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God made two great lights. What were they, and what did they do?
The sun to rule the day and the moon to rule the night.
On a certain number of days, God reviewed His work and said it was "good." On how many days did He say this?
On one day God said something different. Which day was that, what did He say and why?
The sixth day; God said it was "very good;" Because God had created man and the living creatures.
What was God's first commandment to the fish, creeping creatures and fowl He created?
Be fruitful and multiply, fill the waters in the seas and let the fowl multiply on earth.
What was God's first commandment to man?
Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth; subdue it and have dominion over all living things.
God said that man could eat from every tree in the garden, save one. Which one and why?
The Tree of Knowledge. Because man would know as much as God.
A river flowed out of Eden and then parted and became four rivers. Name three of the rivers.
Pishon, Gihon, Tigris and Euphrates.
What did God tell Adam and Eve their punishment would be if they ate from the Tree of Knowledge? What did Eve tell the serpent God had said?
If you eat of the fruit you shall surely die; you shall not eat of it nor touch it or you will die. (Some say that this exaggeration was the cause of Eve's fall.)
After eating of the fruit what was the serpent's punishment? What was Eve's? What was Adam's?
Crawl on your belly and eat dust; pain in childbirth; working hard for a living.
Having eaten from the Tree of Knowledge, what did God fear man would do next?
Eat from the Tree of Life and live forever.
What did Cain and Abel do for a living? Why did God approve of Abel's offering more than Cain's?
Cain was a tiller of the soil and Abel was a shepherd; Abel's attitude was better when he made the offering.
Who were Noach's three sons?
How many floors or levels (or decks) did the Ark contain?
Which people were Noach told to take onto the Ark with him?
His sons, his wife, and his sons' wives.
What was Noach's wife's name?
How many of each living thing was Noach to take onto the Ark?
Two of everything except the clean beasts (seven pairs of each) and fowl (also seven pairs).
How long was the entire earth completely submerged?
How many days passed between the day the rains started and the day the earth was dry?
Why was Noach commanded to take seven pairs of each fowl?
To keep seed alive on the face of the earth.
What bird did Noach send out first?
What bird did Noach send out next? How often, and with what result?
Dove. Three times: The first time it returned with an empty beak; the second time it brought an olive leaf; the third time it did not return.
After Noach and his family left the Ark, HaShem blessed them and gave them a commandment. What was it, and how often did He give it?
Be fruitful and multiply; three times.
What is the sign of HaShem's covenant between Himself and all living creatures? What was the purpose of this sign?
His bow in the clouds (the rainbow); to remind HaShem of His promise never to destroy them again.
Ham had four sons. Name three of them and the countries their names represent.
Cush (Ethiopia), Mizraim (Egypt), Put (Libya), and Canaan (Phoenicia).
What was Nimrod's relationship to Noach? For what was he famous?
Great-grandson; being a mighty hunter.
Terach had three sons. Name at least two of them.
There is a similarity between the story of Noach and the story of Abraham. What is the similarity? How are they different?
HaShem told both of them that he was going to destroy the people. Abraham pleaded for their lives, but Noach did not.
HaShem gave Avraham one commandment with several parts at the beginning of the parasha. What was it?
Leave your country, your kindred, and your father's house, and go to the land that I will show you.
HaShem then told Avraham that He would do six things when Avraham obeyed this commandment. Name at least four.
- Make of thee a great nation
- Bless thee
- Make thy name great
- Bless them that bless thee
- Curse them that curse thee
- In Avraham, all the families of the earth will be blessed
Avraham left Haran and went to Canaan. Where did he first make camp and build an altar to HaShem in the land?
Why were Lot and Avraham unable to live together after they returned from Egypt?
They were so well-off that there was not enough room for both of them, with their large flocks, in the same area.
Where did Lot settle, and where did Avraham settle?
Lot in the plain of Jordan; Avraham in Canaan.
Near what city did Lot settle?
What was Avraham's reaction when HaShem told him that Sarah would bear him a son?
He fell on his face and laughed (for joy).
In last week's parasha, we were told that the rainbow was a sign of the covenant between HaShem and the people. Name three signs of the covenant between HaShem and the Jewish people.
Tefillin, circumcision, and Shabbat.
How many years passed between the time Avraham left Haran and Yitzhak's birth?
25; Avraham was 75 when he left Haran and 100 when Yitzhak was born.
In this week's parasha, HaShem tells Avraham that his descendents will be like what two things? What is another metaphor used for Avraham's descendents?
Stars in the heavens and dust of the earth; sand of the seashore.
When Avraham saw the three strangers, he ran out to meet them. What did he do next?
Ordered that water be brought so they could wash their feet.
What might we find strange about the meal he served his guests?
He served milk and meat together.
Why was HaShem "surprised" when Sarah laughed upon hearing that she would have a child? What did He say to Avraham?
Because her time for having children had long passed. Is anything too hard for HaShem?
HaShem said He was going to do something before destroying all the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, even before Avraham began negotiating with Him about their destruction. What was it?
He would go down and check to see if the people were as wicked as He had been told.
Chumash says that the "men" (angels) turned from Avraham and went forth to Sodom. Is that statement entirely correct? If not, what is not correct?
No; only two of them went, not all three.
When the people of Sodom tried to kill the two strangers, what did Lot offer to do to protect his guests? Why didn't it seem strange to Lot?
He said the crowd of men could have his two virgin daughters to do with as they wished. Protecting guests in his home was more sacred to him than his daughters' virginity.
What did the angels do to the mob that tried to break into Lot's home?
Lot was prepared to take his wife and daughters out of Sodom to save their lives. When he told his sons-in-law of the coming destruction, what was their reaction?
They thought he was joking, so they stayed in Sodom.
Lot was afraid to leave Sodom and go to the mountains. Where did he ask HaShem if he could go instead?
After Lot and his daughters went to the mountains, the daughters took turns getting him drunk. Why? What were they thinking, and what was the fallacy in their thinking?
They got him drunk in order to sleep with him and beget children because they thought they were the last people on earth. We know, however, that they had just left the city of Zoar.
What are the names of the sons Lot's daughters had by him?
Moab and Ben-ammi, the fathers of the Moabites and the Ammonites.
How did Avraham justify telling Avimelech that Sarah was his sister?
When Avraham went to sacrifice Yitzhak, who went on the journey?
Avraham, Yitzhak, two servants, and Avraham's donkey.
If Sarah had lived 8 more years, how old would she have been when she died? Where did Sarah die? According to midrash, what caused Sarah's death?
135. Kiryath Arba. The shock on hearing of Isaac's near sacrifice.
From whom did Avraham purchase the cave of Machpelah? What was his tribe?
How much did Avraham pay for the whole property?
400 shekels of silver, current money with the merchant.
What was the name of Avraham's servant described herein, and what 2 things did Avraham make him promise?
Eliezer; that he would not find a wife for Isaac from among the Canaanites, but from among Avraham's kindred, and that he would bring Yitzhak and his wife back to live in the land, not with the kinfolk.
What sign did Eliezer expect to receive to know that he had the right woman?
She would offer to fetch water for him and for his camels.
What was Rivka's relationship to Yitzhak (besides being his wife)?
1st cousin once removed; Yitzhak was a first cousin to her father, Bethuel.
After all the negotiations were completed with Rivka's family, Eliezer was ready to pack up and hit the road. What was the family's first response, and what did they do to resolve the issue?
Let her stay with us for a few days, at the least, 10. Then they let her make the decision.
Does that scene remind you of a later scene with the same family?
Stalling when Yaakov wanted to leave with Leah and Rachel.
Isaac came out to the field where he met Eliezer and Rivkah. For what did he go to the field?
What was the name of the wife Avraham took after Sarah died and how many children did she have by Avraham?
How old was Avraham when he died? Who buried him? where?
175; Yitzhak and Ishmael; cave of Machpelah.
What is the connection between the end of this week's parasha and the beginning of next week's.
This week's parasha ends with the generations of Ishmael, and next week's parasha begins with the generations of Isaac.
According to midrash, there were three things that were always present with Sarah. What were they?
Blessings in her challot, light in her tent, and a cloud (shkina) over her tent for protection.
How old was Yitzhak when he married Rivka?
What were four things HaShem told Rivka about her pregnancy?
- Two nations were in her womb
- Two peoples would come forth
- One people would be stronger than the other
- The elder would serve the younger
How long had Yitzhak and Rivka been married when Esau and Yaakov were born?
What was Esau's first wife's name? How old was he when he married?
Avraham and Yitzhak both had confrontations with Avimelech. How did they deal with the problem? What was the outcome each time?
Each of them told Avimelech that his wife was his sister; in the end, each was rewarded and became rich from the encounter.
Yaakov is accused of manipulating Esau on two important issues. What were they? What did each signify? Which is considered the more important of the two?
Birthright and Blessing (Inheritance). One made Yaakov the spiritual leader, and the other made him Yitzhak's principal heir, giving him a double portion of the property and making him the family patriarch. The blessing was more important than the birthright.
What did Esau do that upset Yitzhak and Rivka so much? Was he able to rectify it? If so, how?
He took Canaanite wives. Questionable. He later married one of Ishmael's daughters.
Why did Rivka send Yaakov away? What reason did she give to Yitzhak?
She thought Esau would kill Yaakov. She said Yaakov was going to find a wife among his kindred.
When Yaakov left Beersheva, to which city did he head?
What do we already know about Haran?
Abraham lived there. Eliezer found Rivka there and took her back to Isaac to become his wife.
What was the name of the place where Yaakov had his dream, and what did he call it?
What vow did Yaakov make after his dream, and under what conditions did he agree to fulfill it?
If Hashem would make him prosper, he would pledge to Hashem a tenth of all he was given.
This week's parsha begins and ends with an event that is very similar. What similar thing happened at the beginning and end of the parsha?
Yaakov built a monument to Hashem.
Laban was Rivkah's brother. Who was their father?
Sarah and Rachel had a common problem. What was it, and how did they solve it? By whom?
They were not able to bear children. They had Avraham and Yaakov produce children for them through Hagar and Bilhah.
What did Rachel name her first child, and what did his name mean?
Dan; Rachel said G-d has judged me and given me a son.
Reuven went into the field and found what for his mother? What is a mandrake?
Mandrakes; a mandrake is a fruit that was thought to be a love-charm.
Rachel asked Leah if she would give her some of the mandrakes. What was Leah's response? What did Rachel give Leah for the mandrakes?
Is it a small matter that thou hast taken away my husband, and would thou take away my son's mandrakes also? Leah could sleep with Yaakov that night.
How many sons did Rachel conceive? How many through Bilhah? What were the names of her 4 sons?
Two; two; Dan, Naphtali, Joseph, and Benjamin.
When Yaakov left Haran with his family, Laban chased after him and said that someone had stolen his idols. What did Yaakov say would happen to the person on whom the gods would be found?
The person would be put to death.
Laban and Ya'akov made a covenant. What was it, and what did it really mean?
Ya'akov had made a big pile of stones. They agreed that neither of them would cross over those stones. In other words, it served as a separation between them that prevented either from attacking the other.
When his messengers reported that Esau had 400 men, Yaakov said, "I have been diminished by all the kindnesses and by the truth that You have done to Your servant." What did he mean by "diminished"?
