Parsha Q&A - Parshat Va'etchanan

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Parsha Q&A

Parshat Va'etchanan

For the week ending August 4, 2001 / 15 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

  • This publication is also available in the following formats: [Text] Explanation of these symbols


    Parsha Questions

    Answers Contents

    1. "And I prayed to Hashem at that time." Why "at that time"?
    2. What characteristic trait is represented by Hashem's "strong hand"?
    3. What is ha'levanon?
    4. What did Hashem tell Yehoshua after the battle of Ai?
    5. What will happen if the Jewish People fail to keep the mitzvot properly?
    6. How did the decree that Moshe not enter the Land affect him even in death?
    7. What is hinted by the word v'noshantem?
    8. Why were the Jewish People exiled two years earlier than indicated by Moshe's prophecy?
    9. "You'll serve man-made gods." Is this literal?
    10. Why is east called mizrach?
    11. "Keep the Shabbat day as I have commanded you." When had Hashem previously commanded us to keep Shabbat?
    12. Where did the Jewish People first receive the command to honor parents?
    13. What is meant by "Hashem, our G-d, Hashem is One"?
    14. What are two meanings of loving Hashem "with all your might"?
    15. How well-versed must one be in Torah?
    16. Where does the word totafot come from?
    17. Who is fit to swear in Hashem's name?
    18. What does it mean that the Jews are the "smallest nation"?
    19. When someone serves Hashem with love, how many generations receive reward?
    20. Why are evil-doers rewarded in this world?

    Recommended Reading List


     
    Ramban
    4:2   Adding or Subtracting
    4:9 Mt. Sinai
    4:27 Dispersion
    6:5   Love and Fear
    6:18   Spirit of the Law
    6:20   Significance of the Mitzvot
    7:6   Hashem's People
    Sforno
    4:3
      Baal-Peor
    4:9   Philosophy
    4:39   Aleinu
    6:4   Shema Yisrael
     
    Sefer Hachinuch
    416   Coveting Property
    418   Loving Hashem
    419   Learning Torah
    420   Reading the Shema
    421   Tefillin of the Hand
    422   Tefillin of the Head
    423   Mezuza
    427   Intermarriage


    Kasha

    How would you answer this question on the Parsha?

    "And I prayed to Hashem at that time....(3:23)" Rashi: "After I conquered the land of Sichon and Og, I thought perhaps the vow had been annulled."

    According to Rashi, Moshe thought, being that he had merited to see the beginning of the conquest of the land with the defeat of Sichon and Og, that perhaps the vow against his entering the Land had been annulled (see question and answer #1 above). If so – if the vow against his entering the Land had been annulled – why, then, did Moshe need to pray this special prayer to enter the Land?

    Answer. There are two types of decrees: A decree with a vow, and a decree without a vow. The former, a decree with a vow, cannot be rescinded through prayer; so, as long as Moshe thought the vow was in place, praying to rescind the decree would have been futile. Only after Moshe thought that perhaps the vow had been annulled was he able to pray for the rescinding of the decree.

    Rabbi Yitzchak Ze'ev Solevetchik (The Brisker Rav)

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


    I Did Not Know That!

    "Let me see the good land which is across the Jordan; this good mountain and the levanon." (3:25) "This good mountain" is Jerusalem (Rashi).
    The Midrash writes that Jerusalem has 70 names; the Midrash lists the following names of Jerusalem:

    Yerushalayim, Shalom, Yireh, Yabus, Gilad, Levanon, Zion, Marom Yam, Kiseh Hashem, Ir David, Yefeh Nof, Har Zion, Yarcetai Zaphon, Kiryat Melech Rav, Mesos Kol Ha'aretz, Beulah, Cheftzi Bah, Even Meamsah, Ephratah, Sadeh, Ya'ar, Menuchah, Ariel, Har Moed, Yapheh, Betulah, Kallah, Eshet Neurim, Rabati Am, Rabati Bagoyim, Sarati Bamdinot, Ir Shechubrah Lah, Bet Tefilla, Migdal Eder, Metzudah, Yedidut, Derushah, Ir Lo Ne'ezavah, Giloh, Eden Gan Hashem, Har Marom Hashem, Kedoshim, Akarah, Moriah, Har Gevoah, Ir Hayonah, Kiryah Ne'emana, Ir Hatzedek, Gai Chizayon, Daltot Ha'amim, Bamot Nachalah, Har Hakodesh, Har Chemed, Givat Halevona, Ir David, Ir Hanegev, Har Marom, Yisrael Shem Chadash, Ir Yisrael, Gan Eden Hashem, Yerushah, Ir David Hanegev, Har Marom Yisrael, Shalem, Asher Pi Hasham Yekabenu.
    (This list appears to omit 5 of the 70 names.)

    Midrash Zutah to Shir Hashirim, Chapter 1


    Answers to this Week's Questions

    Questions Contents

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

    1. "And I prayed to Hashem at that time." Why "at that time"?
      3:23 - Defeating Sichon and Og, whose lands were part of Eretz Canaan, Moshe thought perhaps Hashem had annulled the vow against his entering the Land.
    2. What characteristic trait is represented by Hashem's "strong hand"?
      3:24 - His willingness to forgive.
    3. What is ha'levanon?
      3:25 - Ha'levanon means the Beit Hamikdash, which makes "white" (lavan), i.e., atones for, the Jewish People.
    4. What did Hashem tell Yehoshua after the battle of Ai?
      3:28 - Yehoshua must lead the army into battle.
    5. What will happen if the Jewish People fail to keep the mitzvot properly?
      4:9 - The non-Jewish world will regard them as foolish.
    6. How did the decree that Moshe not enter the Land affect him even in death?
      4:22 - Even his remains weren't buried in the Land.
    7. What is hinted by the word v'noshantem?
      4:25 - The gematria of v'noshantem, 852, hints at the number of years until the first exile.
    8. Why were the Jewish People exiled two years earlier than indicated by Moshe's prophecy?
      4:25 - So that the rest of the prophecy "that you shall utterly perish" would not be fulfilled.
    9. "You'll serve man-made gods." Is this literal?
      4:28 - No. It means you'll serve others who serve idols.
    10. Why is east called mizrach?
      4:41 - It's the direction from which the sun shines (mizrach means shining).
    11. "Keep the Shabbat day as I have commanded you." When had Hashem previously commanded us to keep Shabbat?
      5:13 - Before Matan Torah, at Marah. (Shmot 15:25)
    12. Where did the Jewish People first receive the command to honor parents?
      5:16 - At Marah. (Shmot 15:25).
    13. What is meant by "Hashem, our G-d, Hashem is One"?
      6:4 - Hashem, who is now our G-d, but not [accepted as] G-d of the other nations, will eventually be [accepted as] the one and only G-d.
    14. What are two meanings of loving Hashem "with all your might"?
      6:5 - 1) With everything you own. 2) Whether Hashem treats you with kindness or harshness.
    15. How well-versed must one be in Torah?
      6:7 - If asked a Torah question, one should be able to reply quickly and clearly.
    16. Where does the word totafot come from?
      6:8 - Tot means two in Caspi. Fot means two in Afriki. Together they allude to the four sections of tefillin.
    17. Who is fit to swear in Hashem's name?
      6:13 - One who serves Hashem and reveres His name.
    18. What does it mean that the Jews are the "smallest nation"?
      7:7 - B'nei Yisrael are the humblest nation.
    19. When someone serves Hashem with love, how many generations receive reward?
      7:9 - 2,000.
    20. Why are evil-doers rewarded in this world?
      7:10 - So that they get no reward in the next world.

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

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