Parsha Q&A - Parshat Sh'mot

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Parsha Q&A

Parshat Sh'mot

For the week ending 25 Tevet 5761 / January 12 & 13, 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. Why does the verse say "And Yosef was in Egypt?"
    2. "...And they will go up out of the land." Who said this and what did he mean?
    3. Why did Pharaoh specifically choose water as the means of killing the Jewish boys? (Two reasons.)
    4. "She saw that he was good." What did she see "good" about Moshe that was unique?
    5. Which Hebrew men were fighting each other?
    6. Moshe was afraid that the Jewish People were not fit to be redeemed, because some among them committed a certain sin. What sin?
    7. Why did the Midianites drive Yitro's daughters away from the well?
    8. How did Yitro know that Moshe was Yaakov's descendant?
    9. What lesson was Moshe to learn from the fact that the burning bush was not consumed?
    10. What merit did the Jewish People have that warranted Hashem's promise to redeem them?
    11. Which expression of redemption would assure the people that Moshe was the true redeemer?
    12. What did the staff turning into a snake symbolize?
    13. Why didn't Moshe want to be the leader?
    14. "And Hashem was angry with Moshe..." What did Moshe lose as a result of this anger?
    15. What was special about Moshe's donkey?
    16. About which plague was Pharaoh warned first?
    17. Why didn't the elders accompany Moshe and Aharon to Pharaoh? How were they punished?
    18. Which tribe did not work as slaves?
    19. Who were the: a) nogsim b) shotrim?
    20. How were the shotrim rewarded for accepting the beatings on behalf of their fellow Jews?

    Kasha
    (kasha means "question")

    How would you answer this question on the Parsha?

    Emilio Kohn from Montevideo, Uruguay wrote:

    "And she called him Moshe, for she said: 'I drew him (m'shitihu) from the water.' " (2:10) "Moshe" was the name Pharaoh's daughter gave to the little baby. But wasn't there a name his parents gave him? I would like to know why, when we read the Torah we always find the name Moshe and not the other one?

    Dear Emilio Kohn,

    The Midrash relates that Moshe had 10 names. His father called him Chever, his mother called him Yekutiel, his sister Miriam called him Yered, etc. Yet the name given by Pharaoh's daughter was the one chosen by G-d. The Torah never refers to him by any name other than Moshe. Why?

    Pharaoh's daughter saved Moshe's life and adopted him and cared for him as her very own son. Therefore, she merited that her name prevailed. Moshe himself may have used this name out of gratitude to her. This teaches us the great importance of gratitude.

    Another reason the Torah calls him Moshe is the significance of the name itself. "Moshe" means that just as he was rescued and drawn from the water, so too he will he rescue others from hardship. And that is what he did.

    Shemot Rabbah 1:26, Vayikrah Rabbah 1:3

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


    I Did Not Know That!

    "Remove your shoes from upon your feet" (Shmot 3:5)

    Why does the verse say: "Remove your shoes from upon your feet?" Wouldn't "Remove your shoes" be enough? Certainly Moshe's shoes were on his feet!

    Rather, the word for shoe, na'al, can also mean glove (in Biblical Hebrew), as in the glove that Boaz gave when purchasing a field (Ruth 4:7). Therefore, the verse needs to specify "from upon your feet."

    Da'at Zekeinim M'Ba'alei HaTosefot Submitted by Avraham Yitzchak Elbaz, Jerusalem


    Recommended Reading List

    Ramban
    1:10
    Politics of Genocide
    2:2
    Certainty of Moshe's Rescue
    3:5
    The Burning Bush
    3:8
    Qualities of Eretz Yisrael
    3:12
    Moshe's Concerns
    3:18
    The Code Word for Redemption
    4:10
    Moshe's Speech Impediment
    4:13
    Moshe's Humility
    4:19
    Moshe's Family as Proof
    Sforno
    2:10
    Moshe's Name
    2:11,13,17
    Reactions to Injustice

    Kli Yakar
    2:2
    Light and Three Months
    2:7
    Prophecy of Miriam
    2:13
    Striking Words


    Answers to this Week's Questions

    Questions | Contents

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

    1. Why does the verse say "And Yosef was in Egypt?"
      1:5 - This verse adds that despite being in Egypt as a ruler, Yosef maintained his righteousness.

    2. "...And they will go up out of the land." Who said this and what did he mean?
      1:10 - Pharaoh said it, meaning that the Egyptians would be forced to leave Egypt.

    3. Why did Pharaoh specifically choose water as the means of killing the Jewish boys? (Two reasons.)
      1:10,22 - He hoped to escape Divine retribution, as Hashem promised never to flood the entire world. Also, his astrologers saw that the Jewish redeemer's downfall would be through water.

    4. "She saw that he was good." What did she see "good" about Moshe that was unique?
      2:2 - When he was born, the house was filled with light.

    5. Which Hebrew men were fighting each other?
      2:13 - Datan and Aviram.

    6. Moshe was afraid that the Jewish People were not fit to be redeemed, because some among them committed a certain sin. What sin?
      2:14 - Lashon hara (evil speech).

    7. Why did the Midianites drive Yitro's daughters away from the well?
      2:17 - Because a ban had been placed on Yitro for abandoning idol worship.

    8. How did Yitro know that Moshe was Yaakov's descendant?
      2:20 - The well water rose towards Moshe.

    9. What lesson was Moshe to learn from the fact that the burning bush was not consumed?
      3:12 - Just as the bush was not consumed, so too Moshe would be protected by Hashem.

    10. What merit did the Jewish People have that warranted Hashem's promise to redeem them?
      3:12 - That they were destined to receive the Torah.

    11. Which expression of redemption would assure the people that Moshe was the true redeemer?
      3:16,18 - "I surely remembered (pakod pakadeti)."

    12. What did the staff turning into a snake symbolize?
      4:3 - It symbolized that Moshe spoke ill of the Jews by saying that they wouldn't listen to him, just as the original snake sinned through speech.

    13. Why didn't Moshe want to be the leader?
      4:10 - He didn't want to take a position above that of his older brother, Aharon.

    14. "And Hashem was angry with Moshe..." What did Moshe lose as a result of this anger?
      4:14 - Moshe lost the privilege of being a kohen.

    15. What was special about Moshe's donkey?
      4:20 - It was used by Avraham for akeidat Yitzchak and will be used in the future by mashiach.

    16. About which plague was Pharaoh warned first?
      4:23 - Death of the firstborn.

    17. Why didn't the elders accompany Moshe and Aharon to Pharaoh? How were they punished?
      5:1 - The elders were accompanying Moshe and Aharon, but they were afraid and one by one they slipped away. Hence, at the giving of the Torah, the elders weren't allowed to ascend with Moshe.

    18. Which tribe did not work as slaves?
      5:5 - The tribe of Levi.

    19. Who were the: a) nogsim b) shotrim?
      5:6 - a) Egyptian taskmasters; b) Jewish officers.

    20. How were the shotrim rewarded for accepting the beatings on behalf of their fellow Jews?
      5:14 - They were chosen to be on the Sanhedrin.

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

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