The Ramban says that Yaakov never believed he had been worthy of all HaShem had done for him. Others suggest that Yaakov might have sinned since HaShem made His promises to him and that Esau would, therefore, prevail over him.
After Yaakov wrestled with the angel, the angel asked what his name was. What did the angel tell him?
Your name will no longer be Yaakov, but Yisrael. You have striven with the divine and the human and have overcome.
What did Yaakov call the place where he wrestled with the angel? What does the name mean?
Peniel; I have seen G-d face to face, and my life is preserved.
When Yaakov saw Esau coming, in what order did he place his family?
First, the handmaids; next, Leah and her children; finally, Rachel and Joseph.
What was Yaakov's reaction to the slaughter perpetrated by Simeon and Levi?
That their deed would make Yaakov odious in the eyes of the inhabitants of the land.
Rachel died and was buried along the way to what present-day town?
What is the significant issue about Yitzhak's burial?
Esau and Yaakov did it together.
What previous event does Esau's leaving the land with his family parallel?
The separation of Avraham and Lot.
What was Esau's other name?
According to the parasha, what role did Rivka play on the return of Yaakov to Canaan?
How old was Joseph when he went out to check on his brothers?
Why did Yaakov love Joseph more than all his brothers?
Because he was the son of his old age.
Why does that seem odd?
Because Benjamin was younger than Joseph.
Describe Joseph's two dreams.
- He and his brothers were binding sheaves in the field. His sheaf rose up, and the others bowed down to it;
- The sun, the moon, and eleven stars bowed down to him
When Yaakov chastises Joseph, what does he say, and why does it seem odd?
Do you expect your mother, father, and brothers to bow down to you? Rachel was already dead.
Joseph set out from where to find his brothers? Along the way, he met a man who told him they were headed where?
When the brothers decided to kill Joseph, which brother first spoke against killing him? Who was second?
The brothers decided to sell Joseph to whom? Were they successful?
They intended to sell him to the Ishmaelites, but the Midianites found him first and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver, so the brothers did not succeed in carrying out their plan.
Judah's two sons were killed by HaShem. He wanted his daughter-in-law to wait for his third son to grow up and marry him. What were all their names?
Er, Onan, Taram, and Shelah.
Why did Tamar seduce Judah in the guise of a harlot?
Shelah had grown up, but Judah had not given him to her as a husband.
What three items did Tamar ask of Judah as a pledge?
His signet, his cord, and his staff.
While Joseph was in jail in Egypt, he interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh's butler and baker. In the end, one was restored to his former position, and one was hanged. Which was which?
The baker was hanged; the butler was restored to his former position.
What were Pharaoh's two dreams about? How did Joseph interpret them?
In the first dream, seven fat cows and seven scrawny cows came out of the river. The scrawny cows ate the fat cows, but remained just as thin. In the second dream, seven ears of corn came up healthy and good. Then seven thin, scorched ears came up and ate the healthy corn. Joseph's interpretation was that there would be seven bountiful years followed by seven years of famine and that the people would not remember the years of plenty.
When Pharaoh said to Joseph that he heard he could interpret dreams, what did Joseph reply?
It is not in me; G-d will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
In what chariot did Joseph ride when he went out with Pharaoh?
What was Joseph's wife's name? Was there any connection between her father and Joseph's first master in Egypt?
Asenath bat Potiphera; not that we know of, despite the similar names.
How do you spell Pharaoh in English?
How much time elapsed between Joseph's going to meet his brothers in Dothan and his becoming second to Pharaoh?
When Joseph's brothers left him after their first trip to Egypt, who was left behind as a hostage?
When they were to return to Egypt, what did Yaakov give them to take as gifts?
Choice foods from the land, plus some balm, spices, nut, and ladanum.
What did Reuven tell his father would happen if he failed to bring Benjamin back from Egypt?
Yaakov could kill Reuven's two sons.
Why didn't Joseph eat with his brothers?
Because Egyptians considered Hebrews loathsome and would not eat with them.
What did Joseph instruct his servants to do with his brothers' sacks?
He told them to put as much food in them as they could carry as well as each man's money. He also told them to put his silver goblet in Benjamin's sack.
When Yosef finally revealed himself to his brothers, he said: "I am Yosef; doth my father yet live?" What was the brothers' response?
His brothers could not answer him because of their fright.
Yosef tells his brothers not to grieve or be angry with themselves for having sold him into slavery. What is his reasoning?
Because Hashem had a plan and sent him to Mizrayim to preserve life (due to the upcoming famine).
What was Pharaoh's reaction when he heard that Yosef's family would be coming to camp out in Egypt?
It pleased him greatly, and he offered them the fat of the land.
What did Yosef give the brothers for the trip back to Canaan? What did he give to Binyamin that was different?
Wagons and provisions for the way and to each man a change of raiment; to Benyamin, 5 changes of raiment and 300 shkolim of silver.
What can we learn from the gifts to Yosef's brothers?
He hadn't learned all that much about dealing in family affairs.
One has the impression from last week's parasha and also this week's that Binyamin is still a very young man. Yehuda calls him a lad. Is that so? If you think not, what is your proof?
When the parasha lists who went down to Mizrayim with Yaakov, it lists Binyamin's 10 sons. He was 31 years old.
Along the way to Egypt, Yaakov had a dream. In the dream, what did Hashem tell him? How was that different or similar to or different from the experiences of his father and grandfather?
Hashem said, " I will make of thee a great nation; I will go down with you, and bring you back." Avraham went to Egypt because of the famine, not because of Hashem's commandment, and Yitzhak never left the Land.
How many of Yaakov's family went on the trip down to Egypt, including Yaakov?
67; with Yosef and his 2 sons there were 70.
What did Yosef tell his brothers to say about how they made a living and why?
That they were shepherds. He knew the Egyptians detested shepherds because they worshiped animals and Pharaoh would shun them and let them settle in the relative isolation of Goshen where they would avoid the corruption of Egyptian society.
Pharaoh asked Yaakov his age. What did Yaakov reply? What did he mean by few and evil?
The days of the years of my sojournings are 130 years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained unto the days of of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their sojournings.
He meant he had not lived as long as his fathers and his years had been difficult and unhappy.
After the Egyptians had spent all the money they had, they came to Yosef and asked for bread. Yosef sold them bread for the rest of that year in exchange for what?
All their cattle and herds.
After the Egyptians had sold all their herds, what did Yosef take next and what did he give them in exchange?
All their land in exchange for seed to plant. Plus they were required to pay to Pharaoh 20% of all they produced.
How old was Yaakov when he came down to Egypt? How long did he live in Egypt?
Describe the events of Yaakov's blessing of Manasseh and Ephraim. Why did he bless Ephraim first?
Yosef put Yaakov' s right hand toward Manasseh's forehead and his left hand toward Ephraim's. When Yaacov switched his hands, placing his right hand which should be for the eldest on the youngest, Yosef protested but Yaakov explained that the younger would be greater and his seed would become a multitutde of nations.
Name at least five other instances where the younger brother is preferred to the elder.
Abel (Cain), Yitzchak (Ishmael), Yaakov (Esau), Moshe (Aaron), Yosef (Re'uven).
What are two possible meanings of the following statement of Yaakov to Yosef: "And now thy two sons, who were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine."
- "And so Yosef brought them out from between his knees." (Yaakov's) This was the symbol of adoption. Yaakov adopted the two boys, and they each received an equal portion of Yaacov's estate, and
- They are sons of Canaan like Yaakov, not sons of Egypt.
What effect on the family do you think this blessing would have? What does it remind you of in an earlier parasha; how is it similar and how is it different?
Yitzchak was blind when he gave his sons the blessings and Yaakov was almost blind, but without question there was no trickery involved in the encounter between Yaakov and his son and grandsons, as there had been between Yitzchak, Yaakov, and Esau.
When Yaakov gave prophecy to his sons, he said that Re'uven was unstable as water and would not excel. Why did Yaakov say this?
Because Re'uven went to his father's bed with Bilhah and defiled it.
How did Yaakov describe Shimon and Levi and why?
As weapons of violence, because they slaughtered Sechem who had raped Dinah, plus all of the men of his tribe.
Describe the relationship between Zevulun and Issachar.
Zevulun was a seaman and merchant, and Issachar was a student. Zevulun financed Issachar's Torah study, and both benefited thereby.
What was Yaakov's prophecy for Dan?
That he would judge (and defend) his people as one of the tribes of Israel.
Which brothers are compared to animals and which animals?
Yehuda = lion; Issachar = large-boned ass; Dan = snake; Naphtali = hind; Benyamin = wolf.
Yaakov asks to be buried in the cave in the field of Machpelah. Who is already buried there? Who is not buried there, and where is that person buried?
Avraham, Sarah, Yitzchak, Rivka, and Leah. Rachel is buried near Bet Lechem.
After Yaakov died, what lie did Yosef's brothers tell?
They said that Yaakov had commanded Yosef to forgive his brothers for their transgressions and the evil they had done him.
What was Yosef's response to this lie?
He told them not to be afraid; that while they meant evil against him, Hashem meant it for good, to save many lives.
How old was Yosef when he died, and what was his last request?
110; that his bones be buried in Canaan.
How many were the souls that came from Yaakov?
What were the names of the two store-cities that the Israelites built for the new Pharaoh?
How do you spell Pharaoh in English?
What were the names of the two midwives that Pharaoh dealt with?
Why did Pharaoh want to do away with the male Hebrew children as opposed to the female children? Why not both?
Women would not be a threat in time of war and would serve as good slaves, as well as being absorbed into the Egyptian population. (Midrash)
Why did the midwives disobey Pharaoh?
When Moshe was born, his mother saw that he was a goodly child and she hid him for three months. What does it mean, a goodly child?
He did not cry. (Midrash)
We are told that Moshe fled Egypt and dwelt in the land of Midian. The next thing we are told was that he sat down where and what happened?
By a well and seven daughters of the priest of Midian came to water their flock. Moshe helped them.
Of what other two instances in previous parashot does this story remind you?
Eliezer when he came to find a wife for Yitzhak, and Yaakov when he stopped at the well to help Rachel.
What was the name of Moshe and Zipporah's first child? And what does the name mean or signify?
Gershom; For I was a stranger in a strange land.
What is the symbolism of the burning bush?
It is symbolic of the Egyptian Exile. HaShem was in the lowly thornbush because he joined in the suffering of his People. The bush itself represents Israel and could not be consumed because HaShem does not allow his Nation to be destroyed.
What were two signs that HaShem gave Moshe to prove that He was HaShem?
Moshe's rod turned into a serpent and then back again. When he put his hand inside his blouse, it became leperous; when he returned it, it became healthy again.
When Hashem told Moshe to go and speak to Pharaoh and to tell him to let the children of Israel go, why did Moshe feel he was unqualified?
Because his own people wouldn't listen to him, so why should Pharaoh. He was "of uncircumcised lips", i.e., could not speak well.
How does Hashem describe in this week's parasha the covenant He made with Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov?
That He would give them the land of Canaan.
What caused Hashem to remember His Covenant?
He heard the groaning of his people under the bondage of the Egyptians.
What were the names of Moshe's mother and father?
What was the name of Aaron's wife?
How much older than Moshe was Aaron?
Aaron threw down his rod and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh's wise men did the same. What happened next?
Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.
Hashem told Moshe that He would harden Pharaoh's heart and Pharaoh would not let the Israelites go. Why did Hashem say He was doing this?
So that He could multiply His signs and wonders and the Egyptians would know that He is G-d.
What was the second plague, and what caused Pharaoh to harden his heart in that case?
Frogs; He had promised to let the Hebrews go if Moshe would get the plague stopped, but after he got relief, he refused to release them.
The next plague was caused when Aaron smote the dust and what was all over the place?
Were the Pharaoh's wise men able to replicate this plague?
After the plague of flies, Pharaoh told Moshe and Aaron to take the people and to sacrifice to their G-d in the land. They refused. Why?
Because sacrificing these animals in the sight of the Egyptians would be an abomination to them and the Hebrews would be stoned.
Under which plague were the Hebrews and their flocks safe as long as they were in Goshen?
What was the name of Moshe's wife?
How many plagues are there in Bo and what are they?
3; locusts, darkness, and death of almost all the first born Egyptians and the first born of their beasts.
On what wind did the locusts come and on what wind were they blown away, and to where?
The locusts came on the East wind, left on the West wind, and were driven into the Red Sea.
Name any 7 of the mitzvot given in Bo.
Observance of Rosh Hodesh (establishing the months); ritual slaying of the Pesach offering; eating of the offering; fully roasting of the offering; leaving no flesh of the offering; removal of hametz from our dwellings; eat matza on Passover; to have no hametz in your possession during Pesach; to eat nothing containing hametz during Passover; give nothing to eat of the Passover offering to an apostate Jew; give no part of the Passover offering to a partial proselyte or resident (not fully converted); to carry no flesh of the Passover offering outside; to break no bone of the Passover offering; no uncircumcised person may eat of the Passover offering; sanctifying the first-born, whether human or animal; to eat no hametz during Passover; to see no hametz during Passover; to recount the exodus from Egypt forever; to redeem the first-born donkey; to break the neck of an unredeemed first-born donkey.
What are the 2 Hebrew names for the month in which Pesach falls?
On what day of the month do you select the lamb for sacrifice? On what day do you sacrifice it? When do you eat it?
10th; 14th; it must be finished before morning.
What is the penalty for eating leven during Pesach?
One's soul is cut off from Israel.
What was dipped in the blood of the sacrifice and then used to put the blood on the lintel and doorposts?
How many Israelites went into Egypt counting Yosef and his two sons? How long were the Israelites there and how many came out according to pshat?
70; 430 years; in this parsha it says about 600,000.
The use of tefillin is mentioned in this week's parasha once, twice, or three times?
Twice: verses 13:9 and 13:16.
How does Rashi explain the mentioning of 3 days of darkness twice in Parshat Bo, and how does he interpret why the darkness was brought?
He says there were two sets of darkness, 3 days each; the first was so dark that they could not see one another; the second was twice as thick and they could not move.
There were any number of wicked Israelites who did not want to leave Egypt and Hashem was going to kill them during the 3 days of darkness. He did not want the Egyptians to see this happen and say that the Israelites were killed just as the Egyptians. Also, the period of darkness allowed the Israelites to go through the homes of the Egyptians to see what they had. The Egyptians would likely say they had nothing when the Israelites asked them for what they needed.
We are told that all the first born of the Egyptians were to die. Does Rashi agree that that is what happened, and if no, what does he say?
Pharaoh was a first born and he was spared so he could attest to Hashem's wonders.
According to midrash, the children of Israel were redeemed because of 4 meritorious acts. What were they?
They did not change their names; they did not change their language; they did not reveal their secrets (Moshe had told them that they would leave with many Egyptian possessions); they did not abandon circumcision.
What do you see as the difference between Moshe taking Yosef's bones to Eretz Yisrael and Yosef taking Yaakov's?
Yosef took Yaakov's after 30 days of mourning; Moshe took Yosef's after several hundred years.
How did B'nai Yisrael know the way to travel?
Hashem provided a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night for them to follow.
Through whose land did Hashem not lead B'nai Yisrael and why?
Philistines; if B'nai Yisrael would see war, they would be afraid, and since they would be so near Egypt and it would be easy to go back, that is what they would do.
Pharaoh had finally let the Israelites go; in fact, he pushed them out. When he learned that they might be lost in the wilderness, what caused him to go after them?
Hashem hardened Pharaoh's heart to get honor. According to Rashi, when Hashem avenges himself against the wicked, His name is exalted and honored.
Pharaoh had finally let the Israelites go; in fact, he pushed them out. When he learned that they might be lost in the wilderness, what caused him to go after them?
Hashem hardened Pharaoh's heart to get honor. According to Rashi, when Hashem avenges himself against the wicked, His name is exalted and honored.
When the Egyptians began to catch up with B'nai Yisrael, the angel of G-d made sure that the Egyptians would not catch up. What did the angel do?
He moved the pillar of cloud from before B'nai Yisrael to behind them so the Egyptians could not see them.
According to the parsha, what made the sea part so as to make a dry path?
Moshe stretched his hand over the sea and Hashem caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all night.
What had been the attitude of B'nai Yisrael when they saw the Egyptian soldiers moving in on them, and what was it after they saw the Egyptians drowned?
First they were afraid and said they wished they had never listened to Moshe and had stayed in Egypt where they were safe; afterwards, they feared Hashem; they believed in Him, and in His servant, Moshe.
What do we find strange about these attitudes? What does it say about us as human beings?
They had seen Hashem's great miracles only a few days before; how quickly they could lose their faith, and then how quickly it was restored.
After B'nai Yisrael left the sea and went into the wilderness, they quickly encountered a problem. What was it and how was it resolved?
After 3 days, they found no water to drink. Hashem showed Moshe a certain tree and he cast it into the bitter waters, and the waters were made sweet.
At this point, Hashem made for us a statute and an ordinance. What did He say to us?
That if we diligently hearken unto His voice and do what is right in His eyes, will pay heed to His commandments and keep all His statutes, He would ensure that B'nai Yisrael would suffer none of the diseases which He had placed upon the Egyptians; i.e., the plagues and various catastrophes.
On the 45th day after leaving Egypt, B'nai Yisrael were murmuring against Moshe and Aaron. What was their problem this time, and how was it resolved?
They ran out of the food they had brought with them out of Egypt; Hashem provided manna in the morning and quail in the evening for them to eat until they were full.
Each day B'nai Yisrael were to gather how much manna and eat it by when? What happened if they gathered too much or too little?
They were to gather one omer per person per day except on Yom Shishi, when they were to gether two omers per person (one for Shabbat). If they gathered more than an omer, it was still the correct amount. If they gathered less, they still had enough. They could not allow any manna to be left over until the next day except on Yom Shishi.
When B'nai Yisrael went into the wilderness of Sin, they once again ran short of water. What did Hashem tell Moshe to do to produce the water, and what did Moshe do?
He told Moshe to take his rod and smite a certain rock in Horeb. Moshe did as Hashem instructed and the water flowed.
What were the names of Moshe and Zipporah's 2 sons, and what do the names mean?
Gershom - a stranger there; Eliezer - my G-d is my help.
From where did Yitro come, and where did he meet up with Moshe?
What convinced Yitro that Hashem was greater than all other gods?
Because the Egyptians had dealt in obstinateness with Israel, and Hashem brought them out from under Pharaoh's yoke.
Yitro suggested to Moshe that he choose able men to be rulers (judges). What were the qualities that these judges needed to possess?
Men that feared G-d, men of truth, hating unjust gain.
Hashem spoke to Moshe from the mountain and told him to tell the people that if they would truly listen to what Hashem said and obey His mitzvot, their reward would be what?
They would be Hashem's own treasure from among all peoples and unto Him a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
What did Hashem tell Moshe would happen to the people if they broke through the boundaries Hashem had set? How many exceeded the boundaries and were destroyed?
Hashem would break forth (destroy) them; none.
What are the first 5 commandments given by Hashem to Moshe?
- I am the Lord, thy G-d, who brought you out of the land of Egypt...
- You will have no other gods before me.
- You will not take the Name of Hashem in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
- Honor your father and your mother that your days may be long.
What are the next five commandments?
- Thou shall not murder.
- Thou shall not commit adultery.
- Thou shall not steal.
- Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- Thou shall not covet your neighbor's house, his wife, his man and maidservants, his ox, his ass, or anything else of his.
What does it mean, according to the 3rd commandment, that we may not take Hashem's name in vain?
That we will not associate false testimony with G-d's name or will not swear falsely.
Hashem tells us that if we bow to false gods, He will visit this sin upon our children to which generation? What does this really mean? Does Hashem punish the children for the sins of their fathers?
3rd and 4th; No. But the sins of the father are hurtful as a negative influence at least until the 3rd and 4th generation.
Develop a short story about Moshe and Tzipporah based upon based on this week's parsha and other knowledge. What is their relationship like?
How many years was a Hebrew slave (servant) required to serve, and when did he go free?
6 years of service and the 7th year he goes free.
If the slave did not want to go free, what were the two things the master was to do?
He was to bring the slave to G-d and also take him to the door, or door post, and bore his ear through with an awl.
What was the penalty for a man who hit or cursed either his mother or father?
He was to be put to death.
If two men got into a fight, and one was hurt to the extent that he had to be put to bed, but recovered later, what was the penalty upon the one who hurt him?
He had to pay the other's doctor bills and for the loss of his pay while not working.
If a man hit his bondman or bondwoman and the result is a lost tooth or eye, what is the penalty upon the man?
He must let them go free.
If an ox gored a person to death, what was the penalty upon the owner? What if the owner had been warned that the ox had gored in the past and the owner had let the ox loose?
In the first case, the ox is killed and the owner is not liable. In the second case, the ox is killed and the owner is put to death.
Was there any circumstance in the above second scenario that the owner would be spared?
If a ransom was put on his life by the tribunal, he could pay the ransom and be spared.
If a man stole an ox or a sheep, killed it or sold it, what did he have to pay (if he was caught)?
5 oxen for the ox and 4 sheep for the sheep.
What was the penalty upon a person who stole an ox, an ass, or a sheep, and was caught with it alive?
He had to return the stolen animal plus one more like it.
If a person afflicted a widow or fatherless child, and the afflicted one cried out to G-d, what would G-d do to the persecutor?
If you lend someone money and take their garment as a pledge, by when must it (the garment) be returned and why?
Before the sun goes down because it is his only covering in which to sleep.
What does G-d mean when He says you shall not utter a false report?
You must not be an unrighteous witness, perverting justice.
Whom did Hashem "suggest" should make an offering?
Every man whose heart made him willing to do so.
What were the three types of metal that were to be included as offerings?
What three colors of linen were to be offered?
Blue, purple, and scarlet.
Of all the offerings, which one was not voluntarily given?
Silver; there was a levy of 1/2 shekel upon every adult Israelite an offering.
What is the meaning of the word "Terumah" as it relates to this parsha?
That which is lifted off, or separated, in this case as a contribution to the requirements of the Sanctuary.
According to this parsha, what is the purpose of the sanctuary?
To provide a place where Hashem could dwell among the people.
Of what was the Holy Ark made?
Acacia-wood overlaid with pure gold.
What are the measurements of the Holy Ark?
2 1/2 cubits long and 1 1/2 cubits wide.
