Parsha Q&A

For the week ending 4 January 2003 / 1 Shevat 5763

Parshat Vaera

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  1. Did G-d ever appear to Avraham and say "I am G-d?"
  2. What cause did the forefathers have to question G-d?
  3. How was Moshe commanded to act towards Pharaoh?
  4. How long did Levi live?
  5. Who was Aharon's wife? Who was her father? Who was her brother?
  6. Why are Yitro and Yosef both referred to as "Putiel?"
  7. After which plague did G-d begin to "harden Pharaoh's heart?"
  8. Why did Pharaoh go to the Nile every morning?
  9. Give two reasons why the blood was chosen as the first plague.
  10. How long did the plague of blood last?
  11. Why did the frogs affect Pharaoh's house first?
  12. What did Moshe mean when he told Pharaoh that the frogs would be "in you and in your nation?"
  13. What are "chamarim?"
  14. Why didn't Moshe strike the dust to initiate the plague of lice?
  15. Why were the Egyptian sorcerers unable to bring lice?
  16. What were the Egyptians likely to do if they saw the Jews slaughtering lambs?
  17. Why didn't the wild beasts die as the frogs had?
  18. The dever killed "all the cattle of Egypt." Later, boils afflicted their cattle. How can this be?
  19. Why did Moshe pray only after leaving the city?
  20. What was miraculous about the way the hail stopped falling?


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

  1. 6:9 - Yes.
  2. 6:9 -- Although G-d swore to give them the land, they never actually had control over it.
  3. 6:13 - With the respect due a king.
  4. 6:16 - 137 years.
  5. 6:23 - Elisheva, daughter of Aminadav, sister of Nachshon.
  6. 6:25 - Yitro fattened (pitem) cows for idol worship. Yosef scoffed (pitpet) at his evil inclination.
  7. 7:3 - After the sixth plague -- shechin.
  8. 7:15 - To relieve himself. Pharaoh pretended to be a god who did not need to attend to his bodily functions. Therefore, he secretly used the Nile for this purpose.
  9. (a) 7:17 - Because the Nile was an Egyptian god.
    (b) 8:17 - Because an invading army first attacks the enemy's water supply, and G-d did the same.
  10. 7:25 - Seven days.
  11. 7:28 - Pharaoh himself advised the enslavement of the Jewish People.
  12. 7:29 - He warned that the frogs would enter their intestines and croak.
  13. 8:10 - Piles.
  14. 8:12 - Because the dust protected Moshe by hiding the body of the Egyptian that Moshe killed.
  15. 8:14 - The Egyptian sorcerers' magic had no power over anything smaller than a barley kernel.
  16. 8:22 - Stone the Jews.
  17. 8:27 - So the Egyptians would not benefit from their hides.
  18. 9:10 - In the plague of dever only the cattle in the fields died. The plague of shechin affected the surviving cattle.
  19. 9:29 - Because the city was full of idols.
  20. 9:33 - The hailstones stopped in mid-air and didn't fall to the ground.

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