Parsha Q&A - Vayechi

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Parsha Q&A

Parshas Vayechi

For the week ending 18 Teves 5757; 27 & 28 December 1996

  • Parsha Questions
  • Bonus Question
  • I Did Not Know That!
  • Recommended Reading List
  • Answers to Parsha Questions
  • Answer to Bonus Question
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    Parsha Questions

    Answers | Contents
    1. What is a 'parsha stumah'?
    2. Give three reasons why Yaakov didn't want to be buried in Egypt.
    3. "When I was coming from Padan, Rachel died on me... I buried her there on the way to Ephrat...." Why did Yaakov say all this to Yosef?
    4. Initially, why was Yaakov unable to bless Ephraim and Menashe?
    5. Name one great descendant of: a) Ephraim; b) Menashe.
    6. According to the Parsha, how will the Jewish People bless their sons?
    7. What burial ground did Yaakov give to Yosef?
    8. How did the neighboring Canaanites react when Shimon and Levi killed the people of Shechem, and how did Yaakov react to their reaction?
    9. What privileges did Reuven forfeit as a result of his rash actions?
    10. Who is "Shilo?"
    11. How did the tribe of Zevulun use the profits of its commerce?
    12. Why is Yissachar compared to a 'strong-boned donkey?'
    13. What is a 'shefifon?'
    14. Which tribe had numerous olive trees in its territory?
    15. Which tribe is compared to a wolf?
    16. Which descendants of Binyamin "will divide the spoils in the evening (49:27)"?
    17. Why did the Egyptians mourn the death of Yaakov?
    18. From whom did Yaakov buy his burial place?
    19. What oath did Yosef make to Pharaoh?
    20. Which of Yaakov's grandsons carried his coffin?

    Bonus Question
    "The scepter will not be removed from Yehuda" (49:10)
    For most of our history we have been without a king. And during the second Temple period the Hasmonean kings were from the tribe of Levi and not Yehuda. How can Yaakov's statement be explain?

    I Did Not Know That!

    "Joseph's brothers saw that their father had died and they said, 'Perhaps Yosef will hate us and repay us for all the evil we did to him.'" (50:15)
    When the brothers went to Canaan to bury Yaakov, and they passed the pit into which they had thrown Yosef, Yosef stopped and stared into it. The brothers thought he was awakening hidden hatred against them. In reality, Yosef was reciting a blessing, "Blessed is He who performed a miracle for me in this place."
    Da'as Zekenim MiBaalei Hatosafos

    Recommended Reading List

    Egypt and Rome
    Necessity for the Oath
    The Division of Eretz Yisrael
    Rachel's Tomb
    (first part) Yosef's other children
    (first part) Kings of Israel
    Burial in the Ma'aras HaMachpela
    The Death of Yaakov
    Yosef's Oath
    The Laying of Hands
    The Humility of Dispersion
    Signs of Mashiach

    Answers to this Week's Questions

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

    1. 47:28 - A 'parsha stumah' is a parsha written in the Torah Scroll which is not preceded by a blank space. 'Vayechi' is the only 'parsha stuma' in the Torah. All other weekly portions are preceded by a blank space or they begin on a new line.
    2. 47:29 - a) Egypt's ground was to be plagued with lice; b) At the time of the resurrection, those buried outside of Israel will suffer; c) so the Egyptians wouldn't make him into an idol.
    3. 48:7 - Yaakov thought Yosef harbored resentment since Yaakov had not buried Yosef's mother, Rachel, in the Ma'aras HaMachpela.
    4. 48:8 - The Shechina departed from him.
    5. 48:19 - a) Yehoshua; b) Gideon.
    6. 48:20 - "Yesimcha Elokim k'Ephraim v'ch'Menashe" - May Hashem help you to be like Ephraim and like Menashe.
    7. 48:22 - Shechem.
    8. 48:22 - They gathered against Yaakov to attack him. Yaakov defended himself with sword and bow.
    9. 49:3 - Priesthood and Kingship.
    10. 49:10 - Mashiach.
    11. 49:13 - They provided for the needs of the tribe of Yissachar so that Yissachar could learn Torah.
    12. 49:14 - Just as a donkey bears a heavy burden, so the tribe of Yissachar bears the yoke of Torah.
    13. 49:17 - A type of snake.
    14. 49:20 - Asher.
    15. 49:27 - Binyamin.
    16. 49:27 - Mordechai and Esther.
    17. 50:3 - Because he had brought blessing to Egypt and the famine ended.
    18. 50:5 - From Eisav.
    19. 50:6 - Yosef swore not to reveal Pharaoh's ignorance of the Hebrew language.
    20. 50:13 - Menashe and Ephraim.

    Bonus Question
    Yaakov did not promise that Yehuda would reign continuously, or that no other tribe would produce leaders; rather he promised that kingship would eventually return to Yehuda.
    (Gur Aryeh)

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