Parsha Q&A - Yisro

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Parsha Q&A

Parshas Yisro

For the week ending 24 Shevat 5757; 31 January & 1 February 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. News of which two events motivated Yisro to come join the Jewish people?
    2. Yisro had six other names. What are they?
    3. Who informed Pharaoh of Moshe killing the Egyptian?
    4. Why did Moshe tell Yisro all that Hashem had done for the Jewish People?
    5. According to the Midrash quoted by Rashi, how did Yisro respond when he was told about the destruction of Egypt?
    6. Who is considered as if he enjoys the splendor of the Shechina?
    7. On what day did Moshe sit to judge the Jewish People?
    8. Who is considered a co-partner in creation?
    9. "Moshe sat to judge the people, and the people stood before Moshe…." What bothered Yisro about this arrangement?
    10. In Rashi 18:19, what does "Hey Mem Lamed Chaf" spell? What does it mean?
    11. Why did Yisro return to his own land?
    12. On what day did the Jewish People arrive at Sinai?
    13. How did the encampment at Sinai differ from the other encampments?
    14. What was Hashem's original plan for Matan Torah? What was the response of the Jewish People?
    15. How many times greater is the 'measure of reward' than the 'measure of punishment'?
    16. How is it derived that "don't steal" refers to kidnapping?
    17. In response to hearing the Torah given at Sinai, how far backwards did the Jewish people retreat in fear?
    18. Upon what must the copper altar rest?
    19. Why does the use of iron tools profane the altar?
    20. The altar must have a ramp and not steps, so the Kohanim can conduct themselves in a respectful manner. What lesson does this teach?

    Bonus Question
    "Hashem said to Moshe, 'Behold I come to you in the thickness of cloud, in order that the people will hear when I speak to you'" (19:9)
    What does it mean that Hashem appeared to Moshe in the 'thickness of cloud?' Why was that necessary 'in order for the people to hear' Hashem speaking to Moshe?

    I Did Not Know That!

    The public Torah reading is a symbolic reenactment of the giving of the Torah at Sinai: The Gabbai, who decides which person to call to the Torah, symbolizes Hashem, who chose the Jewish people to receive the Torah. The person called to the Torah represents the Jewish people. And the person reading the Torah is Moshe, the 'broker' between the Jewish people and Hashem.

    Taamei Haminhagim 328
    Thanks to Rabbi Sholem Fishbane

    Recommended Reading List

    Yisro's Communication and Conversion
    Why Egyptians were Punished
    The Role of Moshe Rabbeinu
    Availability of Justice
    Belief Based on Experience
    The Beloved of Hashem
    Remembering Shabbos
    The "Test" of Matan Torah
    19:3, 8:9, 20:15, 24:1
    The Chronology of Matan Torah
    Sefer Hachinuch
    Respect for Divine Name
    Kiddush on Wine
    Shabbos Rest
    Gratitude to Parents

    The Essence of Belief in Hashem

    Ibn Ezra
    Discipline of Desire

    Answers to this Week's Questions

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

    1. 18:1 - The splitting of the sea and the war against Amalek.
    2. 18:1 - Reuel, Yeser, Chovev, Chaver, Keni, Putiel.
    3. 18:4 - Dasan and Aviram.
    4. 18:8 - To induce Yisro to attach himself to the Torah.
    5. 18:9 - He grieved.
    6. 18:12 - One who dines with Torah scholars.
    7. 18:13 - The day after Yom Kippur.
    8. 18:13 - A judge who renders a correct decision.
    9. 18:14 - Yisro felt that the people weren't being treated with the proper respect.
    10. 18:19 - It spells 'Hi-malech,' meaning "Take advice."
    11. 18:27 - To convert the members of his family to Judaism.
    12. 19:1 - Rosh Chodesh Sivan.
    13. 19:2 - The Jewish People were united.
    14. 19:9 - Hashem offered to appear to Moshe and to give the Torah through him. The Jewish People responded that they wished to learn the Torah directly from Hashem.
    15. 20:6 - Five hundred times.
    16. 20:13 - Because it's written immediately after "Don't murder" and "Don't commit adultery," it is derived that "Don't steal" refers to a crime carrying the same penalty as the first two, namely the death penalty.
    17. 20:15 - They backed away from the mountain twelve mil (2000 cubits is one mil).
    18. 20:21 - The ground.
    19. 20:22 - Because the altar was created to extend life and iron tools are sometimes used as weapons to shorten life.
    20. 20:23 - The altar is merely stone which is insensitive to disgrace. Since it serves a useful purpose, it must be treated in a respectful manner. People, who are created in the image of Hashem and who are sensitive to disgrace, all the more so must be treated in a respectful manner.

    Bonus Question
    Moshe's level of prophecy was far above that of all other prophets. Because Moshe was totally removed from the physical, Hashem could speak to him 'face to face.' The rest of the Jewish People, however, were not on such a high level. They were unable to receive such a clear level of prophecy. In order for them to 'listen in' while Hashem appeared to Moshe, the prophecy had to be 'filtered' through a 'thick cloud.'

    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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