Parsha Q&A - Matos/Masei

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Parsha Q&A

Parshas Matos/Masei

For the week ending 28 Tammuz 5757; 1 & 2 August 1997

  • 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
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    Parsha Questions

    Answers | Contents

    1. Who may annul a vow?
    2. The Jewish People were commanded to attack Midian. Why were they not commanded to attack Moav?
    3. The people selected to fight Midian went unwillingly. Why?
    4. What holy vessels accompanied the Jewish People into battle?
    5. Why was Bilaam with the Midianites when the Jewish People attacked?
    6. What portion of the spoils went to the soldiers who fought Midian?
    7. How were Kalev ben Yefune and Osniel ben Kenaz related?
    8. Bnei Gad and Bnei Reuven said, "We will build sheep-pens here for our livestock and cities for our little ones." What was improper about this 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?

    11. Why does the Torah list the places where the Jewish People camped?
    12. What happened in Ritmah?
    13. Why does the Torah need to specify the boundaries that are to be inherited by the Jewish People?
    14. How much land surrounded the cities of the Levi'im?
    15. From whom did a city of refuge shelter a murderer?
    16. Who separated the cities of refuge on the eastern side of the Jordan?
    17. When did the cities of refuge begin to function as places of refuge for murderers?
    18. In order to be judged as an intentional murderer, what type of weapon must the murderer use?
    19. Why does the murderer remain in the city of refuge until the death of the Kohen Gadol?
    20. When an ancestral field moves through inheritance from one tribe to another, what happens to the field in Yovel?

    Bonus Question
    "…"Aharon was 123 years old when he died on Hor-Hohar. The Canaanite king of Arad heard…" (33:39-40).

    The Midrash states that this was actually the Amalekite king imitating the King of Arad in order to fool the Jewish people (see Rashi 21:1). The Talmud, however, proves from this verse that the King of Arad was still alive when Aharon died. How can the Talmud prove from this verse that the King of Arad was alive, if in fact the verse is referring to the King of Amalek?

    I Did Not Know That!

    "Vast livestock was owned by Bnei Reuven and Bnei Gad, and mighty…" (32:1).

    The sheep of Bnei Gad were extraordinarily fierce and 'mighty,' and were thus able to defend themselves again wolves and marauding bandits. Therefore, Bnei Gad's first priority was to build sheep-pens, which would serve as a first line of defense against enemy invasion.

    (Kli Yakar)

    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
    Kil Yakar
    The Greater Loss
    Temporary Dweller
    Sefer Hachinuch
    Cities of the Levi'im
    Capital Punishment
    410 Exile
    The Merit of the Journeys
    The Inheritance of Daughters
    The Husbands of the Daughters of Tzlofchad

    Answers to this Week's Questions

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

    1. 30:2 - Preferably, an individual who is an expert in the laws of nedarim. If such a person is not available then three ordinary people.
    2. 31:2 - Because Moav only acted out of fear against the Jewish People. Also, Ruth was destined to come from Moav.
    3. 31:5 - They knew that the death of Moshe would follow the execution of vengeance upon Midian.
    4. 31:6 - The Aron and the Tzitz.
    5. 31:8 - He went to claim his reward for the people who died in the plague as a result of his counsel.
    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 that they remain west of the Jordan during the conquest of the Land. They promised not to return home for an additional seven 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.

    11. 33:1 - To show Hashem's love of 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.
    12. 33:18 - The meraglim slandered the Land.
    13. 34:2 - Because there are certain mitzvos that apply in the Land, but not outside of the Land.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. 35:13 - Moshe.
    17. 35:13 - After Yehoshua separated three cities on the western side of the Jordan.
    18. 35:16 - One which is capable of inflicting a lethal injury.
    19. 35:25 - Because the Kohen Gadol causes the Shechina to dwell in Israel and prolongs life, and the murderer causes the Shechina to depart from Israel and shortens life. The murderer is not worthy to stand in the vicinity of the Kohen Gadol.
    20. 36:4 - It remains in the possession of the new tribe.

    Bonus Question

    If the King of Arad had not been alive, it would have served no purpose for the Amalekite King to imitate him.

    (Tosafos, Rosh Hashana 3a)

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