It feels like déjà vu all over again. There is a COVID virus spreading and hitting the unvaccinated. There is also a debate about mask wearing. The difference is that now we have a vaccine. It is the fault of those who refused to get the vaccine and not wear a mask that we are now in this predicament.

It is going to be 1,551 years since the destruction of the second Beis Hamikdash, the Holy Temple. I cannot imagine that the generation of the destruction would have had any idea that the third Temple would not have been built after so many years. There was only a seventy-year gap between the destruction of the first Temple and the construction of the second Temple.

 There has been criticism about the Netflix series “My Unorthodox Life,” including that it wrongfully puts Orthodox Jewry in a bad light. There are also claims of antisemitism. I do not subscribe to Netflix and have no plans to do so. Therefore, I must rely on others’ description of the show.

I agree with Moshe Hill that it is unfortunate that athletes who represent our country do not show the proper respect and feel that they need to make a political statement. I wish that this were the biggest problem in which our stature is being diminished abroad. 

 One week ago marked the first time that an Orthodox Jewish player was chosen in the Major League Baseball draft. There were actually two players chosen: Jacob Steinmetz, who went to HAFTR, and Elie Kligman, from Las Vegas. Steinmetz, a pitcher, was picked in the third round by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Kligman, who is looking to become a catcher, was picked in the twentieth and final round by the Washington Nationals. It is reported that Steinmetz plans to immediately go into professional ball while Kligman will go to college.

In his book on the parshah, Rabbi Mordechai Katz explained why the Torah reading was named after Balak, the King of Moav, instead of Bilam, the prophet. Balak had one good attribute: honesty. “He made no attempt to conceal his hatred of the Israelites. At least everyone knew where he stood.” In contrast, Bilam “pretended to be a holy man and to aspire to fulfill only Hashem’s desires.” His conduct indicated otherwise.