Parsha Q&A - Matos/Masei

Library Library Library

Parsha Q&A

Parshas Matos/Masei

For the week ending 26 Tamuz 5756; 12 & 13 July 1996

  • Parsha Questions
  • Bonus Question
  • I Did Not Know That!
  • Recommended Reading List
  • Answers to Parsha Questions
  • Answer to Bonus Question
  • Back issues of Parsha Q&A
  • Subscription Information
  • Ohr Somayach Home Page

    This publication is also available in the following formats: [Text] [Word] [PDF] Explanation of these symbols

  • Parsha Questions


    1. What is a neder?
    2. Can a person take a neder permitting something that the Torah forbids?
    3. Hashem commanded the Jewish People to attack Midian. Why did He not command them to attack Moav?
    4. Why did the men selected to fight against Midian not go willingly?
    5. What holy vessels accompanied the Jewish People into battle?
    6. What portion of the spoils went to the soldiers who went to war against Midian?
    7. How were Kalev ben Yefune and Osniel ben Kenaz related?
    8. In verse 32:16, Bnei Gad and Bnei Reuven said, "We will build sheep-pens here for our cattle, and cities for our little ones." What is improper about that statement?
    9. What promise did the Bnei Gad and Bnei Reuven make beyond that which Moshe required of them?
    10. Which part of the Tribe of Menashe inherited land on the eastern side of the Jordan?


    1. Why does the Torah list the places where the Jewish People camped in the midbar?
    2. How did Aaron die?
    3. Why does the Torah need to specify the boundaries that are to be inherited by the Jewish People?
    4. How much land surrounded the cities of the Levi'im?
    5. From whom did a city of refuge shelter a murderer?
    6. Who separated the cities of refuge on the eastern side of the Jordan?
    7. When did the cities of refuge begin to function as places of refuge for murderers?
    8. Why does the murderer remain in the city of refuge until the death of the Kohen Gadol?
    9. A woman who is married to a man from a different tribe inherits an ancestral field. What happens to that field?
    10. When an ancestral field moves from the possession of one tribe to another, what happens to it in Yovel?

    Bonus Question
    Why did the daughters of Tzlofchad marry their cousins?

    I Did Not Know That!

    "And they traveled from Yam Suf and they camped in Midbar Sin" (33:11).

    In the beginning it was called Sin. Later it was called Sinai. The word Sin has a numerical value of 120 corresponding to the 120 days Moshe was on Har Sinai. A "yud" was added to its name to change its name to Sinai. This "yud" (numerical value =10) corresponded to The Ten Commandments.
    Ba'al Haturim

    Recommended Reading List


    Cleansing Vessels
    Miracle of the Spoils
    Jewish Victory
    Menashe's Inheritance
    Yair's Ancestry

    The Meaning of Silence


    The Land
    Cities of Refuge
    The Sanhedrin

    Kli Yakar
    The Greater Loss
    Temporary Dweller

    Sefer Hachinuch
    Cities of the Levi'im
    Capital Judgment

    The Merit of the Journeys
    The Inheritance of Daughters
    The Husbands of the Daughters of Tzlofchad

    Answers to this Week's Questions

    Questions | Contents

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


    1. 30:3 - A restriction a person takes upon himself as a sacred obligation.
    2. 30:3 - No.
    3. 31:2 - Because Moav only acted out of fear against the Jewish People. Also, Ruth was destined to come from Moav.
    4. 31:5 - They knew that the death of Moshe would follow the execution of vengeance upon Midian.
    5. 31:6 - The Aron and the Tzitz.
    6. 31:27 - Half.
    7. 32:12 - They were half-brothers. Kalev's mother married Kenaz and gave birth to Osniel. (Osniel led the Jewish People after the death of Yehoshua.)
    8. 32:16 - They showed more regard for their property than for their children.
    9. 32:24 - Moshe required them to remain west of the Jordan during the conquest of the Land. They promised not to return home for an additional 7 years while the Land was being divided.
    10. 32:39-42 - Bnei Machir ben Menashe. They independently conquered part of the Amorite land, east of the Jordan. Moshe promised them that land.


    1. 33:1 - To show the love of Hashem for the Jewish People. Although it was decreed that they wander in the desert, they did not travel continuously. During the span of the 38 years they moved only 20 times.
    2. 33:38 - By "Divine kiss."
    3. 34:2 - Because there are certain mitzvos that apply in the Land, but not outside of the Land.
    4. 35:4 - 2,000 amos. The inner 1,000 was the "migrash" (an open area of land which served to beautify the city), and the outer 1,000 was for their fields and vineyards.
    5. 35:12 - From the go'el hadam (avenger of blood), a close relative of the deceased who had the right to avenge the victim's death.
    6. 35:13 - Moshe.
    7. 35:13 - After Yehoshua separated three cities on the western side of the Jordan.
    8. 35:25 - Because the Kohen Gadol causes the shechina to dwell in Israel and prolongs life, and the murderer causes the shechina to be removed from Israel and shortened life. The murderer is not worthy to stand in the vicinity of the Kohen Gadol.
    9. 36:3 - When she has a son, the son will inherit the field and the field will move from the possession of one tribe to another.
    10. 36:4 - It remains in the possession of the new tribe.

    Bonus Question
    Once they saw that Hashem wanted their inheritance to stay within the tribe, they chose to marry their cousins. Of all the men of the tribe, they were the closest to being the father's heirs.

    Written and Compiled by Rabbi Eliyahu Kane
    General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
    Production Design: Lev Seltzer
    HTML Design: Michael Treblow
    © 1995 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved. This publication may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue newsletters. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission, and then send us a sample issue.

    This publication is available via E-Mail
    Ohr Somayach Institutions is an international network of Yeshivot and outreach centers, with branches in North America, Europe, South Africa and South America. The Central Campus in Jerusalem provides a full range of educational services for over 685 full-time students.

    The Jewish Learning Exchange (JLE) of Ohr Somayach offers summer and winter programs in Israel that attract hundreds of university students from around the world for 3 to 8 weeks of study and touring.

    Ohr Somayach's Web site is hosted by TeamGenesis

    Copyright © 1995 Ohr Somayach International. Send us Feedback.
    Dedication opportunities are available for Parsha Q&A. Please contact us for details.
    Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) EIN 13-3503155 and your donation is tax deductable.