Chukat - Balak

חֻקַּת - בָּלָק
The Ritual Law / Balak

Numbers 19:1−22:1, 22:2−25:9

When Is Chukat - Balak Read?

/ 12 Tammuz 5786
/ 12 Tammuz 5787


  • The laws of the red heifer to purify a person who has had contact with a corpse are given. (19:1-22)
  • The people arrive at the wilderness of Zin. Miriam dies and is buried there. (20:1)
  • The people complain that they have no water. Moses strikes the rock to get water for them. God tells Moses and Aaron they will not enter the Land of Israel. (20:2-13)
  • The king of Edom refuses to let the Children of Israel pass through his land. After Aaron's priestly garments are given to his son Eleazer, Aaron dies. (20:14-29)
  • After they are punished for complaining about the lack of bread and water, the Israelites repent and are victorious in battle against the Amorites and the people of Bashan, whose lands they capture. (21:4-22:1)
  • Balak, the king of Moab, persuades the prophet Balaam to curse the Israelites so that he can defeat them and drive them out of the region. However, Balaam blesses the Children of Israel instead and prophesies that Israel's enemies will be defeated. (22:2-24:25)
  • God punishes the Israelites with a plague for consorting with the Moabite women and their god. The plague is stayed after Pinchas kills an Israelite man and his Midianite woman. (25:1-9)

Ten Minutes of Torah: Chukat - Balak Commentary

an image of a donkey sticking its head out a window in a barn

What Did Balaam Really See?

By: Rabbi Leah R. Berkowitz

This week, we read the story of Balaam, a sorcerer hired by the Moabite king to curse the Israelites. This tale contains several puzzling elements: a talking donkey, an angel with a fiery sword, and a non-Israelite sorcerer who becomes God’s mouthpiece.

Continue Reading

Learn More About Parashat Chukat

Learn More About Parashat Chukat With Bim Bam

In Parshat Chukat, when a plague of burning snakes attacks the wandering Israelites, Moses gets to work on a curious plan to stop the fearful biting. Malki Rose joins us from Melbourne, Australia to talk about the legacy of snakes in the Bible, and what we can do about them. Enjoy this video and more with Bim Bam.

Learn More About Parashat Balak

Parashat Balak: Donkeys, Angels, Prophecy in the Torah

What's a cartoon series without talking animals? Thank God the Bible includes a loquacious donkey. Join Rabbi Andy Shapiro Katz for the gutsy, brainy story of a donkey who knew better than its rider. Enjoy this video from BimBam.