Parsha Q&A

For the week ending 29 March 2003 / 25 Adar II 5763

Parshat Shemini

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  1. What date was "yom hashemini"?
  2. Which of Aharon's korbanot atoned for the golden calf?
  3. What korbanot did Aharon offer for the Jewish People?
  4. What was unique about the chatat offered during the induction of the Mishkan?
  5. When did Aharon bless the people with the birkat kohanim?
  6. Why did Moshe go into the Ohel Mo'ed with Aharon?
  7. Why did Nadav and Avihu die?
  8. Aharon quietly accepted his sons' death. What reward did he receive for this?
  9. What prohibitions apply to a person who is intoxicated?
  10. Name the three chatat goat offerings that were sacrificed on the day of the inauguration of the Mishkan.
  11. Which he-goat chatat did Aharon burn completely and why?
  12. Why did Moshe direct his harsh words at Aharon's sons?
  13. Moshe was upset that Aharon and his sons did not eat the chatat. Why?
  14. Why did Hashem choose Moshe, Aharon, Elazar, and Itamar as His messengers to tell the Jewish People the laws of kashrut?
  15. What are the signs of a kosher land animal?
  16. How many non-kosher animals display only one sign of kashrut? What are they?
  17. If a fish sheds its fins and scales when out of the water, is it kosher?
  18. Why is a stork called chasida in Hebrew?
  19. The chagav is a kosher insect. Why don't we eat it?
  20. What requirements must be met in order for water to maintain its status of purity?


  1. 9:1 - First of Nissan.
  2. 9:2 - The calf offered as a korban chatat.
  3. 9:3,4 - A he-goat as a chatat, a calf and a lamb for an olah, an ox and a ram for shelamim, and a mincha.
  4. 9:11 - It's the only example of a chatat offered on the courtyard mizbe'ach that was burned.
  5. 9:22 - When he finished offering the korbanot, before descending from the mizbe'ach.
  6. 9:23 - For one of two reasons: Either to teach Aharon about the service of the incense, or to pray for the Shechina to dwell with Israel.
  7. 10:2 - Rashi offers two reasons: Either because they gave a halachic ruling in Moshe's presence, or because they entered the Mishkan after drinking intoxicating wine.
  8. 10:3 - A portion of the Torah was given solely through Aharon.
  9. 10:9-11 - He may not give a halachic ruling. Also, a kohen is forbidden to enter the Ohel Mo'ed, approach the mizbe'ach, or perform the avoda.
  10. 10:16 - The goat offerings of the inauguration ceremony, of Rosh Chodesh, and of Nachshon ben Aminadav.
  11. 10:16 - The Rosh Chodesh chatat: Either because it became tamei, or because the kohanim were forbidden to eat from it while in the state of aninut (mourning).
  12. 10:16 - Out of respect for Aharon, Moshe directed his anger at his sons and not directly at Aharon.
  13. 10:17 - Because only when the kohanim eat the chatat are the sins of the owners atoned.
  14. 11:2 - Because they accepted the deaths of Nadav and Avihu in silence.
  15. 11:3 - An animal whose hooves are completely split and who chews its cud.
  16. 11:4,5,6,7 - Four: Camel, shafan, hare, and pig.
  17. 11:12 - Yes.
  18. 11:19 - Because it acts with chesed (kindness) toward other storks.
  19. 11:21 - We have lost the tradition and are not able to identify the kosher chagav.
  20. 11:36 - It must be connected to the ground (i.e., a spring or a cistern).

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