How was the ark to be transported?
1 ring of gold was to be attached to each of the four corners; 2 staves made of Acacia-wood, overlaid with gold, were to pass through the rings for carrying.
How many cherubim were there to be on the ark, and how were they situated?
2 facing each other from each end with their wings spread on high.
Of what materials was the table for the Sanctuary to be made?
Acacia wood covered with pure gold.
Describe the candlestick which was to be in the Sanctuary.
It was to be made of pure gold; of beaten work. Its base and its shaft, its cups, its knobs, and its flowers were all to be made from one piece; 6 branches- 3 out of each side.
There were to be three cups on each branch in the shape of what kind of blossom?
What are the names of Aaron's four sons?
Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
In parasha Shemini, two of Aaron's sons are killed by Hashem for taking strange fire into the Sanctuary. Which sons were not killed?
The short coat (ephod) to be worn by Aaron was made of what material, and what were its four colors?
Fine twined linen; gold, blue, purple, and scarlet.
The ephod was to contain how many of what kind of stones, and what was to be engraved on them?
Two; onyx; the names of B'nai Yisrael (the 12 tribes), 6 on each stone.
What was the purpose of the two stones, and where were they sewn?
As a memorial for B'nai Yisrael; on the shoulder pieces of the ephod.
On the robe to be worn by the high priest, there was attached to the skirt a material of which colors in the shape of what kind of fruit?
Blue, purple, & scarlet; pomegranates.
What items were to be attached between the pomegranates and what was their purpose?
Golden bells; to make a sound when the high priest goes in and out of a holy place before Hashem that he not die; it was also a warning to the people as to when the high priest was performing his duties.
A golden plate was to be made which would be worn as a hat. What was to be engraved on it?
The breastplate was called the breastplate of what?
How many stones were on the breastplate, and what was their configuration?
12 in four rows of three each.
Three animals were to be brought to the high priest and his sons for sacrifice, along with two other items. What were the three animals, and what were the other items?
A young bullock and two rams without blemish; unleavened bread and cakes mingled with oil and unleavened wafers spread with oil.
The first ram is sacrificed, and its blood is dashed about the altar. What happens to the blood of the second ram?
Some is put upon the tip of the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the great toe of the right foot of Aaron and his sons; the rest is dashed about the altar.
The altar which was to be built to burn incense was to be made of what?
Acacia-wood overlaid with gold.
On this same altar, we were not to burn strange incense, make burnt offerings, nor meal offerings, nor drink offerings, but Aaron was to do what else besides burn sweet spices?
Make atonement on its horns once in the year with the blood of the sin offering.
Hashem states that taking a census of the children of Israel is most important. The inclusion of those counted is valuable to the individual in two ways. What are they?
A ransom for atonement of their souls to Hashem and the prevention of plagues among them.
With reference to atonement money that each person over 20 was required to give, how did individuals determine how much they were to give?
Everyone gave 1/2 shekel which equaled 10 gerahs.
What were Aaron and his sons required to do before they went into the tent of meeting, with what, from what, what happened if they didn't do it, and why is it significant to us today?
Wash their hands and feet with water from a laver of brass; they would die; part of what Cohanim are required to do today.
Name the five ingredients that made up the anointing oil.
myrrh, cinnamon, cassia, sweet calamus, and olive oil.
The principle craftsman of the time was Bezalal ben Uri. How did he have the skill to make all the intricate items required for the tent of meeting, the ark of the testimony, the furniture, etc?
Hashem filled him with His spirit, in wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship.
Who designed and built the golden calf? After it was built, what did the people say about it?
Aaron; This is thy god, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
What is the difference between the way Aaron described how the golden calf was made and how it was really made?
He said he threw the gold into the fire and there came out this calf. In the description of its construction we are told: "he received it (the gold) at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made it a molten calf."
How did Hashem describe these idol worshippers, and from where comes the figure of speech?
Stiff-necked; from the stubborn ox that refuses to submit to the yoke.
What did Moshe do with the golden calf?
He took it, burned it with fire, ground it into powder, mixed it with water, and made B'nai Yisrael drink of it.
When it came time to declare who was on the side of Hashem, Moshe called out for them to come over to him. Who came and what were they told to do?
All the son's of Levi; they were told to strap on their swords and go kill all those who had been involved with the golden calf, even if it was someone close to them.
How did Moshe intercede on behalf of the people so that Hashem would not destroy them, and how would it be said in today's language?
Moshe asked: What would the Egyptians say? For evil did He take them out, to slay them in the mountains; he then reminds Hashem of his covenant with Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yisrael; to multiply their seed as the stars of heaven, and that all of this land He had spoken of would be given to their seed and they would inherit it forever; what would the goyim think?
Why is it surprising that Moshe became so angry when he saw the golden calf, causing him to break the tablets of Hashem?
Because Hashem had already told him what was going on before he got there; he should not have been surprised.
Why did Hashem say that He could not lead the people from their midst, and did that stand up in the end?
Because His power would consume them; no, Moshe convinced Hashem to travel among the people.
In this week's parasha,what is the first commandment of Hashem that Moshe announces to the children of Israel?
Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be unto you a holy day, a Sabbath of solemn rest to the Lord.
What is the second pronouncement from Moshe to the congregation?
Ye shall kindle no fire through your habitations upon the Sabbath day.
To kindle no fire on Shabbat has important meaning to us today. Name five examples.
- No cooking;
- No starting a car;
- you must light your Shabbat candles before Shabbat begins;
- no riding in an elevator (some make exceptions for a Shabbat elevator);
- no use of electricity for lights, T.V., radio, etc.
What further meaning did it have for the Israelites during biblical days that is not an issue for us today?
We are not allowed to carry out a judgment of execution on the Shabbat, as one of the proscribed methods was burning. Thus, the matter of carrying out an execution on the Shabbat was extended to other methods such as stoning.
Who was designated (full name) to be the head of all the craftsmen in the building of the holy ark (as well as the other items commanded by Hashem) and what was his tribe?
Bezalel ben Uri; tribe of Judah.
Who was designated (first name only) to be Bezalel's second in command and what was his tribe?
When Moshe told the people (of a willing heart) that they could come and make an offering to Hashem, what happened? Have you another example of that happening in your experience?
So much was given that Moshe had to call a halt to the offerings.
What was this kind of offering called?
A free will offering.
Three groups were described who brought the free will offering. Who were they?
Men, women, and rulers, all with a willing heart.
Of what wood was the Holy Ark made and with what was it covered?
Acacia wood overlaid with pure gold both inside and outside.
How was the ark constructed so that it would be relatively easy to carry? Describe with specifics.
4 rings of gold were attached, 2 to each side, through which staves of acacia wood, overlaid with gold, were placed in order to carry the ark.
Of what were the staves made which were to used to carry the sacrificial altar?
Acacia wood covered with brass.
The candlesticks were made of what? How many branches were there, and how were they laid out?
pure gold; six branches, three on each side.
How many lamps were there for the candlestick and explain?
Seven, one in the center.
Who was responsible for the accounts of the tabernacle?
Ithamar ben Aaron ha Cohen.
Which two people were responsible for the building of the Tabernacle and everything that went with it?
Bezalel ben Uri of the tribe of Judah, and Oholiab ben Ahismach of the tribe of Dan.
The silver accumulated and described in this week's parasha came from the head count or census of whom and how many 1/2 shkolim were collected in the census?
All males from the age of 20 years and up; 603,550.
The ephod was made of blue, purple, scarlet, and gold threads. How did they make the gold threads?
They beat the gold into thin plates, cut it into threads, and worked it into the blue, scarlet, and purple threads.
Was there more gold or silver used in the building of the sanctuary?
Silver; there was used 100+ talents of silver and 29+ talents of gold.
By whom was the tabernacle to first be erected and when?
Moshe; in the 1st month of the second year on the first of the month.
When the cloud of Glory covered the Tent of Meeting and the glory of Hashem filled the Tabernacle, Moshe was unable to enter. When the cloud was raised, it was time to do what 2 things?
Disassemble the Tabernacle and move on.
Besides the cloud of glory, what else protected the Tabernacle and when did it come into play?
Explain this inconsistency: When the Cloud of Glory filled the Tent of Meeting, Moshe couldn't enter. When the Cloud rose, the Israelites were to pack up the Tent. So when could Moshe enter?
Which offering was considered the most holy and why?
Meal offering because it could only be eaten by the priests and only within the precincts of the Sanctuary.
What ingredient is specifically omitted from all meal offerings? Could one use honey? Why or why not? Could one use salt? Why? What is the significance of putrefaction or preservation?
Leaven; no; it putrefies; yes; it prevents putrefaction; putrefaction symbolizes moral degradation and salt symbolizes that which is lasting, such as our Covenant with G-d.
If one was to make a peace offering of the herd, was the animal to be male or female?
What was done with the fat and blood from these sacrifices, and what statute does it bring forth to us today?
Fat was burned in the fire as a sweet savor to Hashem; the blood was sprinkled around about the altar, sometimes on the horns of the altar. We are commanded forever not to eat blood or fat.
What was the significance of pouring and sprinkling of the blood?
Blood is the seat of life. As G-d has given it, so we give it back. Must be via animals, not people.
What is the Hebrew word for "meal offering"?
What is the difference between a free will meal offering and a meal offering as a result of having sinned?
With the latter, no oil or frankincense was mixed with the fine flour.
When bringing an animal to sacrifice, why were you to place your hands on its head?
Through this you showed that this animal was designated as the substitute for the person who brought it.
If someone caused a loss to the Sanctuary by unintentionally taking for his/her own use some holy thing, what was the required sacrifice?
A ram without blemish out of the flock, restitution of the item used, plus a 20% penalty.
What was the penalty if one committed a sin against a neighbor, such as not returning a found article, and why might this recompense be unfair to the aggrieved?
He was required to restore the item in full, plus 20%, as of the value at the time of the offense. With inflation, the person might only receive a fraction of the value of what was stolen if he was paid off in currency.
In the beginning of this parasha, from where did Hashem's voice come when He spoke to Moshe?
From the tent of meeting.
How long was the burnt offering to last?
It was known as tamid, or perpetual. The evening sacrifice was kept burning through the night until the flames could kindle the wood for the morning burnt offering. Fire kept burning on the altar continually.
Did the fire continue to burn during Shabbat? If so, how?
The law that you could not kindle fire on Shabbat did not apply to the Sanctuary; wood was continually added to keep the fire burning.
What items made up the meal offering?
Fine flour, oil, frankincense.
What 2 items were not to be used?
Who was designated to eat of the meal offering and where?
Every male among the children of Aaron for all generations; in a holy place - the courtyard of the Tent of Meeting.
The children of Israel were commanded to eat no fat from three animals. Which were they?
Of what animals or fowl were they allowed to eat the blood?
We are told of three anointings. What were they and in which order?
Mishcan, Mizbaach and vessels, and Aaron and his sons.
When Aaron and his sons were anointed, who was ordered to assemble and watch and where was this done?
All the congregation was assembled at the door of the tent of meeting.
When the ram was killed for the burnt-offering, what was done with the blood?
Moshe dashed it against the altar all around.
Following the burnt offering we are told about the sacrifice of the ram of consecration. How was the blood of this sacrifice handled differently?
