Parsha Q&A

For the week ending 21 December 2002 / 16 Tevet 5763

Parshat Vayechi

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  1. Why is kindness towards the dead called "chesed shel emet" kindness of truth?
  2. Give three reasons Yaakov didn't want to be buried in Egypt.
  3. How do you treat a "fox in his time" (i.e., a commoner who rules)?
  4. "When I was coming from Padan, Rachel died on me... I buried her there on the way to Efrat..." Why did Yaakov say all this to Yosef?
  5. Initially, why was Yaakov unable to bless Efraim and Menashe?
  6. What does pillalti mean?
  7. What does "Shechem" mean as used in this week's Parsha? (two answers)
  8. Which individual is called "the Emori?" Why? Give two reasons.
  9. What did Yaakov want to tell his sons but was unable to?
  10. What privileges did Reuven lose due to his rash actions?
  11. What congregation from Yaakov's offspring did Yaakov not want to be associated with?
  12. What did Yehuda do after he heard Yaakov rebuke Reuven, Shimon and Levi? Why?
  13. What does milk do to teeth?
  14. Why is Yissachar like a "strong-boned donkey?"
  15. With what resource did both Yaakov and Moshe bless Asher?
  16. In Yosef's blessing, Yaakov said, "They embittered him..." Who are "they"?
  17. Which descendants of Binyamin "will divide the spoils in the evening"?
  18. From whom did Yaakov buy his burial place?
  19. What oath did Yosef make to Pharaoh?
  20. Which two sons of Yaakov did not carry his coffin? Why not?


All references are to the verses and Rashis commentary, unless otherwise stated.

  1. 47:29 - Because the giver expects no reward from the recipient.
  2. 47:29 - a) Egypt's ground was to be plagued with lice; b) At the time of the resurrection, those buried outside Israel will suffer; c) So the Egyptians wouldn't make him into an idol.
  3. 47:31 - Bow to him.
  4. 48:7 - Yaakov thought Yosef harbored resentment since Yaakov had not buried Yosef's mother, Rachel, in the Ma'arat HaMachpela.
  5. 48:8 - The Shechina departed from him.
  6. 48:11 - "I thought."
  7. 48:22 - a) The actual city of Shechem; b) A portion.
  8. 48:22 - Esav. a) He acted like an Emorite; b) He trapped his father with words (imrei pi).
  9. 49:1 - When mashiach will come.
  10. 49:3 - Priesthood and Kingship.
  11. 49:6 - Korach and his congregation.
  12. 49:8 - He drew back. He was afraid that Yaakov would rebuke him for the incident with Tamar.
  13. 49:12 - It makes them white.
  14. 49:14 - Just as a donkey bears a heavy burden, so the tribe of Yissachar bears the yoke of Torah.
  15. 49:20 - Oil-rich land.
  16. 49:23 - Yosef's brothers, Potifar and his wife.
  17. 49:27 - Mordechai and Esther.
  18. 50:5 - From Esav.
  19. 50:6 - Yosef swore not to reveal Pharaoh's ignorance of Hebrew.
  20. 50:13 - Levi, because he would carry the aron (holy ark). Yosef, because he was a king.

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