Parsha Q&A - Parshat Behar/Bechukotai

The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Parsha Q&A

Parshat Behar/Bechukotai

For the week ending 26 Iyar 5761 / May 18 & 19, 2001

Contents:
  • Parsha Questions
  • Behar
  • Bechukotai
  • Kasha
  • I Did Not Know That!
  • Recommended Reading List
  • Answers to Parsha Questions
  • Behar
  • Bechukotai
  • 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

    BEHAR

    1. If one possesses shemita food after it is no longer available in the field, what must he do with it?
    2. From where does the yovel year get its name?
    3. What prohibitions are derived from the verse "v’lo tonu ish et amito -- a person shall not afflict his fellow"?
    4. If a home in a walled city is sold, when can it be redeemed?
    5. What does the word "days" mean in this week’s Parsha?
    6. What is considered a walled city?
    7. To what is one who leaves Eretz Yisrael compared?
    8. Why does Rashi mention the plague of the firstborn in this week’s Parsha?
    9. List three prohibitions which demonstrate the dignity with which one must treat a Jewish indentured servant.
    10. Where is it permitted to prostrate oneself on a stone floor?

    BECHUKOSAI

    1. To what do the words "bechukotai telechu" refer?
    2. When is rain "in its season"?
    3. What is meant by "you shall eat your bread to satisfaction"?
    4. What is meant by "and a sword will not pass through your land?"
    5. Which progression of seven transgressions are taught in Chapter 26, and why in that particular order?
    6. What is one benefit which the Jewish People derive from the Land of Israel’s state of ruin?
    7. What positive element is implied by the words "and I will bring them into the land of their enemies?"
    8. In verse 26:42, why is the word "remember" not used in connection with the name of Yitzchak?
    9. What happens when a poor person dedicates the value of a person to the Beit Hamikdash and doesn’t have sufficient funds to fulfill his vow?
    10. Where must "ma’aser sheini" be eaten?

    Kasha

    Parshat Bechukotai starts with ten verses describing blessings that result from Torah study and observance. Then, more than thirty verses describe the curses brought about by laxity in Torah study and observance. Why do there seem to be more curses than blessings? Doesn’t this contradict the principle that G-d always rewards in greater measure than He punishes?

    Answer:

    The blessings are written in general terms; each one is really an entire category and includes many blessings. Each curse, on the other hand, is spelled out in detail (in order to inspire fear and alarm). In reality, though, there are more blessings than curses.

    Ibn Ezra


    I Did Not Know That!

    "And five of you will pursue a hundred [enemy soldiers]." (26:8)

    This refers to our weakest soldiers; our weakest soldiers; when we do the will of Hashem our weakest soldier will be able to defeat twenty enemies. Our strongest soldier will be able to defeat a thousand or more.

    Ohr HaChaim Hakadosh, based on Torat Kohanim


    Recommended Reading List

    BEHAR

    Ramban
    25:3
    First Six Years
    25:9
    Two Kinds of "Shofar"
    25:10
    The Word "Yovel"
    25:20
    Three Year Blessing
    25:23
    Ban on Perpetual Sale
    25:36
    Two Kinds of Usury
    26:1
    Commitment in Hostile Environment

    Sefer Hachinuch
    330
    Counting until Yovel
    331
    Call of the Shofar
    337
    Unfair Profit
    342
    National Land
    343
    Usury

    Sforno
    25:4
    "A Shabbat to Hashem"

    BECHUKOSAI

    Ramban
    26:6
    Taming of Wild Animals
    26:11
    Theology of Medicine
    26:12
    Promise for the Future
    26:16
    Analysis of Jewish History


    Sefer Hachinuch
    350
    Dedicating One’s Value
    352
    Switching Korbanot
    360
    Animal Tithes
     

     


