Parsha Q&A

For the week ending 12 September 2020 / 23 Elul 5780

Special Rosh Hashana Q&A

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Questions & Answers Nitzavim

1. What is the connection between the verse "atem nitzavim" and the
curses in the previous parsha?

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. Who were the wood-choppers and water-carriers?

2. 29:10 - Canaanites who joined the Jewish People under false

3. Why can Hashem never "swap" the Jewish People for another nation?

3. 29:12 - Because Hashem swore to their ancestors that He would
never do so.

4. One who ignores the Torah's warnings "adds drunkenness to
thirst." What does this mean?

4. 29:18 - He causes Hashem to reckon his unintentional sins
alongside his intentional ones, punishing him for all.

5. What two cities were destroyed along with S'dom and Amorah?

5. 29:22 - Admah and Tsevoyim.

6. "The hidden things are for Hashem, our G-d, and the revealed
things are for us..." What does this mean?

6. 29:28 - There is collective culpability only for "open" sins, but
not for "hidden" ones.

7. According to Rashi, how will the day of the ingathering of the
exiles be "great and difficult"?

7. 30: 3 - It will be as if Hashem needs to take each individual by
the hand and lead him out of exile.

8. Where is the Torah not to be found? Where is it to be found?

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

9. When and where did the Jewish People become culpable for each
other's sins?

9. 30:28 - When they crossed the Jordan and accepted the oath on
Mount Eval and Mount Grizim.

10. How do the earth and sky remind us to keep the mitzvahs?

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

Questions & Answers Vayelech

1. Moshe said, "I am 120 years old today. I am no longer able to go
out and come in..." How do we know this does not refer to physical inability?

1. 31:2 - Because verse 34:7 says "His (Moshe's) eye never dimmed,
and his (youthful) moisture never departed."

2. Which of Moshe's statements to Yehoshua was later contradicted by
Hashem's command?

2. 31:7 - Moshe told Yehoshua to share his leadership with the
Elders. Hashem later commanded Yehoshua to rule alone.

3. Why does the Torah refer to Succot of the eighth year as though
it occurred during the shemita year?

3. 31:10 - Because the laws of the seventh year still apply to the harvest.

4. Why does the Torah command that babies be brought to the Torah

4. 31:12 - To give reward to those who bring them.

5. What does it mean that Hashem "hides His face?"

5. 31:17 - He ignores their distress.

6. What function does the song Ha'azinu serve?

6. 31:21 - It warns what will befall the Jewish People if they
abandon Torah.

7. Which verse promises that the Torah will never be totally forgotten?

7. 31:21 - "For (the Torah) will not be forgotten from the mouth of
their offspring."

8. What is the difference of opinion regarding the placing of the
Torah scroll which Moshe gave the levi'im?

8. 31:26 - Whether it was placed outside but adjacent to the Ark, or
inside next to the Tablets.

9. On the day of Moshe's death, why didn't Moshe gather the people
by blowing trumpets as he normally would have?

9. 31:28 - Blowing the trumpets expressed Moshe's dominion, and
"there is no dominion on the day of death." (Kohelet 8)

10. Moshe said, "For I know that after my death you will act
corruptly," but, in fact, this didn't occur until after Yehoshua's
death. What does this teach us?

10. 31:29 - That a person's student is as dear to him as himself. As
long as Yehoshua was alive it was as though Moshe himself was alive.

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

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