Parsha Q&A - Parshas Devarim

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Parsha Q&A

Parshas Devarim

For the week ending 4 Av 5758 / 16 & 17 July 1999

Contents:
  • Parsha Questions
  • I Did Not Know That!
  • Recommended Reading List
  • Answers to Parsha Questions
  • Back issues of Parsha Q&A
  • Subscription Information
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    Parsha Questions

    Answers | Contents

    1. Why does the Torah say Moshe spoke bamidbar - "in the desert?"
    2. Why did Moshe mention only the names of the places that the Jewish People sinned, while not mentioning the sins themselves?
    3. How much time elapsed between departing from Mt. Sinai and sending the spies?
    4. Moshe rebuked the Jewish People shortly before his death. From whom did he learn this?
    5. Why did Moshe wait until he had smitten the Amorite kings before rebuking the Jewish People?
    6. What were some of the achievements that resulted from the Jewish People "dwelling" at Mt. Sinai?
    7. Why does the Torah single out the names of the Avos in connection with the giving of the Land?
    8. What did Moshe convey to the Jewish People by saying: "You today are like the stars of the Heavens"?
    9. Moshe was looking for several qualities in the judges he chose. Which quality couldn't he find?
    10. Moshe told the judges, "the case that is too hard for you, bring it to me." How was he punished for this statement?
    11. Why did Moshe describe the desert as great and frightful?
    12. Which tribe was not represented among the spies?
    13. Which city did Calev inherit?
    14. How many kingdoms was Avraham promised? How many were conquered by Yehoshua?
    15. Why were the Jewish People forbidden to provoke Ammon?
    16. Why were the Jewish People not permitted to conquer the Philistines?
    17. How did Hashem instill the dread of the Jewish People into the nations of the world?
    18. Why did Moshe fear Og?
    19. Who was instrumental in destroying the refa'im?
    20. What was the advantage of Reuven and Gad leading the way into battle?


    I Did Not Know That!

    "These are the words that Moshe spoke to all of Bnei Yisrael..." (1:1)

    Rashi: These words were harsh words of rebuke.

    Moshe only spoke harshly when speaking to Bnei Yisrael. When speaking to Hashem, however, he only spoke good about Bnei Yisrael. Because he was the leader, he always came to his people's defense even under the most trying circumstances.

    (Kedushas Levi)


    Recommended Reading List

    Ramban
    1:1
    Overview of Devarim
    1:12
    Judging the Jewish People
    1:25
    The Meraglim
    1:37
    Moshe's Punishment
    2:4
    Brother Esav
    2:7
    Blessings
    2:25
    Fear of the Jewish People

    Sefer Hachinuch
    414
    Appointing Judges
    415
    Responsibility of Judges
    Ba'al Haturim
    3:25
    The 51st Amah
    3:25
    The Missing Letter "Vav"
    3:25
    Order of Prayer

    Sforno
    Introduction To Devarim
    1:5
    The Reason for Moshe's Rebuke
    1:22
    The Choice of the Meraglim
    1:23
    Moshe's Reason for Sending Meraglim
    1:27
    The Sin of the Meraglim
    1:37
    The Limits of Repentance
    3:11
    The Refa'im


    Answers to this Week's Questions

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

    1. Why does the Torah say Moshe spoke bamidbar - "in the desert?"
      1:1 - Here the word bamidbar does not mean "in the desert" - rather, it means "on account of the desert." The Book of Devarim contains a rebuke of the Jewish People for the sins committed while in the desert.

    2. Why did Moshe mention only the names of the places that the Jewish People sinned, while not mentioning the sins themselves?
      1:1 - In order to guard the honor of the Jewish People by not mentioning their sins explicitly.

    3. How much time elapsed between departing from Mt. Sinai and sending the spies?
      1:2 - 40 days.

    4. Moshe rebuked the Jewish People shortly before his death. From whom did he learn this?
      1:3 - From Yaakov, who rebuked his sons shortly before his death.

    5. Why did Moshe wait until he had smitten the Amorite kings before rebuking the Jewish People?
      1:4 - Now it was easier to admonish the Jewish People, since no one could now say, "What right has he to rebuke us; has he brought us into any part of the land as he promised?"

    6. What were some of the achievements that resulted from the Jewish People "dwelling" at Mt. Sinai?
      1:6 - They received the Torah, built the Mishkan and all of its vessels, appointed a Sanhedrin, and appointed officers.

    7. Why does the Torah single out the names of the Avos in connection with the giving of the Land?
      1:8 - Each one of the Avos possessed sufficient merit for the Jewish People to inherit the Land.

    8. What did Moshe convey to the Jewish People by saying: "You today are like the stars of the Heavens"?
      1:10 - They are an eternal people, just as the sun, moon and the stars are eternal.

    9. Moshe was looking for several qualities in the judges he chose. Which quality couldn't he find?
      1:15 - Men of understanding.

    10. Moshe told the judges, "the case that is too hard for you, bring it to me." How was he punished for this statement?
      1:17 - When the daughters of Tzlafchad approached him with a halachic question, the law was concealed from him.

    11. Why did Moshe describe the desert as great and frightful?
      1:19 - Because the Jewish People saw huge, frightening snakes and scorpions in the desert.

    12. Which tribe was not represented among the spies?
      1:23 - Levi.

    13. Which city did Calev inherit?
      1:36 - Hebron.

    14. How many kingdoms was Avraham promised? How many were conquered by Yehoshua?
      2:5 - Avraham was promised the land of ten kingdoms. Yehoshua conquered seven. The lands of Moav, Ammon and Esav, will be received in the time of the Mashiach.

    15. Why were the Jewish People forbidden to provoke Ammon?
      2:9 - This was a reward for Lot's younger daughter, the mother of Ammon, for concealing her father's improper conduct.

    16. Why were the Jewish People not permitted to conquer the Philistines?
      2:23 - Because Avraham had made a peace treaty with Avimelech, King of the Philistines.

    17. How did Hashem instill the dread of the Jewish People into the nations of the world?
      2:25 - During the battle against Og, the sun stood still for the sake of the Jewish People, and the whole world saw this.

    18. Why did Moshe fear Og?
      3:2 - Og possessed merit for having once helped Avraham.

    19. Who was instrumental in destroying the refa'im?
      3:11 - Amrafel.

    20. What was the advantage of Reuven and Gad leading the way into battle?
      3:18 - They were mighty men, and the enemy would succumb to them.


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