Parsha Q&A

For the week ending 7 November 2020 / 20 Heshvan 5781

Parashat Vayera

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Questions & Answers

  1. Question: Why did G-d appear to Avraham after the brit mila?
    Answer: 18:1 - Avraham was sick, so G-d came to "visit" him.

  2. Question: Why was Avraham sitting at the entrance to his tent?
    Answer: 18:1 - He was looking for guests.

  3. Question: What were the missions of the three angels?
    Answer: 18:2 - To announce Yitzchak's birth, to heal Avraham and to destroy Sodom.

  4. Question: Why did Avraham enjoin the guests to wash the dust off their feet?
    Answer: 18:4 - He thought they were among those who worship the dust, and he didn’t want any object of idolatry in his home.

  5. Question: Why did Avraham ask specifically Yishmael, and not someone else, to prepare food for the guests?
    Answer: 18:7 - To train him in the performance of mitzvot.

  6. Question: Why did the angels ask Avraham where Sarah was?
    Answer: 18:9 - To call attention to Sarah’s modesty, so as to endear her to her husband.

  7. Question: When G-d related Sarah’s thoughts to Avraham, He did not relate them precisely. Why?
    Answer: 18:13 - For the sake of peace.

  8. Question: What "cry" from Sodom came before G-d?
    Answer: 18:21 - The cry of a girl who was executed for giving food to the poor.

  9. Question: How many angels went to Sodom?
    Answer: 19:1 - Two; one to destroy the city and one to save Lot.

  10. Question: Why was Lot sitting at the gate of Sodom?
    Answer: 19:1 - He was a judge.

  11. Question: Lot served the angels matza. Why?
    Answer: 19:3 - It was Passover.

  12. Question: Why did Lot delay when he left Sodom?
    Answer: 19:16 - He wanted to save his property.

  13. Question: Why were Lot and his family not permitted to look back at Sodom?
    Answer: 19:17 - As they, too, deserved to be punished, it wasn’t fitting for them to witness the destruction of Sodom.

  14. Question: Lots wife looked back and became a pillar of salt. Why was she punished in this particular way?
    Answer: 19:26 - She was stingy, not wanting to give the guests salt.

  15. Question: In what merit did G-d save Lot?
    Answer: 19:29 - Lot had protected Avraham by concealing from the Egyptians the fact that Sarah was his wife.

  16. Question: Why did Avraham relocate after the destruction of Sodom?
    Answer: 20:1 - Because travel in the region ceased and Avraham could no longer find guests.

  17. Question: Why did Avimelech give gifts to Avraham?
    Answer: 20:14 - So that Avraham would pray for him.

  18. Question: Why was Avraham told to listen to Sarah?
    Answer: 21:12 - Because she was greater in prophecy.

  19. Question: Why did G-d listen to the prayer of Yishmael and not to that of Hagar?
    Answer: 21:17 - Because the prayer of a sick person is more readily accepted than the prayer of others on his behalf.

  20. Question: Who accompanied Avraham and Yitzchak to the akeidah (binding)?
    Answer: 22:3 - Yishmael and Eliezer.

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

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