak Ben Tzippur.