Torah Portion Q&A's
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Transcript of Torah Portion Q&A's
Torah Portion Q&A's
Bereishit Why does the Torah start with the account of Creation? 1:1 - So that when the nations accuse us of stealing Eretz Canaan from the Canaanites, we can respond that Hashem, as Creator, has the right to give the land to whomever He sees fit, and He gave Eretz Canaan to us. What happened to the light that was created on the first day? 1:4 - Hashem saw that the wicked would be unworthy of it so He hid it for the righteous. Why isn't the word "good" associated with the second day? 1:7 - Because the work with the water wasn't completed until the third day. Anything that is incomplete is not "good." How were the trees supposed to taste? 1:11 - The wood was to have the taste of the fruit. On which day were the sun and moon created? 1:14 - They were created on the first day and suspended in the firmament on the fourth day. Hashem blessed the birds to be fruitful and to multiply. Why did He not do so with the beasts? 1:22 - He did not want the serpent, who was to be cursed, to receive a blessing. In whose likeness was man fashioned? 1:26 - In the likeness of the angels. What kind of food did Adam eat? 1:30 - Vegetation. Why is "the sixth day" written with the definite article? 1:31 "The" in Hebrew is the letter hey, which has a numerical value of five. Hashem created the world on the condition that it will endure only if the Jewish People accept the Five Books of the Torah. At the end of the sixth day what was the world still lacking? 2:2 - Rest. Why was man made from dust gathered from the entire earth? 2:7 - So that wherever he might die, the earth would receive his body. How is man superior to the animals? 2:7 - He was given understanding and speech. Why was it not good that man be alone? 2:18 - If he were alone, he would appear to be a god; The creation of woman emphasized man's dependence. Where do we learn that one must not add to a commandment from Hashem? 3:3 - From Chava. Hashem commanded not to eat from the tree but she added not to touch it. Because she added to the command she eventually came to transgress it. What does it mean that Adam and Chava "knew that they were naked"? 3:7 - They had been given one commandment and they had stripped themselves of it. Why did Hevel choose to be a shepherd? 4:2 - Since the ground had been cursed he refrained from cultivating it.New Section 1 Page 1
4:2 - Since the ground had been cursed he refrained from cultivating it. What was the marital practice of the generation who lived before the flood? 4:19 - They married two wives, one with whom to have children. The other one was given a potion which prevented her from bearing children. What did Tuval-Cain invent? 4:22 - Murder weapons. Why did Chanoch die at a young age? 5:22 - Though he was righteous, he was easily influenced; therefore Hashem took him before his time to protect him from sinning. What was the sign that Shem was born with great propensity for righteousness? 5:32 - He was born already circumcised.
Noach Which particular sin sealed the fate of the flood generation? 6:13 - Robbery. Why did Hashem tell Noach to build an ark, as opposed to saving him via some other method? 6:14 - So that people would see Noach building the ark and ask him what he was doing. When Noach would answer, "Hashem is bringing a flood," it might encourage some people to repent. The ark had three levels. What function did each level serve? 6:16 - The top level housed the people, the middle level housed the animals, and the bottom level, the refuse. What indication do we have that Noach was familiar with the Torah? 7:2 - Hashem told him to take into the ark seven of each kosher-type animal, and two of each non-kosher type. "Kosher" and "non-kosher" are Torah concepts. Why did Hashem postpone bringing the flood for seven days? 7:4 - To allow seven days to mourn the death of Metushelach. Why did the first water of the flood come down as light rain? 7:12 - To give the generation a chance to repent. What did people say that threatened Noach, and what did Hashem do to protect him? 7:13,15 - People said, "If we see him going into the ark, we'll smash it!" Hashem surrounded it with bears and lions to kill any attackers. What grouping of creatures escaped the punishment of the flood? 7:22 - The fish. How deeply was the ark submerged in the water? 8:4 - Eleven amot. What did the olive branch symbolize? 8:11 - Nothing. It was a leaf, not a branch. (The olive leaf symbolized that its better to eat food "bitter like an olive" but which comes directly from Hashem, rather than sweet food provided by humans.) How long did the punishment of the flood last? 8:14 - A full solar year. A solar year is how many days longer than a lunar year? 8:14 - Eleven days. When did humans receive permission to eat meat? 9:3 - After the flood.New Section 1 Page 2
9:3 - After the flood. What prohibition was given along with the permission to eat meat? 9:4 - The prohibition of eating a limb cut from a living animal. Why does the command to "be fruitful and multiply" directly follow the prohibition of murder? 9:7 - To equate one who purposely abstains from having children to one who commits murder. Name two generations in which the rainbow never appeared. 9:12 - The generation of King Chizkiyahu and the generation of Shimon bar Yochai. Why did Noach curse Canaan specifically? Give two reasons. 9:22,24 - Because Canaan is the one who revealed Noachs disgrace to Cham. And because Cham stopped Noach from fathering a fourth son. Thus, Noach cursed Cham's fourth son, Canaan. Why does the Torah call Nimrod a mighty hunter? 10:9 - He used words to ensnare the minds of people, persuading them to rebel against Hashem. The sin of the generation of the dispersion was greater than the sin of the generation of the flood. Why was the punishment of the former less severe? 11:9 - They lived together peacefully. Why was Sarah also called Yiscah? 11:29 - The word "Yiscah" is related to the Hebrew word "to see." Sarah was called Yiscah because she could "see" the future via prophecy. Also, because of her beauty, everyone would gaze at her.
