Parsha Q&A - Bo

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Parsha Q&A

Parshas Bo

For the week ending 10 Shevat 5757; 17 & 18 January 1997

  • 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. There is a star called 'Ra.' What does it symbolize?
    2. What was Pharaoh's excuse for refusing to allow the Jewish children to go into the desert?
    3. How did the locusts in the time of Moshe differ from those in the days of Yoel?
    4. To what extent was it that "Not one locust remained in the entire Egyptian border?"
    5. How did the first three days of darkness differ from the last three days?
    6. Pharoah told Moshe that he would let all the people go, but that the Jewish livestock must remain in Egypt. What was Moshe's response to this?
    7. Where was Moshe when he received the prophecy regarding the plague of the first born?
    8. The plague of the first born took place exactly at midnight. Why did Moshe tell Pharaoh that it would take place "about midnight?"
    9. Why did the first born of the slaves die?
    10. Why did the first born of the animals die?
    11. Why did Hashem give the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh to Aaron, and not only to Moshe?
    12. How is it possible that Hashem spoke to Moshe and showed him the new moon, since Moshe received prophecy only during the day?
    13. Up to what age is an animal fit to be a Pesach offering?
    14. Prior to the Exodus from Egypt, what two mitzvos involving blood did Hashem give to the Jewish People?
    15. What inedible substance is expressly forbidden to be eaten during Pesach?
    16. Who among the first born of Egypt survived the plague of the first born?
    17. Why did the Jewish People carry their matzah on their shoulders rather than have their animals carry it?
    18. What three historical events occurred on the 15th of Nissan, prior to the event of the Exodus from Egypt?
    19. What is the source of the "milk and honey" found in Eretz Yisrael?
    20. The only non kosher animal whose first born is redeemed is the donkey. Why were the donkeys favored?

    Bonus Question
    "Moshe had difficulty grasping the prophecy of the new moon [until] Hashem showed him, pointing with a finger." (Rashi 12:2)
    Why did Hashem have to 'point with a finger,' so to speak? Wouldn't it have been enough to show Moshe, without 'pointing?'

    I Did Not Know That!

    Moshe warned Pharaoh: "At approximately midnight I go out amidst Egypt, and every first born will die..." (11:14)

    Hashem's 'clock' is set to Jerusalem. The plague of the first-born took place at exactly midnight, Jerusalem time. But because Egypt is west of Jerusalem, midnight there occurs later. When Moshe said the plague would be at 'approximately midnight,' he was referring to local, Egyptian time.

    Kehillas Yitzchak; thanks to Rabbi Sholem Fishbane

    Recommended Reading List

    Locusts and Crocodiles
    A Different Darkness
    Jewish Months
    Symbolism of the Korban Pesach
    Timetable of the Exodus
    Five and Two - Seven Canaanite Nations
    Sefer Hachinuch
    7, 16
    Eating Like Kings
    Recognizing Hashem's Gifts
    The Significance of the Exodus

    Answers to this Week's Questions

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

    1. 10:10 - Bloodshed.
    2. 10:11 - Since children don't bring sacrifices there was no need for them to go.
    3. 10:14 - The plague brought by Moshe was composed of one species of locust, whereas the plague in the days of Yoel was composed of many species.
    4. 10:19 - It applied even to dead ones salted and pickled for food.
    5. 10:22 - During the first three days the Egyptians were unable to see. During the second three days they were unable to move as well.
    6. 10:25 - Moshe said that not only would the Jews take their own livestock, but that the Egyptians would even give of their own livestock to the Jewish people.
    7. 11:4 - In front of Pharaoh.
    8. 11:4 - Moshe thought Pharaoh's astrologers might miscalculate. If he said the plague would begin exactly at midnight, they might make a mistake and accuse Moshe of being a fake.
    9. 11:5 - They too subjugated the Jewish People and rejoiced in their suffering.
    10. 11:5 - Because the Egyptians worshipped them as gods, and when Hashem punishes a nation He also punishes its gods.
    11. 12:1 - As a reward for toiling together with Moshe in bringing about the plagues.
    12. 12:2 - He heard the prophecy with the sunset and saw the moon as it got dark.
    13. 12:5 - One year.
    14. 12:6 - Circumcision and Korban Pesach.
    15. 12:19 - Sourdough (se'or).
    16. 12:29 - Pharaoh.
    17. 12:34 - Because the commandment of matza was dear to them.
    18. 12:41 - The angels came to promise that Sarah would have a son, Yitzchak was born, and the exile of the "covenant between parts" was decreed.
    19. 13:5 - The milk is from goats and the honey is from dates and figs.
    20. 13:13 - They assisted the Jewish People during the exile.

    Bonus Question
    Moshe's prophecy exceeds that of all future prophets. Future prophets received visions and dreams, whereas Hashem spoke to Moshe 'face to Face' (see Bamidbar 12:6,7). If Moshe had merely seen the moon, his prophecy regarding it would be no better than that of future prophets. By 'pointing with the finger,' Hashem elevated this prophesy to the the same level of clarity as Moshe's other prophecies.
    Heard from Rabbi Betzalel Rudinsky, quoting the Netziv

    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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