Parsha Q&A

For the week ending 28 September 2019 / 28 Elul 5779

Parshat Nitzavim

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Questions

  1. What is the connection between the verse "atem nitzavim" and the curses in the previous parsha?
  2. Who were the wood-choppers and water-carriers?
  3. Why can Hashem never "swap" the Jewish People for another nation?
  4. One who ignores the Torah's warnings "adds drunkenness to thirst." What does this mean?
  5. What two cities were destroyed along with S’dom and Amorah?
  6. "The hidden things are for Hashem, our G-d, and the revealed things are for us..." What does this mean?
  7. According to Rashi, how will the day of the ingathering of the exiles be "great and difficult?"
  8. Where is the Torah not to be found? Where is it to be found?
  9. When and where did the Jewish People become culpable for each other's sins?
  10. How do the earth and sky remind us to keep the mitzvahs?

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

Answers

  1. 29:12 - The Jewish People asked, "Who can survive such curses?" Moshe responded, "You've done a lot to anger Hashem, and yet "atem nitzavim" — you are still standing before Him."
  2. 29:10 - Canaanites who joined the Jewish People under false pretenses.
  3. 29:12 - Because Hashem swore to their ancestors that He would never do so.
  4. 29:18 - He causes Hashem to reckon his unintentional sins alongside his intentional ones, punishing him for all.
  5. 29:22 - Admah and Tsevoyim.
  6. 29:28 - There is collective culpability only for "open" sins, but not for "hidden" ones.
  7. 30: 3 - It will be as if Hashem needs to take each individual by the hand and lead him out of exile.
  8. 30:12-15 - The Torah is not found in Heaven, nor is it across the ocean. Rather, it is "very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart."
  9. 30:28 - When they crossed the Jordan and accepted the oath on Mount Eval and Mount Grizim.
  10. 30:19 - The earth and heavenly bodies, although receiving neither reward nor punishment, always obey Hashem's will. How much more so should we, who stand to receive reward or punishment, obey Hashem.

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