Moshe put the blood on the tip of Aaron's right ear, thumb of his right hand, and the great toe of his right foot. The same was done to his sons. Then the blood was dashed about the altar.
How many days of consecration were there during which Aaron and his sons remained in the tent of meeting?
We all recall that the people were required to sacrifice a male goat as a sin- offering. What was Aaron required to sacrifice as a sin offering?
A bull-calf (a two year old calf).
Why were the Cohanim required to make these various sacrifices on the 8th day?
Because Hashem was going to "appear" before them on that day.
Two of Aaron's sons were killed by Hashem. Who were they?
Why were they killed?
Because they offered strange fire before Hashem which he had not commanded; also some say they had been drinking.
Moshe gave Aaron certain instructions concerning the death of his two sons. What were they?
That Aaron should not grieve; that through those close to Him (the priests), Hashem would be sanctified and glorified; when those close to Him do not follow His instructions exactly, they are subject to the maximum penalty; sets the wrong example for the people.
Moshe told two of Aaron's cousins to carry the bodies of Nadav and Abihu outside of the camp. Why didn't their surviving brothers carry them out?
Because they were Cohanim, had been purified through the 7 days, and would be defiled by touching dead bodies.
Who were Aaron's two surviving sons?
Moshe became very upset with Eleazar and Ithamar. Why?
Because they did not eat the sin offering in the place of the sanctuary as commanded, and the blood was not brought into the sanctuary as commanded.
It would seem that Eleazar and Ithamar might have been killed by Hashem in the same manner and for similar reasons as Abihu and Nadav? Why were they not?
Aaron explained that it would not have been pleasing to Hashem if he (they) had eaten the sin-offering after what had happened to him (them) on that day.
Hashem describes to Moshe the two characteristics of an animal that make it acceptable for eating. What are they?
Chew their cud; parted and cloven hoof.
If one touched an unclean animal, for how long was the person unclean?
Until evening and after he and his clothes are thoroughly washed.
If a woman delivers a boy, how many days is she she is physically impure and how many days is she spiritually impure? What about a baby girl?
From a practical point of view, what is the difference between the two periods of impurity?
- No intimate relations;
- Can touch no holy thing or come into the sanctuary.
At the final end of her impurity, the woman is to bring two sacrifices to the Cohen. Which were the sacrifices and what were they? What was an alternative sacrifice?
Burnt offering ( lamb of the 1st year) and sin offering (turtle dove or young pigeon). If cannot afford a lamb, two young pigeons or two turtle doves.
What were two sure signs of leprosy?
If the appearance of the plague was deeper than the skin of the flesh and if there were white hairs in the plague.
When it appeared that a person might have leprosy, to whom was he taken to check it?
To Aaron the priest or one of his sons, the priests.
If it was determined that a person had leprosy, where were they to dwell?
What is the reason, according to the Rabbis, that a person contracted leprosy? What is the source for this interpretation?
Lashon Hora. Miriam's lashon hora about Moshe.
Shabbat Hagadol - Metsora
On motsei Shabbat, do we recite the counting of the Omer before or after Havdalah?
At the Seder, how many times do we wash our hands?
The parasha describes two sin offerings performed by Aaron. What animals were sacrificed and as an offering for whom?
A bullock for the sins of Aaron and his household, and a goat for the sins of the children of Israel.
In Jericho, Joshua came face to face with an angel toting a big sword. What did the angel tell Joshua to do, and what does this remind us of in Shemot?
Take off his shoes as he was on holy ground; the same thing Hashem told Moshe at Horeb from the burning bush.
There are only two positive mitzvoth the failure of which to perform cause the soul of a Jew to be cut off from his people. What are they?
Failure to eat matzo at the Seder and failure to have a brit mila.
By what time must the seder meal be completed?
Chametz is the Hebrew technical term for a leavened product derived from any one of five basic types of food grain. What are they?
Wheat, oats, barley, spelt, and rye.
In addition to the five grains mentioned above, Ashkenazic Jews also do not eat five other foods or their derivatives. What are they?
Rice, corn, peanuts, peas, and beans.
At the seder we drink 4 cups of wine. Why do we drink 4 and what do they stand for?
To remember 4 virtuous acts done by the Jews in Egypt; 1. They kept their Hebrew names; 2. They kept the Hebrew language; 3. They remained moral; and 4. they only told the truth.
Traditionally, women are generally not obliged to fulfill positive time-bound mitzvot, but on this occasion they must drink the 4 cups of wine. Explain.
"For the sake of righteous women, we were delivered from Egypt."
In the six week period preceding Pesach, there are five special Shabbatot which more or less serve as a countdown to Pesach. What are they, preferably in order.
- Shabbat Shekalim;
- Shabbat Zachor;
- Shabbat Parah;
- Shabbat Hakodesh;
- Shabbat Hagadol.
Matzo is often described as the bread of ? or the bread of ? What are they? How do we reconcile the two opposite meanings?
Affliction(slavery) or freedom; Your own answer is good.
Acharei Mot - Kedoshim
What animal was Aaron to sacrifice as a sin offering, and what were B’nai Yisrael to offer?
A young bullock; two he-goats.
The burnt offering was the same for Aaron and B’nai Yisrael. What was it?
Lots were cast upon the two goats used as the sin offering., one for ? and the other for? For whom was the goat on which the lot fell, and what happened to that goat?
It was for Hashem and it was sacrificed.
Specifically, what was done with the live goat?
Aaron was to lay both of his hands on the head of the goat and confess over him all the sins of B’nai Yisrael and put them on the head of the goat; then the goat was taken away to the wilderness and released.
Hashem makes it clear to B’nai Yisrael that they are to keep all his commandments. He then tells them not to follow the evil practices of whom?
Egyptians and Canaanites.
Hashem delineates certain people whose nakedness it is prohibited to uncover. What does “uncover his or her nakedness” mean?
Forming a marriage union, or in those days having sexual relations which was almost the same thing.
When a peace offering was sacrificed, by when did it have to be eaten?
By the end of the second day or it was to be destroyed.
When you reap the harvest of your land, you are to leave what for whom?
The corner of the field and the gleanings of the field for the poor and the stranger.
In a judgment between a wealthy and a poor person, who was to be favored? Why?
Neither; only justice was to be done..not the wealthy person due to his influence nor the poor person because he needed it or was the underdog.
Hashem forbids us from being a talebearer; neither shall we stand idly by the blood of our neighbor. What does this mean?
Lashon Hora is described as murder; a person’s reputation is often considered more important than his life. Embarrassing another is like drawing blood.
Describe the process of planting and harvesting fruit trees in the Land.
The first three years the fruit is forbidden; the fourth year all the fruit is considered fit for Hashem and holy, thus not to be eaten; fruit may be eaten in the 5th year.
What will be the penalty if B’nai Yisrael do not obey Hashem’s commandments?
They will be vomited out of the land.
The priests were not allowed to defile themselves for the dead among their people.There were exceptions to this however. Who were they?
His kin: his mother, father, son, daughter, brother, virgin sister with no husband, wife, or a friendless person.
Whom may a priest not marry?
A divorced woman, harlot, widow, or profaned woman (daughter of a forbidden marriage contracted by a priest, or a woman who had already entered into a marriage forbidden to a priest).
What is the first holy day mentioned in the parasha?
Which holy convocation takes place in the first month?
When a farmer reaped his harvest, he was required to leave certain portions for the poor. What were they?
Part of the corner of the field and the gleanings.
Besides the poor, for whom else were the corner and the gleanings left?
Who was purported to be the father of the blasphemer? What was his mother's name and of which tribe was she?
The Egyptian killed by Moshe; Shelomith; Dan.
Who decreed the punishment of the blasphemer, and who was to carry it out?
Hashem; all of the congregation.
In this parsha there is a famous saying used today for punishment; an eye for eye, a tooth for tooth, and what?
According to Ezekiel, when the priests come into the inner court, what was the fabric of their clothes, and what physical condition were they to avoid at all costs?
When we came into the land and reaped the harvest, we were to take the first fruits of the harvest to the priest for a wave offering. This was the harvest of what?
After we came into the Land, we would live off of it by farming. When were we to refrain from doing that, and what were we commanded not to do?
Every 7th year. We were to neither sow the field nor prune the vineyard.
What about produce that grew by itself? Were we allowed to gather it? Why not?
No. Because this year was a sabbath unto the land and it was to have complete rest.
After each 49 years passed, we were to proclaim a what? When and how were we to do it?
A jubilee year. We were to make the proclamation with a blast of the horn on the 10th day of the 7th month (Yom Kippur).
What were we commanded to do during that jubilee year?
We were to return to every man his former possession and return every man to his family. All debts were forgiven.
What did Hashem say our reward would be if we observed the jubilee year properly?
The land would yield its fruit and we would eat until we had enough; we would dwell in safety.
If we were not allowed to sow or harvest during the sabbath year, how were we to survive?
Hashem said that during the 6th year we would have such an abundance that it would last us for 3 years until we could harvest another crop.
If a person was forced to sell his property because of poverty, did he have to wait until the jubilee year to redeem it? If no, how was it done?
He could redeem it prior to the jubilee if he had the money or someone would redeem it for him. There was a formula based on the yield of the land and the selling price that determined how much he had to pay to redeem his land.
If a person were forced to sell his property, it would always be redeemed during the jubilee year with one exception. What was that?
If he sold his property in a walled city.
In the case where a person sold his house in a walled city, could he ever redeem it?
Yes. He could redeem it within the first year.
Were the Levites allowed to sell their houses and the fields of the open land?
They could sell their homes that could be redeemed, but they could not sell their fields.
What is the special law about charging interest on a loan to a brother?
Jews are not allowed to lend money to another Jew and charge interest.
No Quiz for this Parsha - Issue for General Discussion.
Hashem says that if we walk in His statutes, keep His mitzvoth and do them, then we will have plenty to eat, live in prosperity and security. On the contrary, if we do not follow His mitzvoth, we will be decimated and, for the most part, be banished from the Land.
How do you interpret this statement? Is Hashem saying that each and everyone must keep His Mitzvoth for us to qualify for the prosperity He describes? Or is He saying that most people must do so? Is the implication that those who obey will be rewarded and those who don't will be punished?
For us to avoid being destroyed by our enemies and being banished from the Land, are we each responsible only for our own conduct, or for everyone's?
If we are responsible for everyone's behavior, must we have a religious police state similar to Iran?
According to the instructions for taking a census, who was to count and from what age?
All males from 20 years upward who were able to go to war; this excluded the infirm, aged, and maimed.
How were Moshe and Aaron to know which person to choose as head of the tribes and how many were to be selected?
Hashem told them specifically by name; 12.
We know that there were 12 princes chosen, but the descendants of two of Yaacov's sons were not counted. Which two and how did we end up with 12?
Levi and Joseph were omitted; Ephriam and Manasseh were counted.
How many over the age of 20 years were counted and what were they selected to do?
603,550; to go to war, or to fight if necessary.
What special duty was given to the Levites?
To do the service of the Tabernacle; to minister unto Aaron and his sons.
How were the Levites numbered?
Every male from a month old and upward.
Who were the five families appointed to surround the Tent of Meeting?
Merarites, Gershonites, Kohathites, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
Aaron and his sons were appointed as what? Vis a vis the Cohanim, what was the role of the Levites?
