Parsha Q&A - Parshat Matot/Masei

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Parsha Q&A

Parshat Matot/Masei

For the week ending July 21, 2001 / 2 Av 5761

Contents:
  • Parsha Questions
  • Kasha
  • I Did Not Know That!
  • Recommended Reading List
  • Answers to Parsha Questions
  • Back issues of Parsha Q&A
  • Subscription Information
  • Ohr Somayach Home Page

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    Parsha Questions

    Answers Contents

    Matot

    1. Who may annul a vow?
    2. When may a father annul his widowed daughter's vows?
    3. Why were the Jewish People not commanded to attack Moav, as they were to attack Midian?
    4. Those selected to fight Midian went unwillingly. Why?
    5. What holy vessels accompanied the Jewish People into battle?
    6. Those who killed in the war against Midian were required to remain outside the "machaneh" (camp). Which machaneh?
    7. Besides removing traces of forbidden food, what else is needed to make metal vessels obtained from a non-Jew fit for a Jewish owner?
    8. "We will build sheep-pens here for our livestock and cities for our little ones." What was improper about this statement?
    9. During the conquest of the Land, where did Bnei Gad and Bnei Reuven position themselves?
    10. What promise did Bnei Gad and Bnei Reuven make beyond that which Moshe required?

    Masei
    1. Why does the Torah list the places where the Jewish People camped?
    2. Why did the King of Arad feel at liberty to attack the Jewish People?
    3. What length was the camp in the midbar?
    4. Why does the Torah need to specify the boundaries that are to be inherited by the Jewish People?
    5. What was the nesi'im's role in dividing the Land?
    6. When did the three cities east of the Jordan begin to function as refuge cities?
    7. There were six refuge cities, three on each side of the Jordan. Yet, on the east side of the Jordan there were only two and a half tribes. Why did they need three cities?
    8. To be judged as an intentional murderer, what type of weapon must the murderer use?
    9. Why is the kohen gadol blamed for accidental deaths?
    10. When an ancestral field moves by inheritance from one tribe to another, what happens to it in yovel?

    Recommended Reading List


    Matot

    Ramban
    30:16
      Responsibility
    31:2,6 Vengeance
    31:23 Cleansing Vessels
    31:36   Miracle of the Spoils
    31:49   Jewish Victory
    32:33   Menashe's Inheritance
    32:41   Yair's Ancestry
    Sforno
    31:15  
    The Meaning of Silence
       

    Masei

    Ramban
    33:53   The Land
    35:14   Cities of Refuge
    35:29   The Sanhedrin
         
    Kli Yakar
    33:49
      The Greater Loss
    35:6   Temporary Dweller
         
    Sefer Hachinuch
    408
     
    Cities of the Levi'im
    409   Capital Punishment
    410   Exile
         
    Sforno
    33:1   The Merit of the Journeys
    36:4   The Inheritance of Daughters
    36:12   The Husbands of the Daughters of Tzlofchad
         


    Kasha

    How would you answer this question on the Parsha?

    F. V. from Holland asked:
    Here's a question that has baffled me for years: Why in Parshat Matot is the casualty report given after the counting of the spoils? The verse says Moshe counted and apportioned all the spoils captured in the war against Midian (Bamidbar 31:25-46); afterward the captains reported, "We have taken a head-count of the warriors under our charge, and not one man is missing." (31:48-9) Shouldn't they have counted the soldiers first to see if any died? Aren't people more important than things?

    Answer:
    Dear F.V.,
    The captains' report was not a casualty report. Rather, they were saying that they monitored every soldier during the entire battle, and not one was ever missing from surveillance; and hence, no one sinned with any of the Midianite women.
    Ramban


    Do you have a Kasha? Write to kasha@ohr.edu with your questions on any Parsha!


    I Did Not Know That!

    The phrases "Bnei Gad" and "Bnei Reuven" appear eight times in connection with taking their inheritance before the other tribes. Thus, the tribe of Gad and Reuven were exiled from that inheritance eight years before the other tribes.
    Ba'al Haturim



    Answers to this Week's Questions

    Questions Contents

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

    Matot

    1. Who may annul a vow?
      30:2 - Preferably, an expert in the laws of nedarim. Otherwise, three ordinary people.
    2. When may a father annul his widowed daughter's vows?
      30:10 - If she is under 12 and 1/2 years old and widowed before she was fully married.
    3. Why were the Jewish People not commanded to attack Moav, as they were to attack Midian?
      31:2 - Because Moav only acted out of fear against the Jewish People. Also, Ruth was destined to come from Moav.
    4. Those selected to fight Midian went unwillingly. Why?
      31:5 - They knew that Moshe's death would follow.
    5. What holy vessels accompanied the Jewish People into battle?
      31:6 - The aron and the tzitz.
    6. Those who killed in the war against Midian were required to remain outside the "machaneh" (camp). Which machaneh?
      31:19 - The Machaneh Shechina.
    7. Besides removing traces of forbidden food, what else is needed to make metal vessels obtained from a non-Jew fit for a Jewish owner?
      31:23 - Immersion in a mikveh.
    8. "We will build sheep-pens here for our livestock and cities for our little ones." What was improper about this statement?
      32:16 - They showed more regard for their property than for their children.
    9. During the conquest of the Land, where did Bnei Gad and Bnei Reuven position themselves?
      32:17 - At the head of the troops.
    10. What promise did Bnei Gad and Bnei Reuven make beyond that which Moshe required?
      32:24 - Moshe required them to remain west of the Jordan during the conquest of the Land. They promised to remain after the conquest until the Land was divided among the tribes.

    Masei
    1. Why does the Torah list the places where the Jewish People camped?
      33:1 - To show Hashem's love of the Jewish People. Although it was decreed that they wander in the desert, they did not travel continuously. During 38 years, they moved only 20 times.
    2. Why did the King of Arad feel at liberty to attack the Jewish People?
      33:40 - When Aharon died, the clouds of glory protecting the Jewish People departed.
    3. What length was the camp in the midbar?
      33:49 - Twelve mil.
    4. Why does the Torah need to specify the boundaries that are to be inherited by the Jewish People?
      34:2 - Because certain mitzvot apply only in the Land.
    5. What was the nesi'im's role in dividing the Land?
      34:17 - Each nasi represented his tribe. He also allocated the inheritance to each family in his tribe.
    6. When did the three cities east of the Jordan begin to function as refuge cities?
      35:13 - After Yehoshua separated three cities west of the Jordan.
    7. There were six refuge cities, three on each side of the Jordan. Yet, on the east side of the Jordan there were only two and a half tribes. Why did they need three cities?
      35:14 - Because murders were more common there.
    8. To be judged as an intentional murderer, what type of weapon must the murderer use?
      35:16 - One capable of inflicting lethal injury.
    9. Why is the kohen gadol blamed for accidental deaths?
      35:25 - He should have prayed that such things not occur.
    10. When an ancestral field moves by inheritance from one tribe to another, what happens to it in yovel?
      36:4 - It remains with the new tribe.

     


    Written and Compiled by Rabbi Eliyahu Kane & Rabbi Reuven Subar
    General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
    Production Design: Michael Treblow

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