Parsha Q&A - Noach

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Parsha Q&A

Parshas Noach

For the week ending 6 Cheshvan 5757; 18 & 19 October 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 are the 'offspring' of righteous people?
    2. How did Man corrupt the Earth?
    3. What sin sealed the fate of the Flood Generation?
    4. Why did Hashem tell Noach to build an ark, instead of saving him some other way?
    5. How was the Ark's roof shaped? Why?
    6. Why did Hashem postpone bringing the Flood for seven days?
    7. How high did the waters of the Flood rise?
    8. Which creatures escaped the Flood without the aid of the Ark?
    9. After the flood, some of the springs were left opened. Which?
    10. What did the olive branch symbolize?
    11. How long did the punishment of the Flood last?
    12. A solar year is how many days longer than a lunar year?
    13. How many seasons are mentioned in the Torah?
    14. What was permitted to Noach that was forbidden to Adam? What exceptions are there to this permission?
    15. Why does the command to "be fruitful and multiply" follow directly after the prohibition of murder?
    16. With which mitzvah were Shem's descendants rewarded, due to his act of covering his father?
    17. Why does the Torah call Nimrod a mighty hunter?
    18. Why did Ashur leave the land of Shinar?
    19. Why was the punishment for building the Tower of Babel less severe than the punishment of the Flood generation?
    20. Why was Sarah called 'Yiscah?'

    Bonus Question
    Verse 11:1 says "The whole earth had one language...." Previous verses, however, indicate there were already different languages (e.g., 10:31). How can this be?

    I Did Not Know That!

    The Rainbow symbolizes the idea that the world deserves destruction, but Hashem 'holds back' due to His promise to Noach. The rainbow's shape hints to this idea, since it is like an archer's bow. This symbolizes that the world deserves to be devastated as though by an armed warrior. However, the bow of the rainbow points upwards, away from the earth. This is as though the archer is pointing the bow away from his victim, symbolizing that Hashem will not destroy the world.

    Recommended Reading List

    Miracle of the Ark
    Preserving the World
    The Olive Leaf
    The Rainbow
    Ham and Canaan
    The Land of Canaan
    The Death of Terach
    The New World
    The Pre-Flood World
    The Crime of Murder
    The Conditions of the Covenant
    Meaning of the Rainbow

    Answers to this Week's Questions

    Questions | Contents

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

    1. 6:9 - Their good deeds.
    2. 6:1 - Through promiscuity and idolatry.
    3. 6:13 - Theft.
    4. 6:14 - So people would see him building the ark, find out about the impending flood, and possibly repent.
    5. 6:15 - The roof slanted downwards from the middle, so that water would run off on both sides.
    6. 7:4 - To allow seven days to mourn the death of Mesushelach.
    7. 7:20 - Fifteen amos above the mountain tops.
    8. 7:22 - The fish.
    9. 8:2 - The useful ones, such as the hot springs of Tiberias.
    10. 8:11 - That it's better to eat food 'bitter like an olive' which comes directly from Hashem, rather than sweet food provided by humans.
    11. 8:14 - A full solar year.
    12. 8:14 - Eleven days.
    13. 8:22 - Six.
    14. 9:3,4 - Eating meat, except for limbs or blood taken from a live animal.
    15. 9:7 - To equate one who abstains from having children to one who commits murder.
    16. 9:23 - The mitzva of tzitzis.
    17. 10:9 - He used words to ensnare the minds of people, convincing them to rebel against Hashem.
    18. 10:11 - He saw his children were being influenced by the wicked Nimrod.
    19. 11:9 - Because the people in the time of the Tower of Babel were unified - they acted with love and friendship towards one another.
    20. 11:29 - The word 'yiscah' is related to the Hebrew word 'to see.' Sarah was called Yiscah because she could 'see' the future via prophecy. Also, because of her beauty, everyone would gaze at her.

    Bonus Question

    Everyone knew the original language - Lashon Hakodesh. In addition, various families began developing different languages. Hashem 'mixed up' their languages at the Tower of Babel by causing them to forget Lashon Hakodesh.


    Written and Compiled by Rabbi Eliyahu Kane
    General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
    Production Design: Lev Seltzer
    HTML Design: Michael Treblow
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