The priests; they were appointed to take care of the priests.
The Levites were selected rather than whom to serve Hashem and what was the rationale?
The male first-born; the first-born were chosen as Hashem's special ones in Egypt when the the first born of all the Egyptians were killed. When the first-born sinned by participating in the worship of the golden calf, they were replaced by the Levites who received their special priestly privileges.
How were the first born redeemed? Were all the first born to be redeemed?
The first 22,000 were redeemed, each one according to one of the 22,000 Levites. The extra 273 first born that had no corresponding Levite, had to pay 5 shekels each to be redeemed; The Levites did not have to be redeemed.
Who was appointed to receive the redemption money of the first born?
Moshe gave the redemption money to Aaron and his sons as commanded by Hashem.
What were the names of the 3 Levite families that were to do the service of The Tent of Meeting and under whose guidance were they?
Gershonites, Merarites, and Kohatites; Aaron and his sons.
At what age were those performing this service required to retire?
How many were counted from these three families between the ages of 30 and 50?
What was Moshe told to do with lepers, and why?
To put them outside the camp, so as not to defile the place where G-d dwelled.
Who else was to be sent outside the camp?
Those who were unclean by the dead, and those who had an issue.
From what were those who took the vow of a Nazirite to abstain during their period of their vows?
Wine and strong drink; vinegar; fresh or dried grapes; cutting their hair; avoid coming near a dead body.
When the Tabernacle was completed, anointed, and sanctified, the Princes of the tribes brought their offerings. What were the offerings? Who received them?
6 covered wagons and 12 oxen; they were divided among the Gershonites and Merarites.
Then the princes also brought a dedication offering. Were the dedication offerings of the princes all the same, and if not, how did they differ?
Manoah's wife was visited by an angel, and though she was barren was told that she would bear a child. What was to be that child's role?
He would begin to save Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
When Manoah met the angel, how did he recognize that he was an angel?
When Manoah and his wife made a burnt offering to G-d, the angel ascended to heaven in the flame from the altar.
Hashem told Moshe to assemble the Congregation of Yisrael, present the Levites to Hashem, and B'nai Yisrael were to lay their hands upon the Levites. What did this represent?
The Levites became a wave offering from B'nai Yisrael to Hashem so that they were offered to the service of Hashem.
At what age did the Levites begin to perform the service in the work of the tent of meeting?
At what age did they serve no more in that service? And what were they to do in their "retirement"?
From the age of 50; after 50 they ministered to their brethren in the tent of meeting.
If one were unclean by coming in contact with a dead body, or were far away at the time of the Pesach, what were they to do to not forsake this mitzvah? How did they learn what was to be done?
They were to celebrate Pesach Sheni on the 14th day of the second month; Moshe asked Hashem what they were to do.
If a stranger sojourned amongst the people at the time of the Pesach, what was their situation?
They were to celebrate according to the statute of the Passover and according to its ordinance, as there was one ordinance for the stranger and for those born in the land.
Why does it seem strange that Hashem commanded the people to celebrate the Passover in the desert?
In Exodus, Hashem had commanded them to celebrate the Passover once they were in the land that he would give them as an inheritance.
How did the people know when Hashem wanted them to travel and when to stop?
When the cloud covered the tent, they camped; when it lifted, they traveled.
When the people were to be called together, how many silver trumpets were blown and by whom?
Which two families were to carry the tabernacle when it was moved?
The sons of Gershon and Merari.
Who were the bearers of the Sanctuary?
When it became apparent that the people's complaints were too much for Moshe alone, Hashem told him to teach how many elders to judge with him?
Some of the people lusted after the "good life of Egypt", especially what? How did Hashem satisfy this lusting, and what was his attitude about it?
Meat; he provided them with quail but while they were eating it, his anger burned and he afflicted them with a deadly plague.
What was Miriam's punishment for gossiping about Moshe to Aaron? And for how long?
She was made leprous; for 7 days.
What was the status of each of the 12 men sent out as spies?
They were princes.
Since spies were sent from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, sons of Joseph, why were there not 13 spies?
There was no one sent from the tribe of Levi.
Moshe changed the name of one of the spies from what to what? What is the difference?
Hoshea to Yehosuah. Hoshea means He (G-d) has helped; Yehosuah means He (G-d) will help.
Name at least four out of six things they were to look for.
- Whether those who dwelt in the land were strong or weak;
- Whether they were few or many;
- Whether they dwelt in camps or strongholds;
- Was the land good or bad;
- Was the land fat or lean;
- Was there wood.
They were told to bring back which fruit of the land, telling us that it was which month of the year?
The first ripe grapes; Late July or August.
From what place did they bring a large cluster of grapes? What other fruits did they bring?
Valley of Eshchol; Figs and pomegranates.
How long did they spend on this spying mission? Name three other prominent uses of this same number in the Torah.
40 days. Forty years in the desert; Moshe on the mount for 40 days; 40 days and 40 nights of rain during the flood.
How did they describe the people they saw, particularly the sons of Anak? And how did the Jews feel they appeared to the "giants"?
As giants. As grasshoppers.
When the people heard the report of the spies, what was their reaction?
Better they had died in the land of Egypt or in the wilderness; they wanted to appoint a leader to take them back to Egypt.
Two of the spies dissented from the majority report. What were their full names?
Caleb ben Jephunneh (yfuneh) and Yehosuah ben Nun.
What was Hashem's reaction to the actions of the people and what did he say he was going to do; what did Moshe reply?
Hashem said that he would destroy all of the people except Moshe and start over.
Moshe said that when the Egyptians hear that Hashem had destroyed his people, they will say that after he had taken them out with miracles, He was unable to bring them into the land he had sworn to them.
How then did Hashem determine to punish the people?
All those over the age of 20, except Yehosuah and Caleb, would perish in the desert. Yehosua, Caleb, and the children would be allowed to go into the Land.
What was the punishment for those spies who brought the evil report?
To which tribe did Korach belong and what was his full name?
How many men took part in the rebellion and what was their position in the congregation?
250; princes, elect men of the assembly, men of renown.
What was their rationale for the rebellion?
That all the congregation was holy; Hashem was among them, and so how did Moshe and Aaron come off putting themselves above the people.
Of what is this reminiscent?
The earlier conversation between Miriam and Aaron about Moshe.
Who were the three other principle leaders of the rebellion in addition to Korach?
How did Moshe decide to determine who was in the right?
Each of the 250, along with Aaron, would take censers, put in fire with incense, and Hashem would give signs as to who was right and who was sinning.
How did Dathan and Aviram describe Egypt?
As a land flowing with milk and honey.
What did Moshe predict for Korach, Datan, Aviram, their families, and all that were following them in the rebellion?
That if they lived a natural life and died of natural causes, then they were right. But if the ground opened up and swallowed them, then Moshe would be right.
On was mentioned as one of the leaders of the rebellion. Why is not mentioned as having been swallow up?
His wife kept him from participating (Midrash).
How long did it take for the rest of the congregation to turn against Moshe and Aaron, and what was their grievance?
Until the next day; that they had killed people of Hashem.
What happened to these rebellious people? How many died and how were the rest saved?
14,700 died from the plague; Aaron, at Moshe's instruction, took his censer from the altar, along with fire and incense, and ran among the people atoning for their sins. Some were saved by his action.
Describe how redemption worked.
Of all flesh that was offered to Hashem, both man and beast, went to the Cohanim. The first born of man were to be redeemed for five shkolim after the 1st month; the first born of unclean beasts they were to redeem, but the first born of oxen, sheep or goats they were not to redeem for they were holy; they were to dash their blood on the altar, but could have various parts to eat.
Hashem spoke of the heave offerings as due to the Cohanim forever; this was an everlasting covenant of salt before Hashem... What is meant by "covenant of salt"?
Salt preserves food from putrefaction and was a symbol of permanence.
What was to be the inheritance of the Cohanim in "the land"?
None; Hashem was their portion and their inheritance.
The animal to be sacrificed in this week's parsha had four principle characteristics. What were they?
A heifer, red, unblemished, never under a yoke.
If one touches a dead body, he becomes unclean. For how long? On which days does he purify himself?
Where did Miriam die?
Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran.
When the people complained that there was no water, and again, that they had been better off in Egypt, what did Hashem tell Moshe to do, and what did he do?
He told him to take his rod, gather the people along with Aaron, and speak to the rock that would give forth water. Moshe struck the rock twice with his staff and it gave off water.
Because Moshe showed a lack of faith in Hashem and failed to follow His instructions, who was severely punished? What was the punishment?
Moshe and Aaron were not allowed to enter the Land.
Where was Aaron buried, and what action of the people showed that they revered him?
Mount Hor; the entire assembly wept for 30 days.
The King of Edom would not allow the people to pass through his land, and again they complained. How did Hashem punish them; how was the punishment ameliorated?
Hashem sent fiery serpents to bite them; Moshe prayed for the people and Hashem told Moshe to make a fiery serpent and put it on a pole; anyone who was bitten could look at it and be saved.
When Moshe sent messengers to the Kind of Edom, how did he describe the relationship of Israel to Edom and on what basis?
As brothers; because the Edomites were descendants of Esau, brother of Yaacov.
The people had to fight their way through three peoples to get to the Land. Who were they?
Ammorites, Bashanites, and Cannanites.
It is clear that Moshe would pass away before the people arrived in the Land. Where was Moshe buried?
Give two reasons why Moav was so afraid of Israel.
They saw (heard) what Israel had done to the Amorites and because Israel was so numerous.
What was Balak's tribe, and with which other tribe did he align himself?
When he sent messengers to fetch Balaam, what was he asking Balaam to do?
It is likely that the name Balaam means what?
Lord of the people.
When Hashem first came to Balaam in the night, what did he tell him to do?
Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people, for they are blessed.
What did Balaam's ass see as they rode along the way?
An angel of Hashem with a sword drawn in his hand.
The ass tried to get the message to Balaam in three different ways before she finally spoke. What were they?
- She veered off into the field;
- She crushed Balaam's foot against the wall;
- She lay down under Balaam.
Balaam had struck the ass several times, and finally the ass asked him why. What did Balaam give as his reason?
He said the ass had mocked him, and if he had a sword he would have killed her.
At Balaam's instructions, Balak built altars for sacrifices. How many times did he do this, and how many total altars did he build?
What did Balak sacrifice on each altar?
A bullock and a ram.
What did Balaam say and do after each set of sacrifices?
He said he was going to go and confer with Hashem to see what he was to do.
When the Israelites began to live with the Midianites, the Israelites adopted the Midianites evil ways. For this and other sins, many were killed by a plague. Who saved them and how?
Phinehas ben Eleazer, grandson of Aaron. He speared the man and woman with one blow.
Give Pinchas' full name (Including grandfather).
Pinchas ben Eleazar ben Aaron haCohen.
Hashem says that Pinchas turned His wrath away from the people. What did Pinchas do, and who were the main characters involved?
He killed Zimri ben Salu (a Shimonite) and Cozbi (a Midianite woman), who were acting improperly in front of the whole camp.
What did Hashem tell Moshe to do, vis a vis the Midianites and why? How does it relate to us today?
To harass and smite the Midianites, for by their wiles they beguiled and led the Jewish people astray. Assimilation with non-Jews in the diaspora.
