Parsha Q&A

For the week ending 18 January 2020 / 21 Tevet 5780

Parshat Shmot

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  1. Why does the verse say "And Yosef was in Egypt?"
  2. "...And they will go up out of the land." Who said this and what did he mean?
  3. Why did Pharaoh specifically choose water as the means of killing the Jewish boys? (Two reasons.)
  4. "She saw that he was good." What did she see "good" about Moshe that was unique?
  5. Which Hebrew men were fighting each other?
  6. Moshe was afraid that the Jewish People were not fit to be redeemed, because some among them committed a certain sin. What sin?
  7. Why did the Midianites drive Yitro's daughters away from the well?
  8. How did Yitro know that Moshe was Yaakov's descendant?
  9. What lesson was Moshe to learn from the fact that the burning bush was not consumed?
  10. What merit did the Jewish People have that warranted G-ds promise to redeem them?
  11. Which expression of redemption would assure the people that Moshe was the true redeemer?
  12. What did the staff turning into a snake symbolize?
  13. Why didn't Moshe want to be the leader?
  14. "And Hashem was angry with Moshe..." What did Moshe lose as a result of this anger?
  15. What was special about Moshe's donkey?
  16. About which plague was Pharaoh warned first?
  17. Why didn't the elders accompany Moshe and Aharon to Pharaoh? How were they punished?
  18. Which tribe did not work as slaves?
  19. Who were the: a) nogsim b) shotrim?
  20. How were the shotrim rewarded for accepting the beatings on behalf of their fellow Jews?


All references are to the verses and Rashis commentary, unless otherwise stated.

  1. 1:5 - This verse adds that despite being in Egypt as a ruler, Yosef maintained his righteousness.
  2. 1:10 - Pharaoh said it, meaning that the Egyptians would be forced to leave Egypt.
  3. 1:10,22 - He hoped to escape Divine retribution, as G-d promised never to flood the entire world. Also, his astrologers saw that the Jewish redeemer's downfall would be through water.
  4. 2:2 - When he was born, the house was filled with light.
  5. 2:13 - Datan and Aviram.
  6. 2:14 - Lashon hara (evil speech).
  7. 2:17 - Because a ban had been placed on Yitro for abandoning idol worship.
  8. 2:20 - The well water rose towards Moshe.
  9. 3:12 - Just as the bush was not consumed, so too Moshe would be protected by G-d.
  10. 3:12 - That they were destined to receive the Torah.
  11. 3:16,18 - "I surely remembered (pakod pakadeti)."
  12. 4:3 - It symbolized that Moshe spoke ill of the Jews by saying that they wouldn't listen to him, just as the original snake sinned through speech.
  13. 4:10 - He didn't want to take a position above that of his older brother, Aharon.
  14. 4:14 - Moshe lost the privilege of being a kohen.
  15. 4:20 - It was used by Avraham for akeidat Yitzchak and will be used in the future by mashiach.
  16. 4:23 - Death of the firstborn.
  17. 5:1 - The elders were accompanying Moshe and Aharon, but they were afraid and one by one they slipped away. Hence, at the giving of the Torah, the elders weren't allowed to ascend with Moshe.
  18. 5:5 - The tribe of Levi.
  19. 5:6 - a) Egyptian taskmasters; b) Jewish officers.
  20. 5:14 - They were chosen to be on the Sanhedrin.

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