Parsha Q&A - Parshas Yisro

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Parsha Q&A

Parshas Yisro

For the week ending 20 Shevat 5759 / 5 & 6 February 1999

Contents:
  • Parsha Questions
  • Sherlox Holmes
  • I Did Not Know That!
  • Recommended Reading List
  • Answers to Parsha Questions
  • Solution to Sherlox Holmes
  • Back issues of Parsha Q&A
  • Subscription Information
  • Ohr Somayach Home Page

  • This publication is also available in the following formats: [Text] [Word] [PDF] Explanation of these symbols 

    Parsha Questions

    Answers | Contents

    1. Yisro had 7 names. Why was one of his names Yeser?
    2. News of which two events motivated Yisro to come join the Jewish People?
    3. What name of Yisro indicates his love for Torah?
    4. Why was Tzipora with her father, Yisro, and not with Moshe when the Bnei Yisrael left Egypt?
    5. Why does verse 18:5 say that Yisro came to the desert - don't we already know that the Bnei Yisrael were in the desert?
    6. Why did Moshe tell Yisro all that Hashem had done for the Jewish People?
    7. According to the Midrash quoted by Rashi, how did Yisro respond when he was told about the destruction of Egypt?
    8. Who is considered as if he enjoys the splendor of the Shechina?
    9. On what day did Moshe sit to judge the Jewish People?
    10. Who is considered a co-partner in Creation?
    11. "Moshe sat to judge the people, and the people stood before Moshe…." What bothered Yisro about this arrangement?
    12. Why did Yisro return to his own land?
    13. How did the encampment at Sinai differ from the other encampments?
    14. To whom does the Torah refer when it uses the term "Beis Yaakov"?
    15. How is Hashem's protection of the Jewish People similar to an eagle's protection of its young?
    16. What was Hashem's original plan for Matan Torah? What was the response of the Jewish People?
    17. How many times greater is the "measure of reward" than the "measure of punishment"?
    18. How is it derived that "Don't steal" refers to kidnapping?
    19. In response to hearing the Torah given at Sinai, how far backwards did the Jewish people retreat in fear?
    20. Why does the use of iron tools profane the altar?


     
    Solution 
    Contents

    Sherlox Holmes and the Mysterious Death

    Watstein peered into the text and said, "G-d warns that if the Jews approach Mount Sinai that 'many of them would fall dead.' (Shmos 19:21) Rashi comments that even if one of them were to die, G-d considers it as if many died."

    "Numbers seem to lose meaning when lives are lost," said world famous detextive Sherlox Holmes.

    "True. But still, many deaths are surely worse than one death. The verse warns that many will die if the nation trespasses upon the mountain. Why can't Rashi leave the verse as is, a warning stated in the strongest terms?"


    I Did Not Know That!

    "Zachor es Yom HaShabbos L'kadsho - Remember the Shabbos day to sanctify it."

    This verse, which commands us to honor the 7th day, is the 7th verse of the Ten Commandments. It begins with the letter zayin, the 7th letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In the following verses, 7 entities are commanded to rest: "You, your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, your animal, and the sojourner within your city gates." Corresponding to these 7 are the 7 expressions of menucha, tranquillity, in the "atah echad" paragraph of the Shabbos afternoon prayer.


    Recommended Reading List

    Ramban
    18:6,10
    Yisro's Communication and Conversion
    18:11
    Why Egyptians were Punished
    18:15
    The Role of Moshe
    18:22 Availability of Justice
    20:2
    Belief Based on Experience
    20:6
    The Beloved of Hashem
    20:8
    Remembering Shabbos
    20:17
    The "Test" of Matan Torah
    19:3, 8:9, 20:15, 24:1
    The Chronology of Matan Torah
    Sefer Hachinuch
    25
    Faith
    30
    Respect for Divine Name
    31
    Kiddush on Wine
    32
    Shabbos Rest
    33
    Gratitude to Parents
    35
    Promiscuity

    Malbim
    20:2
    The Essence of Belief in Hashem

    Ibn Ezra
    20:14
    Discipline of Desire


    Answers to this Week's Questions

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

    1. Yisro had 7 names. Why was one of his names Yeser?
      18:1 - Because he caused a Parsha to be added to the Torah. Yeser means addition.

