Parsha Q&A - Parshat Beha'alotcha
In Israel for the week ending June 17, 2000 / 14 Sivan 5760
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- Toward which direction did the wicks of the menorah burn, and why?
- From what material and in what manner was the menorah made?
- Moshe was commanded to cleanse the levi'im by sprinkling on them "mei chatat." What is "mei chatat"?
- Which three "tnufot" (wavings) are in the Parsha?
- Why did Hashem claim the firstborn of the Jewish People as His possession?
- Why are the words "Bnei Yisrael" repeated five times in verse 8:19?
- When a levi reaches age 50, which functions may he still perform?
- Why was the mitzvah of Pesach Sheini not commanded directly to Moshe?
- What similarity is there between the way the menorah and the trumpets were made?
- What three purposes did trumpet signals serve?
- How many tribes marched between the Gershon-Merari detachment and that of Kehat? How was the time differential used?
- The tribe of Dan, who traveled last, was called "the gatherer of all the camps." What did they gather?
- When the Jewish People entered the Land, who took temporary possession of Jericho?
- Which aron is referred to in verse 10:33?
- Which two topics are out of chronological order in the Parsha?
- Which tastes did the manna not offer, and why not?
- Moshe was commanded to choose 70 elders to help him lead the Jewish People. What happened to the elders who led the Jewish People in Egypt?
- Who did Moshe choose as elders?
- What was the prophecy of Eldad and Medad?
- Why did Miriam merit to have the people wait for her?
(kasha means "question")
Saul Cohen from Worcester, MA asked:
In Parshat Beha'alotcha (12:1-13), both Miriam and Aharon are specifically said to be talking together about Moshe separating from Zipporah, yet only Miriam is punished with tzara'at. Why is only Miriam punished? Is Aharon also punished in some way that does not appear in the Parsha?
Dear Saul Cohen,
Note that the verse mentions Miriam first, indicating that she was the primary actor. Furthermore, only Miriam actually spoke, as can be seen from the Hebrew grammar of the verse, which literally reads, "She spoke (vatedabair), Miriam and Aharon, about Moshe...." Aharon is included because he listened in silence, or showed agreement. (Ibn Ezra)
The Midrash (Sifri cited by Ohr Hachaim) states that indeed Aharon was also stricken with tzara'at but was healed immediately.
The menorah in the Temple had 7 stems, 9 flowers, 11 pomegranates, and 22 cups. Its height was, according to one opinion, 17 handbreadths. These numbers correspond to the number of words in the first verse of each Book of the Torah: The first verse of Bereishet has 7 words; the first verse of Shemot has 11 words; Vayikra 9 words, Bamidbar 17 words; Devarim 22 words.
This idea is hinted in the verse "The beginning of Your words will give light" (Tehillim 119).
All references are to the verses and Rashi's commentary, unless otherwise stated
8:2 - They leaned toward the middle wick so people wouldn't say that the menorah was lit for its light.
8:4 - It was hammered out from one solid piece of gold.
8:7 - Water containing ashes of the parah aduma.
8:11 - The wavings of Kehat, Gershon and Merari.
8:17 - Because in Egypt He spared them during makat bechorot.
8:19 - To show Hashem's love for them.
8:25 - Closing the courtyard gates of the Mishkan and Beit Hamikdash; singing during the avoda; loading the wagons to transport the Mishkan.
9:7 - So the people who asked about it could be rewarded by being the catalyst for its teaching.
8:4, 10:2 - They were each made from a single, solid block.
10:2-7 - Announcement of the gathering of Bnei Yisrael, the gathering of the nesi'im, and the beginning of a move of the encampment.
10:17-21 - Three: Reuven, Shimon and Gad. In the meantime Gershon and Merari set up the Mishkan.
10:25 - They gathered and returned things lost by the other tribes.
10:32 - The children of Yitro.
10:33 - The aron which held the broken pieces of the first tablets, which was taken to the battlefront.
9:1, 10:35,36 - The Pesach sacrifice, and the traveling of the aron.
11:5 - Cucumbers, melons, leeks, onion and garlic -- these are harmful to nursing women.
11:16 - They were consumed in the fire at Taverah (11:3).
11:16 - Jews who were supervisors in Egypt and had pity on Bnei Yisrael at risk to themselves.
11:28 - "Moshe will die and Yehoshua will lead the Jewish People into the Land."
12:15 - Because she waited for Moshe when he was cast into the river.
Written and Compiled by Rabbi Eliyahu Kane & Rabbi Reuven Subar
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
Production Design: Michael Treblow
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