Parsha Q&A - Parshat Vayechi

Library Library Kaddish

Parsha Q&A

Parshat Vayechi

For the week ending 18 Tevet 5760; 24 & 25 December 1999

Contents:
  • Parsha Questions
  • Kasha
  • I Did Not Know That!
  • Recommended Reading List
  • Answers to Parsha Questions
  • 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. Why is kindness towards the dead called "chesed shel emet" kindness of truth?
    2. Give three reasons Yaakov didn't want to be buried in Egypt.
    3. How do you treat a "fox in his time" (i.e., a commoner who rules)?
    4. "When I was coming from Padan, Rachel died on me... I buried her there on the way to Efrat..." Why did Yaakov say all this to Yosef?
    5. Initially, why was Yaakov unable to bless Efraim and Menashe?
    6. What does pillalti mean?
    7. What does "Shechem" mean as used in this week's Parsha? (two answers)
    8. Which individual is called "the Emori?" Why? Give two reasons.
    9. What did Yaakov want to tell his sons but was unable to?
    10. What privileges did Reuven lose due to his rash actions?
    11. What congregation from Yaakov's offspring did Yaakov not want to be associated with?
    12. What did Yehuda do after he heard Yaakov rebuke Reuven, Shimon and Levi? Why?
    13. What does milk do to teeth?
    14. Why is Yissachar like a "strong-boned donkey?"
    15. With what resource did both Yaakov and Moshe bless Asher?
    16. In Yosef's blessing, Yaakov said, "They embittered him..." Who are "they"?
    17. Which descendants of Binyamin "will divide the spoils in the evening"?
    18. From whom did Yaakov buy his burial place?
    19. What oath did Yosef make to Pharaoh?
    20. Which two sons of Yaakov did not carry his coffin? Why not?


    Kasha

    (kasha means "question")

    How would you answer this question on the Parsha?

    Avi Elfenbein wrote:

    In Parashat Vayechi, Yaakov gives a blessing to his sons. Why does he not give a blessing to his daughter, Dina? I look forward to an answer. Shabbat Shalom.

    Dear Avi Elfenbein,

    Good question. In truth, there's no proof that he didn't bless Dina: The Torah doesn't record everything Yaakov ever did or said. If he did bless her, the Torah may not have considered it necessary to include as she was not a founder of one of the tribes. Yaakov's blessings to his sons are not just individual blessings, but blessings to them and to the tribe that is to emerge from them. The Torah records this so that we will know the character and strength of each tribe.


    I Did Not Know That!

    "His smaller brother will be greater than him...." (Bereishet 48:19)

    Efraim was chosen above his older brother Menashe because of his greater humility. Thus, the verse emphasizes that he was the "smaller," i.e., the more humble, brother.

    (Based on Kli Yakar)


    Recommended Reading List

    Ramban
    47:28
    Egypt and Rome
    47:31
    Necessity for the Oath
    48:1
    The Division of Eretz Yisrael
    48:7
    Rachel's Tomb
    48:15
    (first part) Yosef's other children
    49:10
    (first part) Kings of Israel
    49:17
    Shimshon
    49:31
    Burial in the Ma'arat HaMachpela
    49:33
    The Death of Yaakov
    Sforno
    47:31
    Yosef's Oath
    48:18
    The Laying of Hands
    49:7
    The Humility of Dispersion
    49:11
    Signs of Mashiach


    Answers to this Week's Questions

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

    1. Why is kindness towards the dead called "chesed shel emet" kindness of truth?
      47:29 - Because the giver expects no reward from the recipient.

    2. Give three reasons Yaakov didn't want to be buried in Egypt.
      47:29 - a) Egypt's ground was to be plagued with lice; b) At the time of the resurrection, those buried outside Israel will suffer; c) So the Egyptians wouldn't make him into an idol.

    3. How do you treat a "fox in his time" (i.e., a commoner who rules)?
      47:31 - Bow to him.

    4. "When I was coming from Padan, Rachel died on me... I buried her there on the way to Efrat..." Why did Yaakov say all this to Yosef?
      48:7 - Yaakov thought Yosef harbored resentment since Yaakov had not buried Yosef's mother, Rachel, in the Ma'arat HaMachpela.

    5. Initially, why was Yaakov unable to bless Efraim and Menashe?
      48:8 - The Shechina departed from him.

    6. What does pillalti mean?
      48:11 - "I thought."

    7. What does "Shechem" mean as used in this week's Parsha? (two answers)
      48:22 - a) The actual city of Shechem; b) A portion.

    8. Which individual is called "the Emori?" Why? Give two reasons.
      48:22 - Esav. a) He acted like an Emorite; b) He trapped his father with words (imrei pi).

    9. What did Yaakov want to tell his sons but was unable to?
      49:1 - When mashiach will come.

    10. What privileges did Reuven lose due to his rash actions?
      49:3 - Priesthood and Kingship.

    11. What congregation from Yaakov's offspring did Yaakov not want to be associated with?
      49:6 - Korach and his congregation.

    12. What did Yehuda do after he heard Yaakov rebuke Reuven, Shimon and Levi? Why?
      49:8 - He drew back. He was afraid that Yaakov would rebuke him for the incident with Tamar.

    13. What does milk do to teeth?
      49:12 - It makes them white.

    14. Why is Yissachar like a "strong-boned donkey?"
      49:14 - Just as a donkey bears a heavy burden, so the tribe of Yissachar bears the yoke of Torah.

    15. With what resource did both Yaakov and Moshe bless Asher?
      49:20 - Oil-rich land.

    16. In Yosef's blessing, Yaakov said, "They embittered him..." Who are "they"?
      49:23 - Yosef's brothers, Potifar and his wife.

    17. Which descendants of Binyamin "will divide the spoils in the evening"?
      49:27 - Mordechai and Esther.

    18. From whom did Yaakov buy his burial place?
      50:5 - From Esav.

    19. What oath did Yosef make to Pharaoh?
      50:6 - Yosef swore not to reveal Pharaoh's ignorance of Hebrew.

    20. Which two sons of Yaakov did not carry his coffin? Why not?
      50:13 - Levi, because he would carry the aron (holy ark). Yosef, because he was a king.


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


    © 1999 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved. This publication may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue newsletters. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission, and then send us a sample issue.

    This publication is available via E-Mail
    Ohr Somayach Institutions is an international network of Yeshivot and outreach centers, with branches in North America, Europe, South Africa and South America. The Central Campus in Jerusalem provides a full range of educational services for over 685 full-time students.

    The Jewish Learning Exchange (JLE) of Ohr Somayach offers summer and winter programs in Israel that attract hundreds of university students from around the world for 3 to 8 weeks of study and touring.

    Ohr Somayach is hosted by TeamGenesis


    Copyright © 1999 Ohr Somayach International. Send us Feedback.
    Dedication opportunities are available for Parsha Q&A. Please contact us for details.
    Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) and your donation is tax deductable.