Parsha Q&A - Parshat Behar

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Parsha Q&A

Parshat Behar

For the week ending 15 Iyar 5760 / 19 & 20 May 2000

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

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    Parsha Questions

    Answers | Contents
    1. Why does the Torah specify that the laws of shemita were taught on Har Sinai?
    2. If one possesses shemita food after it is no longer available in the field, what must he do with it?
    3. The Torah commands, "You shall sanctify the fiftieth year." How is this done?
    4. Which two "returns" are announced by the shofar during yovel?
    5. From where does the yovel year get its name?
    6. What prohibitions are derived from the verse "v'lo tonu ish et amito -- a person shall not afflict his fellow"?
    7. What is the punishment for neglecting the laws of shemita?
    8. If shemita is observed properly, how long is the crop of the sixth year guaranteed to last?
    9. After selling an ancestral field, when can one redeem it?
    10. Under what circumstance may one sell ancestral land?
    11. If a home in a walled city is sold, when can it be redeemed?
    12. What does the word "days" mean in this week's Parsha?
    13. What is considered a walled city?
    14. What is the definition of a "ger toshav"?
    15. To what is one who leaves Eretz Yisrael compared?
    16. Why does Rashi mention the plague of the firstborn in this week's Parsha?
    17. List three prohibitions which demonstrate the dignity with which one must treat a Jewish indentured servant.
    18. Who supports the family of the Jewish indentured servant during his years of servitude?
    19. If a Jew is sold as a servant to a non-Jew, does he go free after six years?
    20. Where is it permitted to prostrate oneself on a stone floor?

    I Did Not Know That!

    "The son of an Israelite woman went out -- and he was the son of an Egyptian man...and pronounced the Name of Hashem and cursed...."(24:10)

    The "Egyptian man" above is the one Moshe struck dead by uttering Hashem's Name. Therefore, many years later, that Egyptian man's ill-begotten son blasphemed the Name of Hashem through which his father was killed.

    Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin in Oznaim Latorah


    Recommended Reading List

    Ramban
    25:3
    First Six Years
    25:9
    Two Kinds of "Shofar"
    25:10
    The Word "Yovel"
    25:20
    Three Year Blessing
    25:23
    Ban on Perpetual Sale
    25:36
    Two Kinds of Usury
    26:1
    Commitment in Hostile Environment
    Sefer Hachinuch
    330
    Counting until Yovel
    331
    Call of the Shofar
    337
    Unfair Profit
    342
    National Land
    343
    Usury

    Sforno
    25:4
    "A Shabbat to Hashem"


    Answers to this Week's Questions

    Questions | Contents

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

    1. Why does the Torah specify that the laws of shemita were taught on Har Sinai?
      25:1 - To teach us that just as shemita was taught in detail on Har Sinai, so too, all the mitzvot were taught in detail on Har Sinai.

    2. If one possesses shemita food after it is no longer available in the field, what must he do with it?
      25:7 - Remove it from his property and declare it ownerless.

    3. The Torah commands, "You shall sanctify the fiftieth year." How is this done?
      25:10 - At the beginning of the year the Beit Din declares, "This year is kadosh (sanctified)."

    4. Which two "returns" are announced by the shofar during yovel?
      25:10 - The return of the land to its original owner, and the "return" (freedom) of the slave from slavery.

    5. From where does the yovel year get its name?
      25:10 - From the sounding of the shofar. A ram's horn is called a yovel.

    6. What prohibitions are derived from the verse "v'lo tonu ish et amito -- a person shall not afflict his fellow"?
      25:17 - One may not intentionally hurt people's feelings, nor give bad advice while secretly intending to reap benefit.

    7. What is the punishment for neglecting the laws of shemita?
      25:18 - Exile.

    8. If shemita is observed properly, how long is the crop of the sixth year guaranteed to last?
      25:21,22 - From Nissan of the sixth year until Sukkot of the ninth year.

    9. After selling an ancestral field, when can one redeem it?
      25:24 - After two years following the sale, until yovel. At the beginning of yovel it returns to the family automatically.

    10. Under what circumstance may one sell ancestral land?
      25:25 - Only if one becomes impoverished.

    11. If a home in a walled city is sold, when can it be redeemed?
      25:29 - Only within the first year after the sale. Afterwards, even in yovel, it does not return.

    12. What does the word "days" mean in this week's Parsha?
      25:29 - The days of an entire year.

    13. What is considered a walled city?
      25:29 - A city that has been surrounded by a wall since the time of Yehoshua.

    14. What is the definition of a "ger toshav"?
      25:35 - A non-Jew who lives in Eretz Yisrael and accepts upon himself not to worship idols.

    15. To what is one who leaves Eretz Yisrael compared?
      25:38 - To one who worships idols.

    16. Why does Rashi mention the plague of the firstborn in this week's Parsha?
      25:38 - The prohibition against taking interest is accompanied by the phrase, "I am Hashem your G-d who took you out of Egypt." Rashi explains that just as Hashem discerned in Egypt between those who were firstborn and those who were not, so too will Hashem discern and punish those who lend with interest, pretending they are acting on behalf of others.

    17. List three prohibitions which demonstrate the dignity with which one must treat a Jewish indentured servant.
      25:39-43 -
      1. Do not make him perform humiliating tasks
      2. Do not sell him publicly
      3. Do not make him perform unnecessary jobs

    18. Who supports the family of the Jewish indentured servant during his years of servitude?
      25:41 - His master.

    19. If a Jew is sold as a servant to a non-Jew, does he go free after six years?
      25:54 - No. If he is not redeemed with money, he must wait until the yovel to go free.

    20. Where is it permitted to prostrate oneself on a stone floor?
      26:1 - In the Mikdash.


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


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