    Answers to this Week's Questions

    Questions | Contents

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

    BEHAR

    1. If one possesses shemita food after it is no longer available in the field, what must he do with it?
      25:7 - Remove it from his property and declare it ownerless.
    2. From where does the yovel year get its name?
      25:10 - From the sounding of the shofar. A ram’s horn is called a yovel.
    3. What prohibitions are derived from the verse "v’lo tonu ish et amito -- a person shall not afflict his fellow"?
      25:17 - One may not intentionally hurt people’s feelings, nor give bad advice while secretly intending to reap benefit.
    4. If a home in a walled city is sold, when can it be redeemed?
      25:29 - Only within the first year after the sale.
    5. What does the word "days" mean in this week’s Parsha?
      25:29 - The days of an entire year.
    6. What is considered a walled city?
      25:29 - A city surrounded by a wall since the time of Yehoshua.
    7. To what is one who leaves Eretz Yisrael compared?
      25:38 - To one who worships idols.
    8. Why does Rashi mention the plague of the firstborn in this week’s Parsha?
      25:38 - The prohibition against taking interest is accompanied by the phrase, "I am Hashem your G-d who took you out of Egypt." Rashi explains that just as Hashem discerned in Egypt between those who were firstborn and those who were not, so too will Hashem discern and punish those who lend with interest, pretending they are acting on behalf of others.
    9. List three prohibitions which demonstrate the dignity with which one must treat a Jewish indentured servant.
      25:39-43 - a) Do not make him perform humiliating tasks; b) Do not sell him publicly; c) Do not make him perform unnecessary jobs.
    10. Where is it permitted to prostrate oneself on a stone floor?
      26:1 - In the Mikdash.

    BECHUKOSAI

    1. To what do the words "bechukotai telechu" refer?
      26:3 - Laboring in the study of Torah.
    2. When is rain "in its season"?
      26:4 - At times when people are not outside (e.g., Shabbat nights).
    3. What is meant by "you shall eat your bread to satisfaction"?
      26:5 - You will only require a little bread to be completely satisfied.
    4. What is meant by "and a sword will not pass through your land?"
      26:6 - No foreign army will travel through your land even on their way to a different country.
    5. Which progression of seven transgressions are taught in Chapter 26, and why in that particular order?
      26:14,15 - Not studying Torah, not observing mitzvot, rejecting those who observe mitzvot, hating Sages, preventing others from observing mitzvot, denying that Hashem gave the mitzvot, denying the existence of Hashem. They are listed in this order because each transgression leads to the next.
    6. What is one benefit which the Jewish People derive from the Land of Israel’s state of ruin?
      26:32 - No enemy nation will be able to settle in the Land of Israel.
    7. What positive element is implied by the words "and I will bring them into the land of their enemies?"
      26:41 - Hashem Himself, so to speak, will bring them into their enemies’ land. This means that even when the Jews are in exile, Hashem will supply them with leaders who inspire them to keep the Torah. This guards the Jews from assimilating into the host culture.
    8. In verse 26:42, why is the word "remember" not used in connection with the name of Yitzchak?
      26:42 - Because the image of Yitzchak’s ashes (Yitzchak was prepared to be brought as an offering) upon the altar is always before Hashem.
    9. What happens when a poor person dedicates the value of a person to the Beit Hamikdash and doesn’t have sufficient funds to fulfill his vow?
      27:8 - The person whose value was donated goes before the kohen, who sets the obligation according to the poor person’s ability to pay.
    10. Where must "ma’aser sheini" be eaten?
      27:30 - In Jerusalem.

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

    © 2001 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved. This publication may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue newsletters. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission, and then send us a sample issue.

    This publication is available via E-Mail

    Ohr Somayach Institutions is an international network of Yeshivot and outreach centers, with branches in North America, Europe, South Africa and South America. The Central Campus in Jerusalem provides a full range of educational services for over 685 full-time students.

    The Jewish Learning Exchange (JLE) of Ohr Somayach offers summer and winter programs in Israel that attract hundreds of university students from around the world for 3 to 8 weeks of study and touring.


    Copyright © 2001 Ohr Somayach International. Send us Feedback.
    Dedication opportunities are available for Parsha Q&A. Please contact us for details.
    Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) and your donation is tax deductable.