Parsha Q&A - Parshat Va'era

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Parsha Q&A

Parshat Va'era

For the week ending 3 Shevat 5761 / January 26 & 27, 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. Did Hashem ever appear to Avraham and say "I am Hashem?"
    2. What cause did the forefathers have to question Hashem?
    3. How was Moshe commanded to act towards Pharaoh?
    4. How long did Levi live?
    5. Who was Aharon's wife? Who was her father? Who was her brother?
    6. Why are Yitro and Yosef both referred to as "Putiel?"
    7. After which plague did Hashem begin to "harden Pharaoh's heart?"
    8. Why did Pharaoh go to the Nile every morning?
    9. Give two reasons why the blood was chosen as the first plague.
    10. How long did the plague of blood last?
    11. Why did the frogs affect Pharaoh's house first?
    12. What did Moshe mean when he told Pharaoh that the frogs would be "in you and in your nation?"
    13. What are "chamarim?"
    14. Why didn't Moshe strike the dust to initiate the plague of lice?
    15. Why were the Egyptian sorcerers unable to bring lice?
    16. What were the Egyptians likely to do if they saw the Jews slaughtering lambs?
    17. Why didn't the wild beasts die as the frogs had?
    18. The dever killed "all the cattle of Egypt." Later, boils afflicted their cattle. How can this be?
    19. Why did Moshe pray only after leaving the city?
    20. What was miraculous about the way the hail stopped falling?

    Kasha
    (kasha means "question")

    How would you answer this question on the Parsha?

    "And Pharaoh's sorcerers did this as well (turning water into blood)...
    and Pharaoh's heart was hardened." (Exodus 7:22)

    "And the sorcerers did this as well, and the frogs came upon the land of Egypt." (Exodus 8:3)

    Name@Withheld wrote:

    I always thought the plagues were supposed to prove that Moshe was sent by G-d, because only G-d had the power to make such plagues. If so, what was the purpose of the first two plagues, blood and frogs, which Pharaoh's sorcerers were able to duplicate? If they could also do it, what did it prove?

    ANSWER: Although Pharaoh's sorcerers could do the first two plagues, they couldn't un-do them. Only Moshe was able to turn the blood back into water and to make the frogs go away.

    Midrash Sechel Tov

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


    I Did Not Know That!

    "And G-d said to Moshe, 'Come to Pharaoh...' " (9:1)

    G-d commanded Moshe to enter Pharaoh's palace without even asking permission. Despite the armed guards, lions and guard dogs that protected Pharaoh's palace, Moshe was able to enter unhindered, and this itself was a great miracle.

    Ohr Hachayim Hakadosh


    Recommended Reading List

    Ramban
    6:2
    Subtle and Sensational Miracles
    6:6
    Four Dimensions of Redemption
    6:9
    Why Moshe was Ignored
    6:10
    The Meaning of "Leimor"
    7:3
    The Free Will of Pharaoh
    (also see Siftei Chachamim on Rashi)
    8:6
    Why Pharaoh said "Tomorrow"
    8:18,25
    Uniqueness of Fourth Plague
    9:3
    The Cattle in the Field
    Sforno
    7:3
    Pharaoh's Hard Heart
    8:12
    Structure of the Plagues.
    9:14
    Effects of the Plagues

    Kli Yakar
    6:26-27
    Aharon and Moshe
    7:17
    Three Sets of Plagues
    8:27
    "Mesirat Nefesh" of the Frogs


    Answers to this Week's Questions

    Questions | Contents

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

    1. Did Hashem ever appear to Avraham and say "I am Hashem?"
      6:9 - Yes.

    2. What cause did the forefathers have to question Hashem?
      6:9 -- Although Hashem swore to give them the land, they never actually had control over it.

    3. How was Moshe commanded to act towards Pharaoh?
      6:13 - With the respect due a king.

    4. How long did Levi live?
      6:16 - 137 years.

    5. Who was Aharon's wife? Who was her father? Who was her brother?
      6:23 - Elisheva, daughter of Aminadav, sister of Nachshon.

    6. Why are Yitro and Yosef both referred to as "Putiel?"
      6:25 - Yitro fattened (pitem) cows for idol worship. Yosef scoffed (pitpet) at his evil inclination.

    7. After which plague did Hashem begin to "harden Pharaoh's heart?"
      7:3 - After the sixth plague -- shechin.

    8. Why did Pharaoh go to the Nile every morning?
      7:15 - To relieve himself. Pharaoh pretended to be a god who did not need to attend to his bodily functions. Therefore, he secretly used the Nile for this purpose.

    9. Give two reasons why the blood was chosen as the first plague.
      1. 7:17 - Because the Nile was an Egyptian god.
      2. 8:17 - Because an invading army first attacks the enemy's water supply, and Hashem did the same.

    10. How long did the plague of blood last?
      7:25 - Seven days.

    11. Why did the frogs affect Pharaoh's house first?
      7:28 - Pharaoh himself advised the enslavement of the Jewish People.

    12. What did Moshe mean when he told Pharaoh that the frogs would be "in you and in your nation?"
      7:29 - He warned that the frogs would enter their intestines and croak.

    13. What are "chamarim?"
      8:10 -- Piles.

    14. Why didn't Moshe strike the dust to initiate the plague of lice?
      8:12 - Because the dust protected Moshe by hiding the body of the Egyptian that Moshe killed.

    15. Why were the Egyptian sorcerers unable to bring lice?
      8:14 - The Egyptian sorcerers' magic had no power over anything smaller than a barley kernel.

    16. What were the Egyptians likely to do if they saw the Jews slaughtering lambs?
      8:22 - Stone the Jews.

    17. Why didn't the wild beasts die as the frogs had?
      8:27 - So the Egyptians would not benefit from their hides.

    18. The dever killed "all the cattle of Egypt." Later, boils afflicted their cattle. How can this be?
      9:10 - In the plague of dever only the cattle in the fields died. The plague of shechin affected the surviving cattle.

    19. Why did Moshe pray only after leaving the city?
      9:29 - Because the city was full of idols.

    20. What was miraculous about the way the hail stopped falling?
      9:33 - The hailstones stopped in mid-air and didn't fall to the ground.

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

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