Parsha Q&A

For the week ending 7 September 2013 / 3 Tishri 5774

Parshat Ha'azinu

The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Questions

  1. Why were heaven and earth specifically chosen as witnesses?
  2. How is the Torah like rain?
  3. How is G-d "faithful without injustice"?
  4. Why is G-d called "tzaddik"?
  5. How many major floods did G-d bring upon the world?
  6. What group of people does the Torah call "fathers"? Cite an example.
  7. Why did G-d separate the world's nations into exactly 70?
  8. Why is the merit of the Jewish People's ancestry called a "rope"?
  9. How is G-d's behavior toward the Jewish People like an eagle's behavior toward its offspring?
  10. Regarding the Jewish People's punishment, G-d says, "I will spend my arrows on them." What is the positive aspect of this phrase?
  11. How does the idea of "chillul Hashem" prevent the nations from destroying the Jewish People?
  12. What will happen to the nations that conquer the Jewish People?
  13. When G-d overturns a nation that persecutes the Jewish People, His attribute of Mercy is "replaced" by which attribute?
  14. When G-d punishes the heathen nations, for whose sins does He exact punishment?
  15. How will G-d's punishment change the way the nations view the Jewish People?
  16. On what day was Ha'azinu taught to the Jewish People?
  17. Verse 32:44 calls Yehoshua "Hoshea." Why?
  18. In verse 32:47, what does "it is not empty from you" mean?
  19. Why did G-d tell Moshe that he would die a similar death to that of Aharon?
  20. If Moshe had spoken to the rock rather than striking it, what would the Jewish People have learned?

Answers

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

  1. Why were heaven and earth specifically chosen as witnesses?
    32:1 - They endure forever.
  2. How is the Torah like rain?
    32:2 - The Torah gives life and promotes growth like rain.
  3. How is G-d "faithful without injustice"?
    32:4 - He is "faithful" by rewarding the righteous, and "without injustice" by rewarding even the wicked for any good deeds.
  4. Why is G-d called "tzaddik"?
    32:4 - All will agree that His judgments are righteous.
  5. How many major floods did G-d bring upon the world?
    32:7 - Two. One in the time of Adam's grandson Enosh and one in the time of Noach.
  6. What group of people does the Torah call "fathers"? Cite an example.
    32:7 - The Prophets. Elisha called the Prophet Eliyahu "My Father." (Melachim II 2:12).
  7. Why did G-d separate the world's nations into exactly 70?
    32:8 - To correspond to the 70 Bnei Yisrael who entered Egypt.
  8. Why is the merit of the Jewish People's ancestry called a "rope"?
    32:9 - Their merit is "woven from" the merits of the Avot.
  9. How is G-d's behavior toward the Jewish People like an eagle's behavior toward its offspring?
    32:12 - He mercifully wakes them gently, hovering over them, and carrying them on His "wings".
  10. Regarding the Jewish People's punishment, G-d says, "I will spend my arrows on them." What is the positive aspect of this phrase?
    32:23 - "The arrows will be spent" implies that the afflictions will cease but the Jewish People will not.
  11. How does the idea of "chillul Hashem" prevent the nations from destroying the Jewish People?
    32:27 - The nations would attribute their success to their might and the might of their gods. G-d would not let His name be desecrated like this.
  12. What will happen to the nations that conquer the Jewish People?
    32:35 - They will eventually be punished.
  13. When G-d overturns a nation that persecutes the Jewish People, His attribute of Mercy is "replaced" by which attribute?
    32:41 - His attribute of Justice.
  14. When G-d punishes the heathen nations, for whose sins does He exact punishment?
    32:42 - For their sins and the sins of their ancestors.
  15. How will G-d's punishment change the way the nations view the Jewish People?
    32:43 - They will view the Jewish People as praiseworthy for cleaving to G-d.
  16. On what day was Ha'azinu taught to the Jewish People?
    32:44 - The Shabbat upon which Moshe died.
  17. Verse 32:44 calls Yehoshua "Hoshea." Why?
    32:44 - To indicate that although he was the Jewish People's leader, he still maintained a humble bearing.
  18. In verse 32:47, what does "it is not empty from you" mean?
    32:47 - That you will receive reward for studying Torah and that there is nothing meaningless in the Torah.
  19. Why did G-d tell Moshe that he would die a similar death to that of Aharon?
    32:50 - Because Moshe wanted this.
  20. If Moshe had spoken to the rock rather than striking it, what would the Jewish People have learned?
    32:51 - The Jewish People would have reasoned as follows: If a rock, which receives neither reward nor punishment, obeys G-d's commands, all the more so should they.

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