Lech Lecha What benefits did G-d promise Avraham if he would leave his home? 12:1 - He would become a great nation, his excellence would become known to the world, and he would be blessed with wealth. "And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you." What does this mean? 12:3 - A person will say to his child, "You should be like Avraham." Who were the souls that Avraham and Sarah "made?" 12:5 - People they converted to the worship of G-d. What were the Canaanites doing in the Land of Canaan when Avraham arrived? 12:6 - They were in the process of conquering the land from the descendants of Shem. Why did Avraham build an altar at Ai? 12:8 - He foresaw the Jewish People's defeat there in the days of Yehoshua due to Achans sin. He built an altar to pray for them. What two results did Avraham hope to achieve by saying that Sarah was his sister? 12:13 - That the Egyptians would not kill him, and would give him presents. Why did Avraham's shepherds rebuke Lot's shepherds? 13:7 Lot's shepherds grazed their flocks in privately owned fields. Who was Amrafel and why was he called that? 14:1 - Amrafel was Nimrod. He said (amar ) to Avraham to fall (fel ) into the fiery furnace. Verse 14:7 states that the four kings "smote all the country of the Amalekites". How is this possible, since Amalek had not yet been born? 14:7 - The Torah uses the name that the place would bear in the future.New Section 1 Page 3
14:7 - The Torah uses the name that the place would bear in the future. Why did the "palit " tell Avraham of Lot's capture? 14:13- He wanted Avraham to die trying to save Lot so that he himself could marry Sarah. Who accompanied Avraham in battle against the four kings? 14:14 - His servant, Eliezer. Why couldn't Avraham chase the four kings past Dan? 4:14 - He saw prophetically that his descendants would make a golden calf there, and as a result his strength failed. Why did Avraham give "ma'aser " specifically to Malki-Tzedek? 14:20 - Because Malki-Tzedek was a kohen. Why didn't Avraham accept any money from Sodom's king? 14:23 - G-d had promised Avraham wealth, and Avraham didn't want Sodom's King to say, "I made Avraham wealthy." When did the decree of 400 years of exile begin? 15:13 - With the birth of Yitzchak. What did G-d indicate with His promise that Avraham would "come to his ancestors in peace"? 15:15 - That his father, Terach, would repent and become righteous. How did G-d fulfill His promise that Avraham would be buried in "a good old age"? 15:15 - Avraham lived to see his son Yishmael repent and become righteous, and he died before his grandson Esav became wicked. Why did the Jewish People need to wait until the fourth generation until they returned to Eretz Canaan? 15:16 - They needed to wait until the Amorites had sinned sufficiently to deserve expulsion. Who was Hagar's father? 16:1 - Pharaoh. Why did Avraham fall on his face when G-d appeared to him? 17:3 - Because he was as yet uncircumcised.
Vayeira Why did G-d appear to Avraham after the brit mila? 18:1 - Avraham was sick, so G-d came to "visit" him. Why was Avraham sitting at the entrance to his tent? 18:1 - He was looking for guests. What were the missions of the three angels? 18:2 - To announce Yitzchak's birth, to heal Avraham and to destroy Sodom. Why did Avraham enjoin the guests to wash the dust off their feet? 18:4 - He thought they were among those who worship the dust, and he didnt want any object of idolatry in his home. Why did Avraham ask specifically Yishmael, and not someone else, to prepare food for the guests? 18:7 - To train him in the performance of mitzvot. Why did the angels ask Avraham where Sarah was? 18:9 - To call attention to Sarahs modesty, so as to endear her to her husband. When G-d related Sarahs thoughts to Avraham, He did not relate them precisely. W