Hashem commanded two people to take a census. Who were they? Who was to be counted?
Moshe and Eleazar; everyone over 20; by tribe.
What were two reasons for the census?
To plan for war and to determine how much land each tribe inherited.
How was it to be determined which tribe got which land? How much land did the Levites get? Were the Levites counted the same as the other tribes?
By lot; none; they counted every male from a month old and upward.
What were the names of Moshe's mother and father?
Amram ben Kohath haLevi and Yocheved bat Levi.
What were the names of Aharon's children? What happened to two of his sons?
Nadav, Avihu, Eleazar, and Itamar. Nadav and Avihu were killed by Hashem because they took strange fire into the sanctuary.
Zelafchad had five daughters and no sons. Tell their story as related in this parsha. What were the names of at least three of the daughters?
Zelafchad had no sons, and his daughters asked Moshe if they could inherit their father's land rather than have it go to their father's brothers.
- Milcha, and
If there were no sons or daughters in a family to receive an inheritance, who was first in line?
Brothers of the deceased, then brothers of the deceased's father (i.e., uncles on the father's side).
When Hashem told Moshe that he would only get to see the Land and not go into it, what did Moshe ask?
Moshe asked Hashem to choose the next leader of the people. He did not plea to be allowed to enter the Land.
From which mountain did Moshe see the land?
We are told that when one makes a vow, he is bound to fulfill it. What kind of vow is mentioned, and how do we avoid making a "vow"?
Specifically we are talking about promises to Hashem. After uttering the 'vow', we say "b'li neder".
Under what circumstances may a minor female living in her father's home make a vow that stands, and under what circumstances may it be voided?
If her father hears it and does not disallow it; her father may void the vow by disallowing it when he hears her make it.
How many men from each tribe were armed to go to war against the Midianites?
Pinchas was sent out with the men of war. What did he carry with him?
The holy vessels and the trumpets for the alarm.
Precisely where are the plains of Moab?
By the Jordan River at Jericho.
How were the spoils of war divided between those who went to war and those who did not?
Which tribes asked to remain east of the Jordan; i.e., which tribes chose not to go into the land? What was Moshe's response?
Reuven and Gad. Their armed men would have to go into the land and fight. If they did so, the women and children could stay east of the Jordan, and after the land was secure the armed men could return east.
Vis-à-vis question 7, of what does it remind you today?
Jews outside of Israel seeing life in the diaspora as 'the good life' compared to living in the land, but being willing to support those in the land when there is a crisis.
Hashem swore that no men over the age of 20 who left Egypt, not including Caleb or Joshua, would see the Land. Is this what happened?
No. Moshe saw the land from Mt. Abarim.
How does this week's parsha confirm the previous concerns of Balak? What were those concerns?
That these people coming out of Egypt were numerous, strong, and a huge threat to the Midianites.
What are the two mitzvot in this week's parsha?
The precept of the Law of Nullifying Vows and that we should not break our word in vows that we make.
From where in Egypt did b'nai Yisrael begin their journey, and where did they camp first?
Two of the camps were where Aharon and Moshe died. What were they?
How old was Aharon when he died?
Hashem told Moshe to tell b'nai Yisrael to do four things when they came into the land. What were they? How is this different from what we read in Mattot?
They were to drive out all the inhabitants, destroy their figured stones, destroy their molten images and demolish their high places. In Mattot, we are told they were all to be killed.
What did Hashem say would happen if they did not drive out all of the inhabitants?
Those that remain will be as thorns in your eyes, as pricks in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell.
How many tribes were to receive an inheritance in the Land?
Nine and 1/2.
How many cities of refuge were to be given to the Levites? How many were to be in the land and how many outside?
Six; three and three.
Outside the cities of the Levites, how much land was to be provided, how was it divided, and what was each part to be used for?
2000 cubits each to the East, West, North, and South, divided into two parts; the first 1000 cubits was to be left open or for cattle grazing, and the other 1000 cubits was to be for vinyards and planting.
How many cities in total were to given to the Levites?
How long must the person who fled to a city of refuge remain there to be safe?
Until the death of the high priest.
What ransom could be taken for the life of a murderer?
None. He had to be put to death.
On which holiday and in which year did Moshe make his recounting to the people?
On Rosh Chodesh of the 40th year.
Where did he make this speech?
Beyond the Jordan in the Aravah.
Moshe describes the burden of the Jewish people upon him and how he divided up the decision-making. How is his description different from what we were told previously?
Here he says the burden was too much, and he decided to divide them up with judges over the 1000's, 100's, etc. In fact, Yitro suggested this to Moshe, and Moshe accepted the idea.
How is Moshe's recounting of the spies' report different from the report itself?
Here he says the spies came back and said: "Good is the land which the Lord , our G-d, gives to us." As a matter of fact, when the spies came back most of them said the cities were too fortified and the people too strong to be defeated.
There were certain tribes of people that the Israelites were told not to fight. One was the tribe who lived in Seir. Why were we not to take their land?
This land had been given to Esau and his descendants by Hashem, and Esau was our brother.
What was a second tribe we were ordered not to attack, and why?
The people of Moav; this land was given to Lot and his descendants.
The Israelites completely conquered two peoples and killed their kings. Name one of them and their king.
Sihon, king of Amorites (living in Heshbon).
Name the second people and their king.
Og, king of Bashan (living in Ashtaroth).
There are two mitzvot in Devarim. Both are negative precepts. What are they?
Not to appoint any judge who is unlearned in the Torah, even if he is generally learned, and that a judge presiding at a trial should not fear any evil man (really any man).
Moshe asked Hashem to "go over" and see the good Land beyond the Jordan. According to Moshe, whose fault was it that He refused? Was the matter open for negotiation?
Moshe: "The Lord was wroth with me for your sakes"; and it was not open for discussion. Hashem: "Let it suffice thee; speak no more to me of this matter."
Hashem made a concession to Moshe in this regard. What was it?
That Moshe would be allowed to see the land.
Moshe beseeched B'nai Yisrael to listen to Hashem's statutes and ordinances and to follow them. Would there be a reward if they did so? What was it?
That they may live (thrive and multiply) and go in and possess the land which Hashem gave them.
What did Moshe say would happen if B'nai Yisrael built graven images and were evil in their ways?
That they would soon perish from off the land and would be destroyed. Those left would be scattered among the nations and would be a decided minority. They would soon assimilate and become just like the people around them.
After the people would be scattered all over the world and lose their connection to Hashem, was there any chance of returning? At what time?
Yes; at the end of time with the coming of the Mashiach.
Why are we commanded to form no likeness of Hashem?
We only heard Hashem's voice; we saw no form. Thus we cannot recreate a likeness as it would be a desecration.
What risk did Moshe tell B'nai Yisrael they faced after they were settled in the good land?
That they would take on the ways of the people living there; that they would marry outside the Jewish people; that they would become as the nations.
When Moshe discusses Hashem's covenant with B'nai Yisrael, he says it was not made only with their fathers, but with them as well. What does that portend for us as Jews today?
There is a reference in this week’s parsha to the "Iron Furnace". To what does this refer?
For those who serve other gods, Hashem said He would remember until what generation? And for those who obeyed Him, to what generation?
He would remember sins until the 3rd and 4th greneration and bestow mercy to the 1000th generation for good deeds.
How many nations were cast out so that Israel could possess the Land? Three groups (tribes or descendants) were allowed to remain. Who were they?
Seven; the descendants of Lot, the descendants of Esau, and the first Amorite tribe with whom they came in contact.
Moshe tells the people that they were chosen by Hashem, even though they were one of the smaller nations. Why were they chosen?
Because He loved them, because He had made an oath to their fathers, and because He redeemed them from slavery.
Moshe told B'nai Yisrael that if they would follow G-d's commandments, He would remove from them all the diseases they had in Egypt. What was to become of those diseases?
G-d would lay them upon those who hated Israel.
Moshe realized that the people were afraid to fight against nations that seemed much stronger and more numerous than they. To allay their fears, Moshe told them to do what?
To remember what G-d did to Pharaoh and unto all Egypt and that He would do the same to the nations.
Even after B'nai Yisrael would defeat all the enemies, there would still be some hiding out and ready to defeat them. What did Moshe tell the people in regard to this?
That Hashem would send hornets that would chase the stragglers out into the open.
B'nai Yisrael were to be most careful not to adopt the gods of the nations. How were they to dispose of the idols which they would find?
Burn them with fire, being careful not to remove the gold and silver.
Moshe told the people that they had been afflicted with hunger in the desert but that G-d had provided manna to sustain them. What lesson was learned by this miracle?
That man does not live by bread alone, but by everything that comes from Hashem does man live.
What does the phrase "that man does not live by bread alone" mean in a deeper sense?
A pure soul and clean spirit are more important than one's physical needs; creating wealth is not the most important thing.
Moshe anticipated a danger for B'nai Yisrael when they became wealthy and satisfied with their position in the land. What did he say could happen?
That the people would forget all that G-d had done for them and say in their hearts, "My power and the might of my hand has gotten me this wealth."
For what reasons were B'nai Yisrael allowed to possess the land?
Because of G-d's promise to the Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, and because of the wickedness of the people already living there. What about the righteousness of B'nai Yisrael? No way; they had defied Hashem time after time.
When Hashem saw time after time how wicked and stiff-necked B'nai Yisrael were, He offered a new deal to Moshe. What was it?
That He would blot out B'nai Yisrael and make a new, bigger and more holy nation from Moshe.
Moshe fasted 40 days and nights to change Hashem's plan. What was his argument that convinced Hashem not to destroy the people?
Hashem had redeemed them from Egypt and taken them into the desert. The Egyptians would say that Hashem had not been powerful enough to take them into the land and that He hated them so much He took them into the wilderness to destroy them.
Behold this day I set before thee a blessing and a curse. A blessing if... and a curse if ...
B'nai Yisrael was to destroy all of the idols, altars and places of worship of the nations they would dispossess. Where was B'nai Yisrael to worship?
The place that Hashem would choose out of all the tribes to put his name.
The people were told they could eat flesh within their gates, both the clean and unclean. What does "both the clean and unclean" mean, and what flesh could they eat?
Both those ritually pure and impure could eat acceptable flesh, but the impure could not eat animals eligible for sacrifice; they could eat the hart or gazelle.
B'nai Yisrael were not allowed to eat their tithes of corn, oil, etc. within their gates. Where were they allowed to eat them?
Before Hashem in a place He would choose.
Under what circumstance were the people to disregard the signs and wonders of a dreamer or prophet?
If he suggested they go after other gods they had not known to worship them.
What was B'nai Yisrael to do if members of their community drew others away to worship other gods in another place?
Follow them and kill them and all the inhabitants of that place; also kill the cattle and utterly destroy everything in the place by fire.
What are the two qualifications for an animal to be eligible for a Jew to eat?
Parted and cloven hoof, and chews its cud.
What is the difference between the way eligible animals and birds are described as compared to eligible fish?
Besides naming the qualifications of the animals and birds, Hashem also listed certain ones that were clean and certain that were not. With the fish, He just gave the qualifications.
If an animal died on its own, what could a Jew do with it?
Give it to a stranger within their gates, or sell it to a foreigner.
B'nai Yisrael was to tithe the produce of their fields every year. What were they to do with the tithe?
