Parsha Q&A - Shlach

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Parsha Q&A

Parshas Shlach

For the week ending 23 Sivan 5757; 27 & 28 June 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. What was the name of the spy sent by the tribe of Levi?
    2. What did Moshe mean when he asked the meraglim "Is there a tree?"
    3. Who built Hebron?
    4. Which meraglim returned empty-handed?
    5. Why did Hashem shorten the journey of the meraglim?
    6. Why did the meraglim begin their report by saying that the land is "flowing with milk and honey?"
    7. How did Calev quiet the people?
    8. Why did the Land appear like a "land that eats its inhabitants?"
    9. Besides the incident of the meraglim, what other sin led to the decree of 40 years of wandering in the desert?
    10. On which date did the Bnei Yisrael cry because of the report of the meraglim? How did this affect the future of the Jewish Nation?
    11. "Don't fear the people of the land... their defense is departed" (14:9). Who was one of their 'defenders'?
    12. Calev and Yehoshua praised Eretz Canaan and tried to reassure the people that they could be victorious. How did the Jewish People respond?
    13. Which portion of Eretz Canaan did Calev receive?
    14. What does 'Vayapilu' mean? What event is this word used in connection with?
    15. Which two locations were named for events which occurred in Parshas Shlach?
    16. How is the mitzvah of challah different from other mitzvos that are associated with Eretz Yisrael?
    17. What is the minimum measurement of challah that must be given to a Kohen according to Torah Law? Rabbinical Law?
    18. How does the prohibition against worshipping idols differ from all other prohibitions in the Torah?
    19. How many times did the Jewish People keep Shabbos before someone violated it by gathering wood?
    20. From what is "techeles" derived?

    Bonus Question
    "For the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea ben Nun.” (1:8) “For the tribe of Yosef, for the tribe of Menashe, Gaddi ben Susi. " (1:11)

    Why is only the tribe of Menashe identified with Yosef? Isn’t the tribe of Ephraim also descended from Yosef?

    I Did Not Know That!

    And your children will delay in the desert 40 years…the number of days you spied out the land, 40 days - one year for every year…(14:33,34).

    There are 15 days missing from the 40 years of wandering. How so, and why?

    The Jews entered Israel on the 10th day of Nissan. But based on the punishment, they should not have entered the Land until at least the 14th of Nissan, being that they left Egypt on the 15th of Nissan. We must therefore subtract four days from the 40 year punishment. We must subtract another 11 days for the time it would normally have taken them to go from Mount Sinai to the Land of Israel. These 11 days can't be counted as part of the punishment since they needed to travel 11 days anyway. All together, there are 15 days missing from the 40 years of punishment.

    Rashi in the beginning of the Parsha tells us that the spies were "righteous at that hour." Therefore, for one hour of their mission they didn't deserve to be punished. One hour is a 24th part of a day, just as 15 days is a 24thth part of a Jewish calendar year.

    Recommended Reading List

    Order of the Meraglim
    13:27,32 & 14:1,3
    Tactics of the Meraglim
    Moshe Rabbeinu's Prayer
    Order of the Chapters
    Sefer Hachinuch
    Avoiding Intellectual and Physical Temptations

    Answers to this Week's Questions

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

    1. 13:4-15 - The tribe of Levi did not send a spy.
    2. 13:8 - Is there a righteous person whose merit will 'shade' and shield the Canaanites?
    3. 13:22 - Cham.
    4. 13:23 - Yehoshua and Calev.
    5. 13:25 - Hashem knew the Jewish People would sin on account of the meraglim and would spend a year in the midbar for every day of the mission. Therefore, Hashem shortened the journey to soften the decree against the Jewish People.
    6. 13:27 - Any lie which doesn't start with an element of truth will not be believed; therefore, they began their false report with a true statement.
    7. 13:30 - He fooled them by shouting, "Is this all that the son of Amram did to us?" The people quieted themselves to hear what disparaging thing Calev wished to say about the 'son of Amram' (Moshe).
    8. 13:32 - Hashem caused many deaths among the Canaanites so they would be preoccupied with burying their dead and not notice the meraglim.
    9. 13:33 - The golden calf.
    10. 14:1 - The 9th of Av. Therefore, the Temples were destroyed on this date.
    11. 14:9 - Iyov.
    12. 14:10 - They wanted to stone them.
    13. 14:24 - Hebron.
    14. 14:44 - Vayapilu means strength and brazenness. It's used in connection with the people who tried to go to the Land of Israel without Moshe's consent.
    15. 13:24, 14:45 - Nachal Eshkol, because of the cluster of grapes taken there. Chormah, because of the destruction that occurred there.
    16. 15:18 - The obligation to observe other mitzvos associated with Eretz Yisrael began only after the possession and division of the Land. The obligation to observe the mitzvah of challah started immediately upon entering the Land.
    17. 15:20 - No fixed amount is stated in the Torah. Rabbinical Law requires a household to give 1/24, and a baker to give 1/48.
    18. 15:31 - Hashem gave this commandment directly to the Jewish People.
    19. 15:32 - Just one.
    20. 15:39 - From the blood of the chilazon.

    Bonus Question

    The Torah here is identifying the spies, most of whom spoke ill of the land of Israel. Therefore, the Torah points out that Gaddi ben Susi is descended from Yosef, who himself spoke ill of his brothers. Hoshea ben Nun, on the other hand, did not speak ill of the Land; therefore, the Torah does not identify him here as a descendent of Yosef.

    (Musaf Rashi)

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