Parsha Q&A - Parshat Bechukotai
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- To what do the words "bechukotai telechu" (walk in My statutes) refer?
- When is rain "in its season?"
- What is the blessing of "v'achaltem lachmechem l'sova" (and you shall eat your bread to satisfaction)?
- What is meant by the verse "and a sword will not pass through your land?"
- Mathematically, if five Jewish soldiers can defeat 100 enemy soldiers, how many enemy soldiers should 100 Jewish soldiers be able to defeat?
- How much is "revava"?
- Which "progression" of seven transgressions are taught in Chapter 26, and why in that particular order?
- What is one benefit which the Jewish People derive from the Land of Israel's state of ruin?
- What was the duration of the Babylonian exile and why that particular number?
- The northern tribes were exiled after how many years of transgressing the Torah in the Land of Israel?
- In verse 26:42, the name Yaakov is written with an extra "vav." From whom did Yaakov receive this extra letter and why?
- What positive element is implied by the words "and I will bring them into the land of their enemies?"
- In verse 26:42, why is the word "remember" not used in connection with the name of Yitzchak?
- Why does the Torah say in 26:46 "Torot" (plural) and not "Torah" (singular)?
- What happens when a poor person dedicates the value of a man to the Beit Hamikdash and doesn't have sufficient funds to fulfill his vow?
- If a person says "The leg of this animal shall be an olah offering" the animal is sold and sacrificed as an olah offering. What is the status of the money received for the animal?
- If a person dedicates his ancestral field to the Beit Hamikdash and fails to redeem it before yovel what happens to the field?
- Where must "ma'aser sheini" be eaten?
- When a person redeems "ma'aser sheini" what happens to the food? What happens to the redemption money?
- How does a person tithe his animals?
(kasha means "question")
Question: This week's Torah portion promises physical reward for observing mitzvot -- for instance, plentiful food and peace. How can we understand this in light of the principle that "reward for mitzvot is in the World to Come?"
Answer: The promised blessings in this week's portion are not the reward for keeping the mitzvot. Rather, the Torah promises that if we commit ourselves to observe the Torah, Hashem will provide us with the means to do so. The reward is in the World to Come.
Rambam, Hilchot Teshuvah
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"And I will remember My covenant with Yaakov, and also My covenant with Yitzchak,
and also My covenant with Avraham I will remember..."
Hashem will eventually redeem us in the merit of Sara, Rivka, Rachel and Leah. This is indicated by the three words "with" in the above verse -- the women who were "with" Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov as life partners.
All references are to the verses and Rashi's commentary, unless otherwise stated
26:3 - Laboring in Torah learning.
26:4 - At times when people are not outside (e.g., Shabbat nights).
26:5 - You will only require a little bread to be completely satisfied.
26:6 - No foreign army will travel through your land on their way to a different country.
26:4 - Two thousand.
26:4 - Ten thousand.
26:14,15 - Not studying Torah, not observing mitzvot, rejecting those who observe mitzvot, hating Sages, preventing others from observing mitzvot, denying that Hashem gave the mitzvot, denying the existence of Hashem. They are listed in this order because each transgression leads to the next.
26:32 - No enemy nation will be able to settle in the Land of Israel.
26:35 - 70 years. Because the Jewish People violated 70 shemita and yovel years.
26:35 - 390 years.
26:42 - In five places in the Torah, Yaakov's name is written with an extra "vav" and in five places the name Eliyahu is missing a "vav." Yaakov "took" these vavs as a pledge that Eliyahu will one day come and announce the redemption of Yaakov's children.
26:41 - Hashem Himself, so to speak, will bring them into their enemies' land. This means that even when the Jews are in exile, Hashem will supply them with leaders who inspire them to keep the Torah. This guards the Jews from assimilating into the host culture.
26:42 - Because the image of Yitzchak's ashes (who was prepared to be brought as an offering) upon the altar is always before Hashem.
26:46 - To teach that both the Written Torah and the Oral Torah were given to Moshe on Har Sinai.
27:8 - The person whose value was donated goes before the kohen, who sets the obligation according to the poor person's ability to pay.
27:9 - The money is "chullin," meaning it does not have "holy" status, except for the value of the animal's leg which does have "holy" status.
27:16 - It becomes the property of the kohanim who are on rotation at the beginning of yovel.
27:30 - In Jerusalem.
27:31 - The food becomes permissible to him outside of Jerusalem. The redemption money must be brought to Jerusalem and used to purchase food to be eaten there.
27:32 - He passes them through a door individually and every tenth animal he marks with a rod smeared with red dye.
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