Synopsis: In lieu of a 1-page article on Parashas Balak, here is a 4-page article I originally wrote as a Facebook post last summer, entitled 17th of Tammuz Reflections on Waikiki. The impetus for this article was Jonathan Lear's, Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation, and the insights it triggered as I observed the taanis on Waikiki. Come to think of it, this article IS related to a pasuk from this week's parashah: "Behold! It is a nation that will dwell in solitude and not be reckoned among the nations" (Bamidbar 23:9).
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