They were to eat and enjoy the tithe before Hashem in a place He would choose. If the place were too far away, they were to sell it, go to the place Hashem chose, buy whatever their heart desired and eat and rejoice with their household.
Every so often, the Jew was to dispose of his tithe in a different way than described above. How often and what was he to do?
Every 3rd year he was to take the tithe and lay it up within the gates of his city so that the Levite, the stranger, the widow and the fatherless could enjoy it.
When was a slave allowed to go free and under what conditions?
In the 7th year and he was not to go away empty handed. The former owner was to furnish him liberally out of his flock, out of the threshing floor, and out of the winepress, in remembrance of when Hashem took us out of Mitzraim.
We were told not to regret the freeing of the slave "for to the double of the hire of a hireling has he served for 6 years." What does that mean?
Because the slave could be required to work night and day, whereas the hireling only worked during the day.
The parsha begins: "Shofetim and Shoterim". Who were the shoterim and what was their job?
They were the officers of the court and were to enforce the sentences of the judges.
We are familiar with the phrase, "Justice, justice, thou shall pursue." What are the rewards for following this mitzvah?
You would live and inherit the land Hashem gave you.
This parsha tells us about four kinds of leaders among the Jewish people. Who were they?
Judges, priests, king, and prophets.
B'nai Yisrael was told that when she came into the land, she was to have a king. Who was to choose the king and who was automatically eliminated from consideration?
What were four things the king was forbidden from doing?
Multiply horses to himself to go to war; cause the people to return to Egypt; multiply wives to himself; and to accumulate large amounts of gold and silver.
What was he commanded to do and why?
He was to copy the law in a book (a Torah) from the laws of Hashem as enforced by the priests.
The Levites were to have no portion. To what does that refer and what was their inheritance?
No inheritance of land; Hashem was their inheritance.
Why did we have prophets among the people from time to time?
The people were afraid to receive Hashem's word directly, so He had to speak through intermediaries, the prophets.
At least four categories of males were not required to go into battle. What were those categories?
- He who had built a new house and not dedicated it;
- He who had planted a vineyard and not used the fruit yet;
- He who had bethrothed a wife, but not consumated the bethrothal;
- He who was afraid to go to battle.
What was the difference in how B'nai Yisrael were to treat those defeated enemies who lived within Eretz Yisrael and those living outside the Land, and why did Hashem differentiate?
For those living outside the land, Bnai Yisrael were to proclaim peace to the city. If the people refuse, Bnai Yisrael were to besiege the city and when Hashem gave the city over, Bnai Yisrael were to kill every male; the women, children, and cattle were to be taken as spoils. Those living within the land who were defeated were to be totally destroyed, so that Bnai Yisrael would not follow their ways of life.
If a person was murdered and the murderer was unknown, who decided which city had to take responsibility? What were the elders of the responsible city to do?
The elders and judges; the elders were to take a heifer of the herd (which had never been under the yoke) to a rough valley (which had not been plowed or sown), and break the heifer's neck; the priests would say a blessing over the heifer, and then all the elders of the city would wash their hands over the heifer.
When Israel defeated an enemy and a man saw a woman captive he wanted, what was he to do?
He would take her to be his wife. He would take her to his home where she would shave her head and pare her nails. She would remove the clothes of her captivity and mourn the loss of her parents for a full month. Then the man could marry her.
If a man committed a sin for which he was put to death by hanging, what was the procedure for dealing with his body and why?
His body must not remain all night upon the tree, but he must be buried the same day as he was hanged. His body is an offense to G-d, and leaving the body unburied would be a defilement of the land.
If you saw a bird's nest with eggs or young in it, were you allowed to take them for food? If yes, under what conditions were you allowed to take the eggs for food?
You were allowed to take them, but only after you had scared off the mother. It would be cruel to take the eggs or the young while the mother was there.
We are commanded not to plow with an ass and an ox together. Why?
Inasmuch as they could not pull equally, it would create a hardship for both. This would be cruel to both animals.
If a man was found lying with a married woman, what was the penalty?
They were both to be killed.
We are told not to hate an Edomite. Why is that?
Because he is our brother. Esau was the father of the Edomites.
We are told that neither an Ammonite nor a Moabite could ever be allowed to enter an assembly of Hashem. Why was that?
When the Israelites passed by their territories on the way from Egypt, the Ammonites and Moabites refused them any bread or water; also because they hired Balaam to put a curse on them.
No man was to take the mill or the upper millstone as a pledge from a debtor. Why?
This would deny the debtor the opportunity to make a living.
We are told not to oppress a hired servant whether he was a brother or a stranger. What is the oppression as described in this parsha?
The oppression would be to fail to pay him his entire wages before the sun set.
If a wicked man was to receive a judgement that required a beating, what was the maximum number of lashes he could receive and why?
40; if he received more than 40 lashes, it would dishonor him before your eyes; even a criminal is allowed to maintain his human dignity.
If a man's brother died and he as yet had no children, what was required of the living brother and what was that called?
The living brother must marry the brother's widow so that his family line would not become extinct. It is called a levirate marriage.
We are told "thou shalt not have in thy bag diverse weights, a great and a small." Describe what that means.
You are not to have erroneous weights, a heavy one for selling and a lighter one for buying, each which you call the same weight; i.e. they are each called 1 kilo.
What was the first thing the Israelites were commanded to do upon coming into the Land?
Take of the first of all the fruit of the ground and make an offering to Hashem.
To whom were you told to take your offering and where?
To the priest in the place that Hashem would choose.
Give a brief history of how we reached the point of offering our first fruits in the Land to Hashem.
Our father, Avraham, and his descendants went down to Egypt due to famines in the Land; there they grew into a great nation and were severely oppressed. Hashem heard their cries and took them out of Egypt with a mighty hand and many miracles. Over the next 40 years we wandered in the desert, received the Torah, and were taken into the Land to possess it.
Which is the year of tithing?
Which four groups would benefit by our tithes?
Levites, the stranger, the widow and the fatherless.
We were commanded to set up an alter of stones after we crossed the Jordan. What was to be written on these stones?
The words of Hashem's law.
Moshe charged the tribes to stand on two mountains facing each other. What were the names of the two mountains?
Those standing on the two mountains would hear blessings and curses. From whom did they hear them?
What was the first curse the people heard?
Cursed be the man that makes a graven or molten image and sets it up in secret.
Give your opinion as to why, after hearing or reading these blessings and curses, the great majority of B'nai Yisrael failed and continue to fail to follow Hashem's commandments.
In Nitzavim, who did Moshe call together to enter the covenant with Hashem?
All of the people; no one was excluded.
What did the covenant include?
That Hashem would be our G-d and we would be his people as he promised Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya'akov.
Were only those who heard G-d's word to be included in the covenant? If no, who else?
It included those standing there that day and also those who were not there; i.e., the descendants of those who were there.
What would happen if the people refused to follow G-d's commandments?
He would throw them out of the Land; for an individual who refused to follow His ways, Hashem would blot out his name from under heaven and the curses written in the Torah would fall upon him.
Was there any hope for them in the future?
Yes; if later they chose to follow Hashem's commandments, they could be redeemed.
Moshe said that Hashem's laws were not too hard for the people nor too far away. Where were they?
"...in your mouth and your heart"; also written in the Torah given to us by Hashem.
How old was Moshe when he spoke to the people in this week's parsha?
Moshe said that he would not cross the Jordan. Who did he say would cross first and who second?
How could Moshe tell the people to cross over into the land of their enemies without fear?
Because he knew that Hashem would precede them and destroy the nations so that Bnai Yisrael could dispossess them.
Moshe wrote the law, gave it to the priests and told them to do what with it, how often and when?
To read the law before all of Israel every 7th
year, during Succot.
Hashem told Moshe that he was about to expire; what did He predict would happen amongst the people and what would be his (Hashem's) response?
They would go astray after the foreign gods of the land, forsake Hashem, and break the covenant; Hashem would then hide his face from them and all manners of evil would befall the people.
What did Hashem say would be the reason that Bnai Yisrael would turn to other gods?
After He brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, they would eat their fill, wax fat and in their umbrage they would forget where it all came from.
Moshe predicted the people would soon be in rebellion. How did he conclude this?
If they had been rebellious even while Moshe was living, how much more so after his death.
The parsha begins: "And the Lord remembered Sarah..." What does that mean in this context?
It means that Hashem remembered His promise that from Avraham and Sarah would descend a great nation. Hashem remembered Sarah, and she conceived.
How old were Avraham and Sarah when Yitzchak was born?
100 and 90.
Who was Hagar, and how did she come to be Avraham's bondwoman?
Egyptian; daughter of Pharaoh; given to Avraham when he was in Egypt.
Where was Hagar sent when Avraham cast her out?
When Avraham and Sarah were living near Beersheva, who were most of the other people living there?
Avraham had a dispute with Avimelech about what, and how was it settled?
The dispute was about a well that Avimelech’s servants had seized. Avraham gave Avimelech sheep and cattle, and they made a covenant regarding the well.
We are told that Rosh Hashana is a day of blowing the horn. It is called yom what?
Avraham took Yizchak and two young men to go to Moriah to sacrifice Yizchak to Hashem. According to midrash, who were the two young men?
What did Avraham call the place where he was to have sacrificed Yitzchak, and what does the name mean?
Hashem Yireh - Hashem is seen (on the mountain).
What animal was to used for a sin offering?
A he-goat for a sin offering.
All of the animals to be sacrificed have something in common. What is it?
They were to have no blemishes.
In this Parsha, Moshe sings Hashem's praises to the Jewish people. At the beginning of their 40-year journey, he sang another song to them - where and when?
After they crossed the Red Sea.
What is the basic difference between the two songs?
As of the first song, the people were just starting out, and had not yet committed themselves to such evil ways. Now they are full of sins and this song describes how they have forsaken G-s laws.
What symbol is most used to describe Hashem in Moshe's song? How many times?
Rock; six times.
Moshe tells the people that in order to know how to return to Hashem's ways, they need to know what those ways are. How did he suggest they find out?
Ask their fathers and they would tell them.
Moshe says that Hashem guided Yaakov and he followed no strange gods. He says Hashem made Yaakov suck honey out of the crag and oil out of flinty rock. What does this mean?
That with Hashem's help and by following His laws, Yaakov was able to find sustenance in even the most difficult of Hashem's requirements.
What is the significance of the verse - "But Jeshrun waxed fat, and kicked - Thou didst wax fat, thou didst grow thick, thou didst become gross - And he forsook G-d who made him?"
When things begin to get too good and too easy for us, we tend to think that it all came about by our efforts and not by the help of Hashem. We begin to forget Hashem and to worship other gods.
Hashem thought to make an end to the Jewish people, but then decided not to. Why?
Because the nations would fail to see that this was retribution for Israel's waywardness; they would think that they were strong and Israel's G-d was weak.
Who was alongside Moshe when he sang his song to the people?.
After Moshe finished his song, he charged the people with what order?
To take heed of the words he had spoken that day, and to teach their children to observe Hashem's laws.
Where did Hashem tell Moshe to go to be gathered unto his people?
Mt. Nebo in Moab, within view of Jericho.
Moshe was not allowed to enter the land because he failed to sanctify G-d in the midst of the Jewish people by doing what where?
He struck the rock instead of speaking to it at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.
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