Parsha Q&A

For the week ending 10 October 2020 / 22 Tishri 5781

Parashat Noach

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Questions & Answers

  1. Question: Which particular sin sealed the fate of the flood generation?
    Answer: 6:13 - Robbery.

  2. Question: Why did Hashem tell Noach to build an ark, as opposed to saving him via some other method?
    Answer: 6:14 - So that people would see Noach building the ark and ask him what he was doing. When Noach would answer, "Hashem is bringing a flood," it might encourage some people to repent.

  3. Question: The ark had three levels. What function did each level serve?
    Answer: 6:16 - The top level housed the people, the middle level housed the animals, and the bottom level, the refuse.

  4. Question: What indication do we have that Noach was familiar with the Torah?
    Answer: 7:2 - Hashem told him to take into the ark seven of each kosher-type animal, and two of each non-kosher type. "Kosher" and "non-kosher" are Torah concepts.

  5. Question: Why did Hashem postpone bringing the flood for seven days?
    Answer: 7:4 - To allow seven days to mourn the death of Metushelach.

  6. Question: Why did the first water of the flood come down as light rain?
    Answer: 7:12 - To give the generation a chance to repent.

  7. Question: What did people say that threatened Noach, and what did Hashem do to protect him?
    Answer: 7:13,15 - People said, "If we see him going into the ark, we'll smash it!" Hashem surrounded it with bears and lions to kill any attackers.

  8. Question: What grouping of creatures escaped the punishment of the flood?
    Answer: 7:22 - The fish.

  9. Question: How deeply was the ark submerged in the water?
    Answer: 8:4 - Eleven amot.

  10. Question: What did the olive branch symbolize?
    Answer: 8:11 - Nothing. It was a leaf, not a branch. (The olive leaf symbolized that its better to eat food "bitter like an olive" but which comes directly from Hashem, rather than sweet food provided by humans.)

  11. Question: How long did the punishment of the flood last?
    Answer: 8:14 - A full solar year.

  12. Question: A solar year is how many days longer than a lunar year?
    Answer: 8:14 - Eleven days.

  13. Question: When did humans receive permission to eat meat?
    Answer: 9:3 - After the flood.

  14. Question: What prohibition was given along with the permission to eat meat?
    Answer: 9:4 - The prohibition of eating a limb cut from a living animal.

  15. Question: Why does the command to "be fruitful and multiply" directly follow the prohibition of murder?
    Answer: 9:7 - To equate one who purposely abstains from having children to one who commits murder.

  16. Question: Name two generations in which the rainbow never appeared.
    Answer: 9:12 - The generation of King Chizkiyahu and the generation of Shimon bar Yochai.

  17. Question: Why did Noach curse Canaan specifically? Give two reasons.
    Answer: 9:22,24 - Because Canaan is the one who revealed Noach’s disgrace to Cham. And because Cham stopped Noach from fathering a fourth son. Thus, Noach cursed Cham's fourth son, Canaan.

  18. Question: Why does the Torah call Nimrod a mighty hunter?
    Answer: 10:9 - He used words to ensnare the minds of people, persuading them to rebel against Hashem.

  19. Question: The sin of the generation of the dispersion was greater than the sin of the generation of the flood. Why was the punishment of the former less severe?
    Answer: 11:9 - They lived together peacefully.

  20. Question: Why was Sarah also called Yiscah?
    Answer: 11:29 - The word "Yiscah" is related to the Hebrew word "to see." Sarah was called Yiscah because she could "see" the future via prophecy. Also, because of her beauty, everyone would gaze at her.

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

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