Parsha Q&A - Vaera

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Parsha Q&A

Parshas Vaera

For the week ending 3 Shevat 5757; 10 & 11 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. Name the seven plagues, in order, and in Hebrew, listed in this week's parsha.
    2. Did Hashem ever appear to Avraham and say "I am Hashem?"
    3. What does "Orlah" mean?
    4. How was Moshe commanded to act towards Pharaoh?
    5. How long did Levi live?
    6. Hashem told Avraham that his descendants would live as strangers for 400 years (Bereishis 15:13). When did this period begin?
    7. Who was Aharon's wife? Who was her father? Who was her brother?
    8. Why are Yisro and Yosef both referred to as 'Putiel?'
    9. After which plague did Hashem begin to 'harden Pharaoh's heart?'
    10. Give two reasons why the plague of blood was chosen to be the first plague.
    11. How long did the plague of blood last?
    12. Why did the frogs affect Pharaoh's house first?
    13. What did Moshe mean when he told Pharaoh that the frogs would be "in you and in your nation?"
    14. How many frogs were there in the beginning of the plague of tzefardea?
    15. Why was Moshe not the one who struck the dust to initiate the plague of lice?
    16. Why didn't the wild beasts die as the frogs had?
    17. As a result of dever - cattle disease - "all the cattle of Egypt died" (9:6). Later, the Torah says that the shechin - boils - afflicted the Egyptians' cattle. (9:9) How can this be, if all their cattle had already died?
    18. Why did Moshe pray to Hashem only after he left the city?
    19. Why did the wheat and spelt survive the hail?
    20. What was miraculous about the way that the hail stopped falling?

    Bonus Question
    Moshe said:
    "When shall I pray for you, your servants and your people, to rid you of the frogs…?"

    Pharaoh answered:
    "Tomorrow." (8:5,6)

    Why did Pharaoh subject his nation to an extra day of plague by saying "Tomorrow?" Didn't he want the frogs to go away immediately?

    I Did Not Know That!

    "Aharon married Elisheva, daughter of Aminadav... and she bore him Nadav and Avihu...." (6:23)
    Elisheva named her first child 'Nadav' in honor of her father, 'Ami-Nadav.' Aharon named the next child in honor of his father: Avi-hu - 'He is my father.'

    Recommended Reading List

    Subtle and Sensational Miracles
    Four Dimensions of Redemption
    Why Moshe was Ignored
    The Meaning of "Le'mor"
    The Free Will of Pharaoh (also see Sifsei Chachamim on Rashi)
    Why Pharaoh said "Tomorrow"
    Uniqueness of Fourth Plague
    The Cattle in the Field
    Pharaoh's Hard Heart
    Structure of the Plagues.
    Effects of the Plagues

    Kli Yakar
    Aaron and Moshe
    Three Sets of Plagues
    "Mesiras Nefesh" of the Frogs

    Answers to this Week's Questions

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

    1. Dam, tzefardea, kinim, arov, dever, shechin, barad.
    2. 6:9 - Yes.
    3. 6:12 - Sealed.
    4. 6:13 - With the respect due a king.
    5. 6:16 - 137 years.
    6. 6:18 - With the birth of Yitzchak.
    7. 6:23 - Elisheva, daughter of Aminadav, sister of Nachshon.
    8. 6:25 - Yisro fattened (pitem) cows for idol worship. Yosef scoffed (pitpet) at his evil inclination.
    9. 7:3 - After the sixth plague - shechin.
    10. 7:17 - a) Because the Nile was an Egyptian god and 8:17 - b) Because an invading army first attacks the enemy's water supply, and Hashem did the same.
    11. 7:25 - Seven days.
    12. 7:28 - Pharaoh himself advised the enslavement of the Jewish People.
    13. 7:29 - He warned that the frogs would enter their intestines and croak.
    14. 8:2 - One.
    15. 8:12 - Because the dust protected Moshe by hiding the body of the Egyptian that Moshe killed.
    16. 8:27 - So that the Egyptians would not benefit from their hides.
    17. 9:10 - In the plague of dever only the cattle in the fields died. The plague of shechin affected the surviving cattle.
    18. 9:29 - Because the city was full of idols.
    19. 9:32 - They matured later and their stalks were still soft. Therefore, they were able to resist the bombardment of hailstones.
    20. 9:33 - The hailstones stopped in mid-air and didn't fall to the ground.

    Bonus Question
    Pharaoh didn't believe that the frogs were a plague from Hashem. He preferred to believe that the frogs were a natural phenomenon about which Moshe had special knowledge. When Moshe asked "When shall I pray...?" Pharaoh thought Moshe was simply timing his question to coincide with the plague's natural end, expecting Pharaoh to say "Right now!" By saying "Tomorrow" Pharaoh tried to trick Moshe and make him look foolish.
    Ibn Ezra in the name of Rav Shmuel ben Chofni

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