Parsha Q&A - Parshat Bo

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Parsha Q&A

Parshat Bo

For the week ending 10 Shevat 5761 / February 2 & 3, 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. What was Pharaoh's excuse for not releasing the Jewish children?
    2. How did the locusts in the time of Moshe differ from those in the days of Yoel?
    3. How did the first three days of darkness differ from the last three?
    4. When the Jews asked the Egyptians for gold and silver vessels, the Egyptians were unable to deny ownership of such vessels. Why?
    5. Makat bechorot took place at exactly midnight. Why did Moshe say it would take place at approximately midnight?
    6. Why did the firstborn of the animals die?
    7. How did Moshe show respect to Pharaoh when he warned him about the aftermath of the plague of the firstborn?
    8. Hashem told Moshe "so that my wonders will be multiplied" (11:9). What three wonders was Hashem referring to?
    9. Why did Hashem command the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh to Aharon, and not only to Moshe?
    10. Up to what age is an animal fit to be a Pesach offering?
    11. Prior to the Exodus from Egypt, what two mitzvot involving blood did Hashem give to the Jewish People?
    12. Rashi gives two explanations of the word "Pasachti." What are they?
    13. Why were the Jews told to stay indoors during makat bechorot?
    14. What was Pharaoh screaming as he ran from door to door the night of makat bechorot?
    15. Why did Pharaoh ask Moshe to bless him?
    16. Why did the Jewish People carry their matzah on their shoulders rather than have their animals carry it?
    17. Who comprised the erev rav (mixed multitude)?
    18. What three historical events occurred on the 15th of Nissan, prior to the event of the Exodus from Egypt?
    19. What is the source of the "milk and honey" found in Eretz Yisrael?
    20. The only non-kosher animal whose firstborn is redeemed is the donkey. What did the donkeys do to "earn" this distinction?

    Kasha
    (kasha means "question")

    How would you answer this question on the Parsha?

    "And B'nei Yisrael did as Moshe told them, and they borrowed from the Egyptians vessels of silver, vessels of gold and clothing." (Exodus 12:35)

    How could the Israelites borrow from the Egyptians, knowing that they would not repay? Isn't that stealing?

    ANSWER: In Hebrew, "borrow" and "ask for" are the same word. Thus, some commentaries explain that the Jews didn't "borrow," but rather "asked for" these items as outright gifts.

    Rashbam

    The Talmud notes that the Egyptians owed the Jews wages for centuries of unjust slavery, and that the Jews took only what was rightly theirs as partial payment. This money also partially compensated them for their lands and homes in Egypt which the Egyptians confiscated. (Sanhedrin 91, Genesis 47:27)

    A third answer: The Egyptians pursued the Jews to the Red Sea, attempting to annihilate and plunder them. Egypt being the aggressor, the Jews won all property in question as spoils of war, as is the case in any war that the spoils of the pursuers belong to the pursued.

    Sforno

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


    I Did Not Know That!

    "At approximately midnight I will go out amidst Egypt, and every first born will die..." (11:14)

    Hashem's "clock" is set to Jerusalem time. The plague of the first-born took place at exactly midnight, Jerusalem time. But because Egypt is west of Jerusalem, midnight there occurs later. When Moshe said the plague would be at "approximately midnight," he was referring to local Egyptian time.

    Kehillat Yitzchak; thanks to Rabbi Sholem Fishbane


    Recommended Reading List

    Ramban
    10:14
    Locusts and Crocodiles
    10:23
    A Different Darkness
    12:2
    Jewish Months
    12:3
    Symbolism of the Korban Pesach
    12:31,51
    Timetable of the Exodus
    13:5
    Five and Two -- Seven Canaanite Nations
    Sefer Hachinuch
    7, 16
    Eating Like Kings
    18
    Recognizing Hashem's Gifts
    The Significance of the Exodus


    Answers to this Week's Questions

    Questions | Contents

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

    1. What was Pharaoh's excuse for not releasing the Jewish children?
      10:11 - Since children don't bring sacrifices there was no need for them to go.

    2. How did the locusts in the time of Moshe differ from those in the days of Yoel?
      10:14 - The plague brought by Moshe was composed of one species of locust, whereas the plague in the days of Yoel was composed of many species.

    3. How did the first three days of darkness differ from the last three?
      10:22 - During the first three days the Egyptians couldn't see. During the last three days they couldn't move.

    4. When the Jews asked the Egyptians for gold and silver vessels, the Egyptians were unable to deny ownership of such vessels. Why?
      10:22 - During the plague of darkness the Jews could see and they searched and found the Egyptians' vessels.

    5. Makat bechorot took place at exactly midnight. Why did Moshe say it would take place at approximately midnight?
      11:4 - If Moshe said the plague would begin exactly at midnight, the Egyptians might miscalculate and accuse Moshe of being a fake.

    6. Why did the firstborn of the animals die?
      11:5 - Because the Egyptians worshiped them as gods, and when Hashem punishes a nation He also punishes its gods.

    7. How did Moshe show respect to Pharaoh when he warned him about the aftermath of the plague of the firstborn?
      11:8 - Moshe warned that "All these servants of yours will come down to me" when, in fact, it was Pharaoh himself who actually came running to Moshe.

    8. Hashem told Moshe "so that my wonders will be multiplied" (11:9). What three wonders was Hashem referring to?
      11:9 - The plague of the firstborn, the splitting of the sea, the drowning of the Egyptian soldiers.

    9. Why did Hashem command the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh to Aharon, and not only to Moshe?
      12:1 - As reward for his efforts in bringing about the plagues.

    10. Up to what age is an animal fit to be a Pesach offering?
      12:5 - One year.

    11. Prior to the Exodus from Egypt, what two mitzvot involving blood did Hashem give to the Jewish People?
      12:6 - Circumcision and Korban Pesach.

    12. Rashi gives two explanations of the word "Pasachti." What are they?
      12:13 - "I had mercy" and "I skipped."

    13. Why were the Jews told to stay indoors during makat bechorot?
      12:22 - Since it was a night of destruction, it was not safe for anyone to leave the protected premises of his home.

    14. What was Pharaoh screaming as he ran from door to door the night of makat bechorot?
      12:31 - "Where does Moshe live? Where does Aharon live?"

    15. Why did Pharaoh ask Moshe to bless him?
      12:32 - So he wouldn't die, for he himself was a firstborn.

    16. Why did the Jewish People carry their matzah on their shoulders rather than have their animals carry it?
      12:34 - Because the commandment of matzah was dear to them.

    17. Who comprised the erev rav (mixed multitude)?
      12:38 - People from other nations who became converts.

    18. What three historical events occurred on the 15th of Nissan, prior to the event of the Exodus from Egypt?
      12:41 - The angels came to promise that Sarah would have a son, Yitzchak was born, and the exile of the "covenant between the parts" was decreed.

    19. What is the source of the "milk and honey" found in Eretz Yisrael?
      13:5 - Goat milk, date and fig honey.

    20. The only non-kosher animal whose firstborn is redeemed is the donkey. What did the donkeys do to "earn" this distinction?
      13:13 - They helped the Jews by carrying silver and gold out of Egypt.

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

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