Parsha Q&A - Parshat Beshalach

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Parsha Q&A

Parshat Beshalach

For the week ending 17 Shevat 5761 / February 9 & 10, 2001

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. What percentage of the Jewish people died during the plague of darkness?
    2. Why did the oath that Yosef administered to his brothers apply to Moshe's generation?
    3. Why did the Egyptians want to pursue the Jewish People?
    4. Where did the Egyptians get animals to pull their chariots?
    5. What does it mean that the Jewish people "took hold of their fathers' craft" (tafsu umnut avotam)?
    6. How did Hashem cause the wheels of the Egyptian chariots to fall off?
    7. Why were the dead Egyptians cast out of the sea?
    8. To what future time is the verse hinting when it uses the future tense of "Then Moshe and Bnei Yisrael will sing"?
    9. Why are the Egyptians compared to stone, lead and straw?
    10. The princes of Edom and Moav had nothing to fear from the Jewish People. Why, then, were they "confused and gripped with trembling?"
    11. Moshe foretold that he would not enter the Land of Israel. Which word in the Parsha indicates this?
    12. Why is Miriam referred to as "Aharon's sister" and not as "Moshe's sister"?
    13. The Jewish women trusted that Hashem would grant the Jewish People a miraculous victory over the Egyptians. How do we see this?
    14. Which sections of the Torah did the Jewish People receive at Marah?
    15. When did Bnei Yisrael run out of food?
    16. What lesson in derech eretz concerning the eating of meat is taught in this week's Parsha?
    17. How did non-Jews experience the taste of the manna?
    18. The Prophet Yirmiyahu showed the Jewish People a jar of manna prepared in the time of Moshe. Why?
    19. Which verse in this week's Parsha alludes to the plague of blood?
    20. Why did Moshe's hands become heavy during the war against Amalek?

    Kasha
    (kasha means "question")

    How would you answer this question on the Parsha?

    "Behold I am going to rain bread from the Heavens..." (Shemot 16:4)

    Shlomo Kagan asked:

    We say a blessing on all food before we eat it, and different types of food have different blessings. So, what blessing did they say when they ate manna in the dessert?

    ANSWER: The Rama from Pano writes that they said "Blessed are You, Hashem our G-d, Master of the Universe, Who brings forth bread from the Heavens." Others write that no blessing was said, as the obligation is only to bless upon food that comes from this world, whereas the manna was Heavenly food from the World to Come. A third opinion is that they said "borei minei mezonot...Who creates types of sustenance." And a fourth view is that there was no fixed blessing because each person tasted in the manna any flavor he desired; therefore, the blessing said depended on the flavor that the person wanted to taste.

    Source: Sefer Ebaya Lehu, R. Greenbaum p.107

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


    I Did Not Know That!

    "Macho Emche ... I [G-d] will obliterate the remembrance of Amalek" (Shemot 17:14).

    The phrase "I will obliterate" (macho emche) has the same numeric value as the phrase "this refers to Haman" (ze Haman), Amalek's most infamous descendant.

    Ba'al HaTurim


    Recommended Reading List

    Ramban
    14:4
    The Miracle of Egyptian Pursuit
    14:13
    Promise or Command?
    14:15
    No Need to Cry
    14:21
    Nature or Miracle?
    15:19
    When the Shira was Sung
    16:4
    The Purpose of Trial (part 2)
    17:9
    The War Against Amalek
    Ibn Ezra
    14:13
    Slave Mentality
    14:29-30
    Drowning and Dry Land

    Malbim
    14:11-12
    Red or Dead
    14:16
    The Ten Miracles of the Crossing of the Sea


    Answers to this Week's Questions

    Questions | Contents

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

    1. What percentage of the Jewish people died during the plague of darkness?
      13:18 - Eighty percent (four-fifths).

    2. Why did the oath that Yosef administered to his brothers apply to Moshe's generation?
      13:19 - Yosef made his brothers swear that they would make their children swear.

    3. Why did the Egyptians want to pursue the Jewish People?
      14:5 - To regain their wealth.

    4. Where did the Egyptians get animals to pull their chariots?
      14:7 - From those Egyptians who feared the word of Hashem and kept their animals inside during the plagues.

    5. What does it mean that the Jewish people "took hold of their fathers' craft" (tafsu umnut avotam)?
      14:10 - They cried out to Hashem.

    6. How did Hashem cause the wheels of the Egyptian chariots to fall off?
      14:25 - He melted them with fire.

    7. Why were the dead Egyptians cast out of the sea?
      14:30 - So that the Jewish People would see the destruction of the Egyptians and be assured of no further pursuit.

    8. To what future time is the verse hinting when it uses the future tense of "Then Moshe and Bnei Yisrael will sing"?
      15:1 - Resurrection of the dead during the time of mashiach.

    9. Why are the Egyptians compared to stone, lead and straw?
      15:5 - The wickedest ones floated like straw, dying slowly. The average ones suffered less, sinking like stone. Those still more righteous sunk like lead, dying immediately.

    10. The princes of Edom and Moav had nothing to fear from the Jewish People. Why, then, were they "confused and gripped with trembling?"
      15:14 - They felt horrible seeing Israel in a state of glory.

    11. Moshe foretold that he would not enter the Land of Israel. Which word in the Parsha indicates this?
      15:17 - "T'vi-aimo..." -- "Bring them" (and not "bring us").

    12. Why is Miriam referred to as "Aharon's sister" and not as "Moshe's sister"?
      15:20 - Aharon put himself at risk for her when she was struck with tzara'at. (See Bamidbar 12:12)

    13. The Jewish women trusted that Hashem would grant the Jewish People a miraculous victory over the Egyptians. How do we see this?
      15:20 - They brought musical instruments with them in preparation for the miraculous victory celebration.

    14. Which sections of the Torah did the Jewish People receive at Marah?
      15:25 - Shabbat, Red Heifer, Judicial Laws.

    15. When did Bnei Yisrael run out of food?
      16:1 - 15th of Iyar.

    16. What lesson in derech eretz concerning the eating of meat is taught in this week's Parsha?
      16:8 - One should not eat meat to the point of satiation.

    17. How did non-Jews experience the taste of the manna?
      16:21 - The sun melted whatever manna remained in the fields. This flowed into streams from which animals drank. Whoever ate these animals tasted manna.

    18. The Prophet Yirmiyahu showed the Jewish People a jar of manna prepared in the time of Moshe. Why?
      16:32 - The people claimed they couldn't study Torah because they were too busy earning a livelihood. Yirmiyahu showed them the manna saying: "If you study Torah, G-d will provide for you just as he provided for your ancestors in the desert."

    19. Which verse in this week's Parsha alludes to the plague of blood?
      17:5 - "And your staff with which you smote the river...."

    20. Why did Moshe's hands become heavy during the war against Amalek?
      17:12 - Because he was remiss in his duty, since he, not Yehoshua, should have led the battle.

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

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