Parsha Q&A

For the week ending 15 February 2014 / 15 Adar I 5774

Parshat Ki Tisa

The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Questions

  1. How many "geira" are in a shekel?
  2. What was the minimum age of military service in the Jewish army?
  3. What were the three different types of terumah donated?
  4. The Jews were counted after Yom Kippur and again after Pesach. Both times they numbered the same amount. How can this be? Didn't some 19-year olds turn 20 during that six month period?
  5. How many ingredients comprise the incense of the Mishkan?
  6. According to Rashi, why are sailors called "malachim?"
  7. What is the difference between chochma (wisdom), bina (understanding), and da'at (knowledge)?
  8. Shabbat is a "sign." What does it signify?
  9. When did the Jewish People begin to give contributions for the building of the Mishkan?
  10. How many books are there in Tanach?
  11. From where did the men take the earrings that they donated to make the calf?
  12. Why did Aharon build the altar for the golden calf by himself?
  13. Why did Moshe break the Tablets?
  14. How can two brothers belong to two different tribes?
  15. Why did Moshe ask that his name be erased from the Torah?
  16. How has the sin of the golden calf affected the Jewish People throughout history?
  17. In verse 33:2, G-d says that the inhabitants of Eretz Canaan would be driven out of the Land. In that verse, only six of the seven Canaanite nations are mentioned. What happened to the seventh?
  18. How did G-d show that He forgave the Jewish People?
  19. How did Moshe become wealthy?
  20. How do the light rays shining from Moshe's face show us the powerful effect of sin?

Answers

All references are to the verses and Rashi’s commentary, unless otherwise stated.

  1. How many "geira" are in a shekel?
    30:13 - Twenty.
  2. What was the minimum age of military service in the Jewish army?
    30:14 - Twenty.
  3. What were the three different types of terumah donated?
    30:15 - For the adanim (sockets), for the purchase of communal sacrifices, and for the building of the Mishkan.
  4. The Jews were counted after Yom Kippur and again after Pesach. Both times they numbered the same amount. How can this be? Didn't some 19-year olds turn 20 during that six month period?
    30:16 - Their ages were calculated based on Rosh Hashana, not based on their individual birthdays.
  5. How many ingredients comprise the incense of the Mishkan?
    30:34 - Eleven ingredients were used making the incense.
  6. According to Rashi, why are sailors called "malachim?"
    30:35 - Because they stir (malach) the water with their oars.
  7. What is the difference between chochma (wisdom), bina (understanding), and da'at (knowledge)?
    31:3 - Chochma is knowledge acquired from others. Bina is the deduction of new knowledge from what one has already learned. Da'at is holy inspiration.
  8. Shabbat is a "sign." What does it signify?
    31:13 - It is a sign between G-d and the Jewish People that He has chosen them and a sign to the nations of the world that He has sanctified the Jewish People.
  9. When did the Jewish People begin to give contributions for the building of the Mishkan?
    31:18 - The 11th of Tishrei.
  10. How many books are there in Tanach?
    31:18 - 24.
  11. From where did the men take the earrings that they donated to make the calf?
    32:2,3 - From their ears.
  12. Why did Aharon build the altar for the golden calf by himself?
    32:5 - He hoped that by building it by himself it would take longer and in the interim Moshe would return.
  13. Why did Moshe break the Tablets?
    32:19 - Moshe reasoned: If the Torah forbids those who have estranged themselves from the Torah to partake in even a single commandment (Pesach sacrifice), surely the entire Torah cannot be given to a whole nation which has estranged itself from G-d!
  14. How can two brothers belong to two different tribes?
    32:27 - Half-brothers, sharing the same mother.
  15. Why did Moshe ask that his name be erased from the Torah?
    32:32 - So people shouldn't say "Moshe was unworthy to plead for mercy on behalf of the Jewish people."
  16. How has the sin of the golden calf affected the Jewish People throughout history?
    32:34 - Whenever G-d punishes the Jewish People, part of that punishment comes as payment for the sin of the golden calf.
  17. In verse 33:2, G-d says that the inhabitants of Eretz Canaan would be driven out of the Land. In that verse, only six of the seven Canaanite nations are mentioned. What happened to the seventh?
    33:2 - The seventh nation, the Girgashites, voluntarily emigrated.
  18. How did G-d show that He forgave the Jewish People?
    33:14 - He agreed to let His Shechina dwell among them.
  19. How did Moshe become wealthy?
    34:1 - Moshe carved the Tablets out of precious stone. G-d commanded Moshe to keep the leftover fragments.
  20. How do the light rays shining from Moshe's face show us the powerful effect of sin?
    34:35 - Before the sin of the golden calf, the people would not have been afraid to look at the light rays, but after the sin they were afraid.

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