    2. News of which two events motivated Yisro to come join the Jewish People?
      18:1 - The splitting of the sea and the war against Amalek.

    3. What name of Yisro indicates his love for Torah?
      18:1 - Chovav.

    4. Why was Tzipora with her father, Yisro, and not with Moshe when the Bnei Yisrael left Egypt?
      18:3 - When Aharon met Moshe with his family on their way down to Egypt, Aharon said to Moshe: "We're pained over the Jews already in Egypt, and you're bringing more Jews to Egypt?" Moshe, hearing this, sent his wife and children back to Midian.

    5. Why does verse 18:5 say that Yisro came to the desert - don't we already know that the Bnei Yisrael were in the desert?
      18:5 - To show Yisro's greatness. He was living in a luxurious place, yet he went to the desert in order to study the Torah.

    6. Why did Moshe tell Yisro all that Hashem had done for the Jewish People?
      18:8 - To draw Yisro closer to the Torah way of life.

    7. According to the Midrash quoted by Rashi, how did Yisro respond when he was told about the destruction of Egypt?
      18:9 - He grieved.

    8. Who is considered as if he enjoys the splendor of the Shechina?
      18:12 - One who dines with Torah scholars.

    9. On what day did Moshe sit to judge the Jewish People?
      18:13 - The day after Yom Kippur.

    10. Who is considered a co-partner in Creation?
      18:13 - A judge who renders a correct decision.

    11. "Moshe sat to judge the people, and the people stood before Moshe…." What bothered Yisro about this arrangement?
      18:14 - Yisro felt that the people weren't being treated with the proper respect.

    12. Why did Yisro return to his own land?
      18:27 - To convert the members of his family to Judaism.

    13. How did the encampment at Sinai differ from the other encampments?
      19:2 - The Jewish People were united.

    14. To whom does the Torah refer when it uses the term "Beis Yaakov"?
      19:3 - The Jewish women.

    15. How is Hashem's protection of the Jewish People similar to an eagle's protection of its young?
      19:4 - An eagle carries its young on top of its wings to protect them from human arrows. So too, Hashem's cloud of glory separated between the Egyptians and the Jewish camp in order to absorb Egyptian missiles and arrows fired at the Jewish People.

    16. What was Hashem's original plan for Matan Torah? What was the response of the Jewish People?
      19:9 - Hashem offered to appear to Moshe and to give the Torah through him. The Jewish People responded that they wished to hear the Torah directly from Hashem.

    17. How many times greater is the "measure of reward" than the "measure of punishment"?
      20:6 - Five hundred times.

    18. How is it derived that "Don't steal" refers to kidnapping?
      20:13 - Because it is 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.

    19. In response to hearing the Torah given at Sinai, how far backwards did the Jewish people retreat in fear?
      20:15 - They backed away from the mountain twelve mil (one mil is 2000 cubits).

    20. Why does the use of iron tools profane the altar?
      20:22 - The altar was created to extend life; iron is sometimes used to make weapons which shorten life.



    Mystery
    Contents

    Solution to Sherlox Holmes

    "Look at the word 'fall' in the verse," said Sherlox.

    "Hmm ... it's the singular, nafal," said Watstein.

    "You would have expected the plural form, naflu, wouldn't you?"

    "Yes. In Hebrew, plural nouns have plural verbs," said Watstein. "In order to agree with the word 'many' in the phrase 'many of them would fall dead,' you would have expected the plural form, naflu. Rashi addresses this anomaly with the explanation that when it comes to loss of life, one Jew is considered as many."

    (Based on Sifsei Chachamim; Sherlox" is by Reuven Subar,
    inspired by Dr. Avigdor Bonchek's "What's Bothering Rashi")

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