Parsha Q&A - Parshat Emor

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Parsha Q&A

Parshat Emor

For the week ending 8 Iyar 5760 / 12 & 13 May 2000

Contents:
  • Parsha Questions
  • Bonus Question
  • I Did Not Know That!
  • Recommended Reading List
  • Answers to Parsha Questions
  • Answer to Bonus Question
  • 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. Which male descendants of Aharon are exempt from the prohibition against contacting a dead body?
    2. Does a kohen have an option regarding becoming ritually defiled when his unmarried sister passes away?
    3. How does one honor a kohen?
    4. How does the Torah restrict the kohen gadol with regard to mourning?
    5. The Torah states in verse 22:3 that one who "approaches holy objects" while in a state of tumah (impurity) is penalized with excision. What does the Torah mean by "approaches"?
    6. What is the smallest piece of a corpse that is able to transmit tumah?
    7. Who in the household of a kohen may eat terumah?
    8. If the daughter of a kohen marries a "zar" she may no longer eat terumah. What is a zar?
    9. What is the difference between a neder and a nedavah?
    10. May a person slaughter an animal and its father on the same day?
    11. How does the Torah define "profaning" the Name of Hashem?
    12. Apart from Shabbos, how many days are there during the year about which the Torah says that work is forbidden?
    13. How big is an omer?
    14. On what day do we begin to "count the omer"?
    15. Why do we begin counting the omer at night?
    16. How does the omer differ from other minchah offerings?
    17. The blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah is called a "zichron teruah" (sound of remembrance). For what is it a reminder?
    18. What is unusual about the wood of the etrog tree?
    19. Who was the father of the blasphemer?
    20. What is the penalty for intentionally wounding one's parent?

    Bonus Question
    Contents
    Answer

    "And you shall count from the day after Pesach, from the day you bring the omer offering, seven complete weeks…" (23:15)

    Starting the day after Pesach, Jews worldwide begin the mitzvah of "counting the omer," counting the 49 days until the Festival of Shavuot. Why don't we say a shehechyianu blessing when we begin this mitzvah, as we do when fulfilling other mitzvahs that come around once a year? For example, we say shehechyianu when we shake the lulav and read the Megillah.


    I Did Not Know That!

    "The son of the Israelite woman cursed Hashem...his mother's name was Shlomit bat Divri...."(24:11)
    The Midrash says: "Why was she called 'bat Divri?' Because she brought dever (disease) upon her son." (Vayikra Rabbah 32)

    The blasphemer was executed by stoning. Why, then, does the above Midrash say that his mother brought "dever" -- disease -- upon him?

    One of the ten plagues was cattle disease. The commentaries explain that although no cattle belonging to the Children of Israel died, there was one apparently Jewish person whose cattle did die. Who was this person? The son of Shlomit bat Divri. His cattle died because his father was an Egyptian taskmaster; he was therefore not one of the "Children of Israel," such that his cattle would enjoy miraculous protection. Hence, by bearing a son from an Egyptian man, his mother caused her son to suffer from the plague of "dever."

    Heard from Rabbi Sholem Fishbane


    Recommended Reading List

    Ramban
    21:6
    Holiness
    22:32
    Sanctifying G-d
    23:17
    Leavened Bread
    23:27
    Judgment and Repentance
    23:40
    The Esrog
    Sefer Hachinuch
    291
    Perfection of Creation
    294
    Divine Providence
    296
    Purpose of Creation
    306
    Counting the Omer
    313
    Yom Kippur
    324
    The Lulav
    325
    The Succah


    Answers to this Week's Questions

    Questions | Contents

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

    1. Which male descendants of Aharon are exempt from the prohibition against contacting a dead body?
      21:1 - Challalim -- those disqualified from the priesthood because they are descended from a relationship forbidden to a kohen.

    2. Does a kohen have an option regarding becoming ritually defiled when his unmarried sister passes away?
      21:3 - No, he is required to do so.

    3. How does one honor a kohen?
      21:8 - He is first in all matters of holiness. For example, a kohen reads from the Torah first, and is usually the one to lead the blessings before and after meals.

    4. How does the Torah restrict the kohen gadol with regard to mourning?
      21:10-12 - He may not allow his hair to grow long, nor attend to his close relatives if they die, nor accompany a funeral procession.

    5. The Torah states in verse 22:3 that one who "approaches holy objects" while in a state of tumah (impurity) is penalized with excision. What does the Torah mean by "approaches"?
      22:3 - Eats.

    6. What is the smallest piece of a corpse that is able to transmit tumah?
      22:5 - A piece the size of an olive.

    7. Who in the household of a kohen may eat terumah?
      22:11 - He, his wife, his sons, his unmarried daughters and his non-Jewish slaves.

    8. If the daughter of a kohen marries a "zar" she may no longer eat terumah. What is a zar?
      22:12 - A non-kohen.

    9. What is the difference between a neder and a nedavah?
      22:18 - A neder is an obligation upon a person; a nedavah is an obligation placed upon an object.

    10. May a person slaughter an animal and its father on the same day?
      22:28 - Yes. The Torah only prohibits slaughtering an animal and its mother on the same day.

    11. How does the Torah define "profaning" the Name of Hashem?
      22:32 - Willfully transgressing the commandments.

    12. Apart from Shabbos, how many days are there during the year about which the Torah says that work is forbidden?
      23:7-36 - Seven.

    13. How big is an omer?
      23:10 - One tenth of an eipha.

    14. On what day do we begin to "count the omer"?
      23:15 - On the 16th of Nissan.

    15. Why do we begin counting the omer at night?
      23:15 - The Torah requires counting seven complete weeks. If we begin counting in the daytime, the seven weeks would not be complete, because according to the Torah a day starts at nightfall.

    16. How does the omer differ from other minchah offerings?
      23:16 - It was made from barley.

    17. The blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah is called a "zichron teruah" (sound of remembrance). For what is it a reminder?
      23:24 - The akeidat (binding of) Yitzchak.

    18. What is unusual about the wood of the etrog tree?
      23:40 - It has the same taste as the fruit.

    19. Who was the father of the blasphemer?
      24:10 - The Egyptian killed by Moshe (Shemot 2:12).

    20. What is the penalty for intentionally wounding one's parent?
      24:21 - Death.

    Bonus Question Answer
    Contents
    Question

    The omer was an offering brought on the day after Pesach in Temple times. We only say shehechyianu on a mitzvah which brings us joy. Counting the omer, on the other hand, reminds us of the pain that we are presently unable to bring the Temple offerings.

    Rashba, cited in Aruch Hashulchan 489:5


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


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