Parsha Q&A

For the week ending 22 February 2003 / 20 Adar I 5763

Parshat Ki Tisa

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  1. How many "geira" are in a shekel?
  2. What was the minimum age of military service in the Jewish army?
  3. What were the three different types of terumah donated?
  4. The Jews were counted after Yom Kippur and again after Pesach. Both times they numbered the same amount. How can this be? Didn't some 19-year olds turn 20 during that six month period?
  5. How many ingredients comprise the incense of the Mishkan?
  6. According to Rashi, why are sailors called "malachim?"
  7. What is the difference between chochma (wisdom), bina (understanding), and da'at (knowledge)?
  8. Shabbat is a "sign." What does it signify?
  9. When did the Jewish People begin to give contributions for the building of the Mishkan?
  10. How many books are there in Tanach?
  11. From where did the men take the earrings that they donated to make the calf?
  12. Why did Aharon build the altar for the golden calf by himself?
  13. Why did Moshe break the Tablets?
  14. How can two brothers belong to two different tribes?
  15. Why did Moshe ask that his name be erased from the Torah?
  16. How has the sin of the golden calf affected the Jewish People throughout history?
  17. In verse 33:2, G-d says that the inhabitants of Eretz Canaan would be driven out of the Land. In that verse, only six of the seven Canaanite nations are mentioned. What happened to the seventh?
  18. How did G-d show that He forgave the Jewish People?
  19. How did Moshe become wealthy?
  20. How do the light rays shining from Moshe's face show us the powerful effect of sin?


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

  1. 30:13 - Twenty.
  2. 30:14 - Twenty.
  3. 30:15 - For the adanim (sockets), for the purchase of communal sacrifices, and for the building of the Mishkan.
  4. 30:16 - Their ages were calculated based on Rosh Hashana, not based on their individual birthdays.
  5. 30:34 - Eleven ingredients were used making the incense.
  6. 30:35 - Because they stir (malach) the water with their oars.
  7. 31:3 - Chochma is knowledge acquired from others. Bina is the deduction of new knowledge from what one has already learned. Da'at is holy inspiration.
  8. 31:13 - It is a sign between G-d and the Jewish People that He has chosen them and a sign to the nations of the world that He has sanctified the Jewish People.
  9. 31:18 - The 11th of Tishrei.
  10. 31:18 - 24.
  11. 32:2,3 - From their ears.
  12. 32:5 - He hoped that by building it by himself it would take longer and in the interim Moshe would return.
  13. 32:19 - Moshe reasoned: If the Torah forbids those who have estranged themselves from the Torah to partake in even a single commandment (Pesach sacrifice), surely the entire Torah cannot be given to a whole nation which has estranged itself from G-d!
  14. 32:27 - Half-brothers, sharing the same mother.
  15. 32:32 - So people shouldn't say "Moshe was unworthy to plead for mercy on behalf of the Jewish people."
  16. 32:34 - Whenever G-d punishes the Jewish People, part of that punishment comes as payment for the sin of the golden calf.
  17. 33:2 - The seventh nation, the Girgashites, voluntarily emigrated.
  18. 33:14 - He agreed to let His Shechina dwell among them.
  19. 34:1 - Moshe carved the Tablets out of precious stone. G-d commanded Moshe to keep the leftover fragments.
  20. 34:35 - Before the sin of the golden calf, the people would not have been afraid to look at the light rays, but after the sin they were afraid.

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