Parsha

For the week ending 4 May 2013 / 23 Iyyar 5773

Parshat Behar - Bechukotai

The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Questions

Behar

  1. Why does the Torah specify that the laws of shemita were taught on Har Sinai?
  2. If one possesses shemita food after it is no longer available in the field, what must he do with it?
  3. The Torah commands, "You shall sanctify the fiftieth year." How is this done?
  4. Which two "returns" are announced by the shofar during yovel?
  5. From where does the yovel year get its name?
  6. What prohibitions are derived from the verse "v'lo tonu ish et amito -- a person shall not afflict his fellow"?
  7. What is the punishment for neglecting the laws of shemita?
  8. If shemita is observed properly, how long is the crop of the sixth year guaranteed to last?
  9. After selling an ancestral field, when can one redeem it?
  10. Under what circumstance may one sell ancestral land?
  11. If a home in a walled city is sold, when can it be redeemed?
  12. What does the word "days" mean in this week's Parsha?
  13. What is considered a walled city?
  14. What is the definition of a "ger toshav"?
  15. To what is one who leaves Eretz Yisrael compared?
  16. Why does Rashi mention the plague of the firstborn in this week's Parsha?
  17. List three prohibitions which demonstrate the dignity with which one must treat a Jewish indentured servant.
  18. Who supports the family of the Jewish indentured servant during his years of servitude?
  19. If a Jew is sold as a servant to a non-Jew, does he go free after six years?
  20. Where is it permitted to prostrate oneself on a stone floor?

Bechukotai

  1. To what do the words "bechukotai telechu" (walk in My statutes) refer?
  2. When is rain "in its season?"
  3. What is the blessing of "v'achaltem lachmechem l'sova" (and you shall eat your bread to satisfaction)?
  4. What is meant by the verse "and a sword will not pass through your land"?
  5. Mathematically, if five Jewish soldiers can defeat 100 enemy soldiers, how many enemy soldiers should 100 Jewish soldiers be able to defeat?
  6. How much is "revava"?
  7. Which "progression" of seven transgressions are taught in Chapter 26, and why in that particular order?
  8. What is one benefit which the Jewish People derive from the Land of Israel's state of ruin?
  9. What was the duration of the Babylonian exile and why that particular number?
  10. How many years did the Jewish People sin in Israel up till the time the northern tribes were exiled?
  11. In verse 26:42, the name Yaakov is written with an extra "vav." From whom did Yaakov receive this extra letter and why?
  12. What positive element is implied by the words "and I will bring them into the land of their enemies?"
  13. In verse 26:42, why is the word "remember" not used in connection with the name of Yitzchak?
  14. Why does the Torah say in 26:46 "Torot" (plural) and not "Torah" (singular)?
  15. What happens when a poor person dedicates the value of a man to the Beit Hamikdash and doesn't have sufficient funds to fulfill his vow?
  16. If a person says "The leg of this animal shall be an olah offering" the animal is sold and sacrificed as an olah offering. What is the status of the money received for the animal?
  17. If a person dedicates his ancestral field to the Beit Hamikdash and fails to redeem it before yovel what happens to the field?
  18. Where must "ma'aser sheini" be eaten?
  19. When a person redeems "ma'aser sheini" what happens to the food? What happens to the redemption money?
  20. How does a person tithe his animals?

