Simcha's Torah Stories - Balak

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Parshas Balak


Sir, the enemy is advancing at an alarming rate!

Repel them with machine gun fire.

Will do sir!

A short time later . . .

Sir, the machine gun fire didnít slow them down one bit.

Try light artillery and hand grenades.

Yes sir!

A short time later . . .

Sir, the enemy is still advancing!

Fire the heavy artillery at them. Weíve got to stop them at all costs!

Yes sir!

A short time later . . .

Sir, what shall we do? Not even the heavy artillery is slowing them down!

Get me the General on the phone. General, weíre in a tough situation here. Weíve tried stopping the enemy with everything we have. Nothing is working. What? Are you sure? Yes sir! No sir! Yes sir!

What did the General say?

He said to use missiles, helicopters, and tanks.

That will surely stop the enemy.

A short time later . . .

Sir, I have terrible news.

Please, donít tell me.

The missiles, helicopters, and tanks did absolutely nothing to stop the enemy.

Oh no! I hate to do this, but Iíll have to call the General again.

Hello, General? The enemy is still advancing. We are desperate. What are our orders, sir? Youíre going to do what? Yes, sir! Of course, sir! No sir! Bye, sir!

What did the General say?

He is going to call the President.

The P-P-P-President?

Yes, the situation is that desperate.

At the Presidentís office . . .

Hello. Yes, General. How are you? How is the battle going? Really. Oh no. Thatís terrible. What are our options? What? Only one option left? There must be something else that we can try. Nothing else? I have to think this one over very carefully. Thank you very much, General. Bye.

Mr. President, what will we do?

We have only one option.

Oh no! Not the . . .

Yes. We have to press The Button.

But think of the consequences sir. Mass destruction, collateral damage, fallout, pain, suffering, disease. Donít we have any other option?

Iím afraid not. Bring me The Button.

But sir . . .


Yes sir. Here it is.

I am now pressing The Button.

A telephone emerges from the box and automatically dials a number . . .


Yes, is this the Bilaam residence?


This is the President calling. I have a mission for you.

You know sir, that my price is very expensive.

We will pay whatever you ask. We are desperate.

Go ahead Mr. President.

The enemy is advancing and we cannot stop him. We want you to curse our enemy.

Send over the Vice President, Secretary of State, Speaker of the House, Joint Chief of Staff, and a whole house filled with silver and gold, and I will come with you to curse your enemies.

Your price is high, but we will pay it. Weíre on our way.

Good bye Mr. President.

The Presidentís assistant listens in amazement . . .

Sir, thatís what happens when you press the button?

Of course, what did you think?

I thought it was the atomic bomb.

What? The atomic bomb? Thatís childís play compared to the destructive power of the spoken word. Words have caused more death, destruction, and suffering than all of the atomic bombs in the world put together. And Bilaam is a master of the word. Whomever he blesses is blessed, and whomever he curses is . . .

Wiped out.


Now call the General back and tell him that there is nothing to worry about. But make sure you watch what you say. One wrong word and . . .

I know. I see now that the spoken word is the ultimate weapon.

Letís use it for good.

Simcha's Quiz

What is the easiest way to throw a ball, and have it stop, and completely reverse direction after traveling a short distance

Write Simcha with the correct answer to

Answer to Last Week's Question

The Question: If you were to put a coin into an empty bottle and then insert a cork into the neck, how could you remove the coin without taking out the cork or breaking the bottle?

The Answer: Simply push the cork into the bottle and shake the coin out.

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