Parshat Balaq (Balak (a name))

The Torah portion is Balaq, Numbers 22:2-25:9.

This is the popular story of the gentile prophet Balaam and his talking donkey. Balak, King of Moab, was worried about the approaching Israelites and sought the prophet Balaam to put a curse on them. On the way, an angel blocked the path and Balaam did not see it but the donkey did and stopped. G-d told Balaam not to curse the Israelites, and to say only what G-d told him to, and when the time came, instead of cursing Israel, he blessed them, and part of his blessing is a standard Jewish prayer, Ma Tovu. But after all that blessing, the parshah ends with the people suffering as many people attached themselves to a local god.

The haftarah is Micah 5:6-6:8. It connects to the Torah portion because it mentions (6:5) the story of Balak and Balaam.