Answers

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

Behar

  1. Why does the Torah specify that the laws of shemita were taught on Har Sinai?
    25:1 - To teach us that just as shemita was taught in detail on Har Sinai, so too, all the mitzvot were taught in detail on Har Sinai.
  2. 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.
  3. The Torah commands, "You shall sanctify the fiftieth year." How is this done?
    25:10 - At the beginning of the year the Beit Din declares, "This year is kadosh (sanctified)."
  4. Which two "returns" are announced by the shofar during yovel?
    25:10 - The return of the land to its original owner, and the "return" (freedom) of the slave from slavery.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. What is the punishment for neglecting the laws of shemita?
    25:18 - Exile.
  8. If shemita is observed properly, how long is the crop of the sixth year guaranteed to last?
    25:21,22 - From Nissan of the sixth year until Sukkot of the ninth year.
  9. After selling an ancestral field, when can one redeem it?
    25:24 - After two years following the sale, until yovel. At the beginning of yovel it returns to the family automatically.
  10. Under what circumstance may one sell ancestral land?
    25:25 - Only if one becomes impoverished.
  11. If a home in a walled city is sold, when can it be redeemed?
    25:29 - Only within the first year after the sale. Afterwards, even in yovel, it does not return.
  12. What does the word "days" mean in this week's Parsha?
    25:29 - The days of an entire year.
  13. What is considered a walled city?
    25:29 - A city that has been surrounded by a wall since the time of Yehoshua.
  14. Why does the Torah say in 26:46 "Torot" (plural) and not "Torah" (singular)?
    25:35 - A non-Jew who lives in Eretz Yisrael and accepts upon himself not to worship idols.
  15. To what is one who leaves Eretz Yisrael compared?
    25:38 - To one who worships idols.
  16. If a person says "The leg of this animal shall be an olah offering" the animal is sold and sacrificed as an olah offering. What is the status of the money received for the animal?
    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.
  17. List three prohibitions which demonstrate the dignity with which one must treat a Jewish indentured servant.
    25:39-43 -
    1.Do not make him perform humiliating tasks
    2.Do not sell him publicly
    3.Do not make him perform unnecessary jobs
  18. Who supports the family of the Jewish indentured servant during his years of servitude?
    25:41 - His master.
  19. If a Jew is sold as a servant to a non-Jew, does he go free after six years?
    25:54 - No. If he is not redeemed with money, he must wait until the yovel to go free.
  20. Where is it permitted to prostrate oneself on a stone floor?
    26:1 - In the Mikdash.

Bechukotai

  1. To what do the words "bechukotai telechu" (walk in My statutes) refer?
    26:3 - Laboring in Torah learning.
  2. When is rain "in its season?"
    26:4 - At times when people are not outside (e.g., Shabbat nights).
  3. What is the blessing of "v'achaltem lachmechem l'sova" (and 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 the verse "and a sword will not pass through your land"?
    26:6 - No foreign army will travel through your land on their way to a different country.
  5. Mathematically, if five Jewish soldiers can defeat 100 enemy soldiers, how many enemy soldiers should 100 Jewish soldiers be able to defeat?
    26:4 - Two thousand.
  6. How much is "revava"?
    26:4 - Ten thousand.
  7. 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 G-d gave the mitzvot, denying the existence of G-d. They are listed in this order because each transgression leads to the next.
  8. 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.
  9. What was the duration of the Babylonian exile and why that particular number?
    26:35 - 70 years. Because the Jewish People violated 70 shemita and yovel years.
  10. How many years did the Jewish People sin in Israel up till the time the northern tribes were exiled?
    26:35 - 390 years.
  11. In verse 26:42, the name Yaakov is written with an extra "vav." From whom did Yaakov receive this extra letter and why?
    26:42 - In five places in the Torah, Yaakov's name is written with an extra "vav" and in five places the name Eliyahu is missing a "vav." Yaakov "took" these vavs as a pledge that Eliyahu will one day come and announce the redemption of Yaakov's children.
  12. What positive element is implied by the words "and I will bring them into the land of their enemies?"
    26:41 - G-d Himself, so to speak, will bring them into their enemies' land. This means that even when the Jews are in exile, G-d will supply them with leaders who inspire them to keep the Torah. This guards the Jews from assimilating into the host culture.
  13. 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 (who was prepared to be brought as an offering) upon the altar is always before G-d.
  14. Why does the Torah say in 26:46 "Torot" (plural) and not "Torah" (singular)?
    26:46 - To teach that both the Written Torah and the Oral Torah were given to Moshe on Har Sinai.
  15. What happens when a poor person dedicates the value of a man 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.
  16. If a person says "The leg of this animal shall be an olah offering" the animal is sold and sacrificed as an olah offering. What is the status of the money received for the animal?
    27:9 - The money is "chullin," meaning it does not have "holy" status, except for the value of the animal's leg which does have "holy" status.
  17. If a person dedicates his ancestral field to the Beit Hamikdash and fails to redeem it before yovel what happens to the field?
    27:16 - It becomes the property of the kohanim who are on rotation at the beginning of yovel.
  18. Where must "ma'aser sheini" be eaten?
    27:30 - In Jerusalem.
  19. When a person redeems "ma'aser sheini" what happens to the food? What happens to the redemption money?
    27:31 - The food becomes permissible to him outside of Jerusalem. The redemption money must be brought to Jerusalem and used to purchase food to be eaten there.
  20. How does a person tithe his animals?
    27:32 - He passes them through a door individually and every tenth animal he marks with a rod smeared with red dye.

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