Parsha Q&A

For the week ending 28 June 2014 / 30 Sivan 5774

Parshat Chukat

The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Questions

  1. "Take a perfect Para Aduma (red heifer)." What does the word "perfect" temima mean in this context?
  2. How many non-red hairs disqualify a cow as a Para Aduma?
  3. A man dies in a tent. What happens to the sealed metal and earthenware utensils in the tent?
  4. What happens to the one who: a) sprinkles the water mixed with the ashes of the Para Aduma; b) touches the water; c) carries the water?
  5. Why was the mitzvah of the Para Aduma entrusted to Elazar rather than to Aharon?
  6. Why does the Torah stress that all of the congregation came to Midbar Tzin?
  7. Why is Miriam's death taught after the law of Para Aduma?
  8. During their journey in the midbar, in whose merit did the Jewish People receive water?
  9. Why did Moshe need to strike the rock a second time?
  10. When Moshe told the King of Edom that the Jewish People would not drink from the well-water, to which well did he refer? What do we learn from this?
  11. The cloud that led the Jewish People leveled all mountains in their path except three. Which three and why?
  12. Why did the entire congregation mourn Aharon's death?
  13. What disappeared when Aharon died?
  14. Which "inhabitant of the South" (21:1) attacked the Jews?
  15. For what two reasons did G-d punish the people with snakes specifically?
  16. Why did the Jewish People camp in Arnon, rather than pass through Moav to enter Eretz Canaan?
  17. What miracle took place at the valley of Arnon?
  18. What was the "strength" of Amon that prevented the Jewish People from entering into their Land?
  19. Why was Moshe afraid of Og?
  20. Who killed Og?

Answers

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

  1. "Take a perfect Para Aduma (red heifer)." What does the word "perfect" temima mean in this context?
    19:2 - Perfectly red.
  2. How many non-red hairs disqualify a cow as a Para Aduma?
    19:2 - Two.
  3. man dies in a tent. What happens to the sealed metal and earthenware utensils in the tent?
    19:14,15 - The metal utensils are impure for seven days, even if they are sealed. The sealed earthenware vessels are unaffected.
  4. What happens to the one who: a) sprinkles the water mixed with the ashes of the Para Aduma; b) touches the water; c) carries the water?
    19:21 - a) Remains tahor; b) He, but not his clothing, contracts tumah; c) He and his clothing contract tumah.
  5. Why was the mitzvah of the Para Aduma entrusted to Elazar rather than to Aharon?
    19:22 - Because Aharon was involved in the sin of the golden calf.
  6. Why does the Torah stress that all of the congregation came to Midbar Tzin?
    20:1 - To teach that they were all fit to enter the Land; everyone involved in the sin of the spies already died.
  7. Why is Miriam's death taught after the law of Para Aduma?
    20:1 - To teach that just as sacrifices bring atonement, so too does the death of the righteous.
  8. During their journey in the midbar, in whose merit did the Jewish People receive water?
    20:2 - Miriam's.
  9. Why did Moshe need to strike the rock a second time?
    20:11 - After he hit it the first time, only a few drops came out since he was commanded to speak to the rock.
  10. When Moshe told the King of Edom that the Jewish People would not drink from the well-water, to which well did he refer? What do we learn from this?
    20:17 - To the well that traveled with the nation in the midbar. This teaches that one who has adequate provisions should nevertheless purchase goods from his host in order to benefit the host.
  11. The cloud that led the Jewish People leveled all mountains in their path except three. Which three and why?
    20:22 - Har Sinai for receiving the Torah, Har Nevo for Moshe's burial, and Hor Hahar for Aharon's burial.
  12. Why did the entire congregation mourn Aharon's death?
    20:29 - Aharon made peace between contending parties and between spouses. Thus, everybody mourned him.
  13. What disappeared when Aharon died?
    20:29 - The clouds of glory disappeared, since they sheltered the Jews in Aharon's merit.
  14. Which "inhabitant of the South" (21:1) attacked the Jews?
    21:1 - Amalek.
  15. For what two reasons did G-d punish the people with snakes specifically?
    21:6 - The original snake, which was punished for speaking evil, is fitting to punish those who spoke evil about G-d and about Moshe. And the snake, to which everything tastes like dust, is fitting to punish those who complained about the manna which changed to any desired taste.
  16. Why did the Jewish People camp in Arnon, rather than pass through Moav to enter Eretz Canaan?
    21:13 - Moav refused them passage.
  17. What miracle took place at the valley of Arnon?
    21:15 - The Amorites hid in caves in the mountain on the Moabite side of the valley in order to ambush the Jews. When the Jews approached, the mountain on the Eretz Canaan side of the valley moved close to the other mountain and the Amorites were crushed.
  18. What was the "strength" of Amon that prevented the Jewish People from entering into their Land?
    21:24 - G-d's command, "Do not harass them" (Devarim 2:19).
  19. Why was Moshe afraid of Og?
    21:34 - Og had once been of service to Avraham. Moshe was afraid that this merit would assist Og in battle.
  20. Who killed Og?
    21:35 - Moshe.

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