Parsha Q&A

For the week ending 25 January 2003 / 22 Shevat 5763

Parshat Yitro

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  1. Yitro had 7 names. Why was one of his names Yeter?
  2. News of which two events motivated Yitro to come join the Jewish People?
  3. What name of Yitro indicates his love for Torah?
  4. Why was Tzipora with her father, Yitro, and not with Moshe when Bnei Yisrael left Egypt?
  5. Why does verse 18:5 say that Yitro came to the desert don't we already know that the Bnei Yisrael were in the desert?
  6. Why did Moshe tell Yitro all that G-d had done for the Jewish People?
  7. According to the Midrash quoted by Rashi, how did Yitro respond when he was told about the destruction of Egypt?
  8. Who is considered as if he enjoys the splendor of the Shechina?
  9. On what day did Moshe sit to judge the Jewish People?
  10. Who is considered a co-partner in Creation?
  11. "Moshe sat to judge the people, and the people stood before Moshe...." What bothered Yitro about this arrangement?
  12. Why did Yitro return to his own land?
  13. How did the encampment at Sinai differ from the other encampments?
  14. To whom does the Torah refer when it uses the term "Beit Yaakov"?
  15. How is G-d's protection of the Jewish People similar to an eagle's protection of its young?
  16. What was G-d's original plan for Matan Torah? What was the response of the Jewish People?
  17. How many times greater is the "measure of reward" than the "measure of punishment"?
  18. How is it derived that "Don't steal" refers to kidnapping?
  19. In response to hearing the Torah given at Sinai, how far backwards did the Jewish people retreat in fear?
  20. Why does the use of iron tools profane the altar?


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

  1. 18:1 - Because he caused a Parsha to be added to the Torah. Yeter means addition.
  2. 18:1 - The splitting of the sea and the war against Amalek.
  3. 18:1 - Chovav.
  4. 18:3 - When Aharon met Moshe with his family on their way down to Egypt, Aharon said to Moshe: "We're pained over the Jews already in Egypt, and you're bringing more Jews to Egypt?" Moshe, hearing this, sent his wife and children back to Midian.
  5. 18:5 - To show Yitro's greatness. He was living in a luxurious place, yet he went to the desert in order to study the Torah.
  6. 18:8 - To draw Yitro closer to the Torah way of life.
  7. 18:9 - He grieved.
  8. 18:12 - One who dines with Torah scholars.
  9. 18:13 - The day after Yom Kippur.
  10. 18:13 - A judge who renders a correct decision.
  11. 18:14 - Yitro felt that the people weren't being treated with the proper respect.
  12. 18:27 - To convert the members of his family to Judaism.
  13. 19:2 - The Jewish People were united.
  14. 19:3 - The Jewish women.
  15. 19:4 - An eagle carries its young on top of its wings to protect them from human arrows. So too, G-d's cloud of glory separated between the Egyptians and the Jewish camp in order to absorb Egyptian missiles and arrows fired at the Jewish People.
  16. 19:9 - G-d offered to appear to Moshe and to give the Torah through him. The Jewish People responded that they wished to hear the Torah directly from G-d.
  17. 20:6 - 500 times.
  18. 20:13 - Since it is written immediately after "Don't murder" and "Don't commit adultery," it is derived that "Don't steal" refers to a crime carrying the same penalty as the first two, namely, the death penalty.
  19. 20:15 - They backed away from the mountain twelve mil (one mil is 2000 cubits).
  20. 20:22 - The altar was created to extend life; iron is sometimes used to make weapons which shorten life.

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