Parsha Q&A - Parshat Ha'azinu

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Parsha Q&A

Parshat Ha'azinu

For the week ending 8 Tishrei 5761 / 6 & 7 October 2000

Contents:
  • Parsha Questions
  • Kasha
  • 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] Explanation of these symbols


    Parsha Questions

    Answers | Contents
    1. Why were heaven and earth specifically chosen as witnesses?
    2. How is the Torah like rain?
    3. How is Hashem "faithful without injustice"?
    4. Why is Hashem called "tzaddik"?
    5. How many major floods did Hashem bring upon the world?
    6. What group of people does the Torah call "fathers"? Cite an example.
    7. Why did Hashem separate the world's nations into exactly 70?
    8. Why is the merit of the Jewish People's ancestry called a "rope"?
    9. How is Hashem's behavior toward the Jewish People like an eagle's behavior toward its offspring?
    10. Regarding the Jewish People's punishment, Hashem says "I will spend my arrows on them." What is the positive aspect of this phrase?
    11. How does the idea of "chillul Hashem" prevent the nations from destroying the Jewish People?
    12. What will happen to the nations that conquer the Jewish People?
    13. When Hashem overturns a nation that persecutes the Jewish People, His attribute of Mercy is "replaced" by which attribute?
    14. When Hashem punishes the heathen nations, for whose sins does He exact punishment?
    15. How will Hashem's punishment change the way the nations view the Jewish People?
    16. On what day was Ha'azinu taught to the Jewish People?
    17. Verse 32:44 calls Yehoshua "Hoshea." Why?
    18. In verse 32:47, what does "it is not empty from you" mean?
    19. Why did Hashem tell Moshe that he would die a similar death to that of Aharon?
    20. If Moshe had spoken to the rock rather than striking it, what would the Jewish People have learned?

    Kasha
    (kasha means "question")

    Brent Worth from Waukeegan wrote:

    I was surprised to read the verse that talks about the Jewish people consuming "milk from sheep with the fat of rams..." (Devarim 32: 14). How could they do that? Isn't it forbidden to eat meat and milk together?

    Dear Brent Worth,

    Nice question. The verse you quote is part of what the Torah calls "shira" -- poetic song, and thus can be explained figuratively. But even if taken literally, remember that the Torah only forbade milk and meat that are cooked together; whereas cold milk and meat are forbidden only by Rabbinic decree. Thus, the Torah could describe the consumption of cold milk and meat occurring before the Sages decreed against it.

    see Ibn Ezra

    Do you have a KASHA? Write to kasha@ohr.edu with your questions on any Parsha!


    I Did Not Know That!

    "Ha Lashem Tigmalu Zot?" (32:6)

    The above verse starts with an unusual letter "hey." It is unusual in two ways: It is larger than normal, and it is written far away from the word that it goes with. The Midrash sees this as a hint to Moshe's name, as follows: Start from the beginning of the parsha and take the first letter of each verse. Do this up to and including the above verse. Now take the numerical value of those letters and you get 345, which equals the numerical value of "Moshe." Thus, Moshe "signed" his name in this song at the end of the Torah. (Taking after Moshe's example, Jewish poets through the ages have encoded their names into their works.)

    Based on Midrash Tanchuma


    Recommended Reading List

    Ramban
    32:1
    Biblical Witnesses
    32:16
    The Rebuke of Ha'azinu
    32:40
    The Testimony of Ha'azinu
    Sforno
    32:2
    Waters of the Torah
    32:13
    Purpose of Eretz Yisrael
    32:19
    Purpose of Galut
    32:27
    Salvation of Dispersion


    Answers to this Week's Questions

    Questions | Contents

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

    1. Why were heaven and earth specifically chosen as witnesses?
      32:1 - They endure forever.

    2. How is the Torah like rain?
      32:2 - The Torah gives life and promotes growth like rain.

    3. How is Hashem "faithful without injustice"?
      32:4 - He is "faithful" by rewarding the righteous, and "without injustice" by rewarding even the wicked for any good deeds.

    4. Why is Hashem called "tzaddik"?
      32:4 - All will agree that His judgments are righteous.

    5. How many major floods did Hashem bring upon the world?
      32:7 - Two. One in the time of Adam's grandson Enosh and one in the time of Noach.

    6. What group of people does the Torah call "fathers"? Cite an example.
      32:7 - The Prophets. Elisha called the Prophet Eliyahu "My Father." (Melachim II 2:12).

    7. Why did Hashem separate the world's nations into exactly 70?
      32:8 - To correspond to the 70 Bnei Yisrael who entered Egypt.

    8. Why is the merit of the Jewish People's ancestry called a "rope"?
      32:9 - Their merit is "woven from" the merits of the Avot.

    9. How is Hashem's behavior toward the Jewish People like an eagle's behavior toward its offspring?
      32:12 - He mercifully wakes them gently, hovering over them, and carrying them on His "wings."

    10. Regarding the Jewish People's punishment, Hashem says "I will spend my arrows on them." What is the positive aspect of this phrase?
      32:23 - "The arrows will be spent" implies that the afflictions will cease but the Jewish People will not.

    11. How does the idea of "chillul Hashem" prevent the nations from destroying the Jewish People?
      32:27 - The nations would attribute their success to their might and the might of their gods. Hashem would not let His name be desecrated like this.

    12. What will happen to the nations that conquer the Jewish People?
      32:35 - They will eventually be punished.

    13. When Hashem overturns a nation that persecutes the Jewish People, His attribute of Mercy is "replaced" by which attribute?
      32:41 - His attribute of Justice.

    14. When Hashem punishes the heathen nations, for whose sins does He exact punishment?
      32:42 - For their sins and the sins of their ancestors.

    15. How will Hashem's punishment change the way the nations view the Jewish People?
      32:43 - They will view the Jewish People as praiseworthy for cleaving to Hashem.

    16. On what day was Ha'azinu taught to the Jewish People?
      32:44 - The Shabbat upon which Moshe died.

    17. Verse 32:44 calls Yehoshua "Hoshea." Why?
      32:44 - To indicate that although he was the Jewish People's leader, he still maintained a humble bearing.

    18. In verse 32:47, what does "it is not empty from you" mean?
      32:47 - That you will receive reward for studying Torah and that there is nothing meaningless in the Torah.

    19. Why did Hashem tell Moshe that he would die a similar death to that of Aharon?
      32:50 - Because Moshe wanted this.

    20. If Moshe had spoken to the rock rather than striking it, what would the Jewish People have learned?
      32:51 - The Jewish People would have reasoned as follows: If a rock, which receives neither reward nor punishment, obeys Hashem's commands, all the more so should they.

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

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