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Daily Aliya for Balak, Shishi (6th Aliya)

Aliya Summary: The entire process repeats itself once again, Balak takes Bilaam to another place, hoping that Bilaam can curse the Jews from there. For a third time they build altars and bring offerings, and for a third time, only blessings issue from Bilaam’s mouth: “How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel! … G‑d, who has brought them out of Egypt with the strength of His loftiness He shall consume the nations which are his adversaries … Those who bless [them] shall be blessed, and those who curse [them] shall be cursed.” At this point, Balak despairs of accomplishing his goal, and sends Bilaam on his way.

Two important concepts are demonstrated in this Aliya. First, the persistence of these two people to accomplish their goals is admirable, even if their goal itself isn’t. Second, whereas when they first started the attempts it was Bilaam building the alters and trying to find a way to curse the Jews, now it is Balak trying different tactics to get it done. The two men strengthen each other’s resolve to accomplish their goal, a concept very much a part of Judaism. We focus on community and gatherings, many of the Mitzvot (commandments) focusing on helping each other, and that’s what not only makes each of us stronger by being around others, but it makes the collective “us” much greater than the sum of its parts.