By Rabbi Moshe Erlbaum
1. Which two people appear in the Torah for thefirst time in this parsha?
2. In what context is the "the finger of God" (
) mentioned? Where elsein the Torah is the "the finger of God" men-tioned?
3. In this parsha, what is explicitly referred to asmade of gold? Where in the Torah is the firsttime these items mentioned?
4. Aside from this parsha, where else in the To-rah is a partial list of the 13 attributes of Ha-shem mentioned?
5. In this parsha, what item is destroyed in four different ways, and how?
1. Betzalel ben Uri, the artisan in charge of building the Tabernacle, and his assistant,Aholiav ben Achisamech, appear in this parshafor the first time (Exodus 31:2, 6).
2. The tablets of the Ten Commandments werewritten "with the finger of God" (Exodus31:18). In parshas Va'erah, the magicians of Egypt declare that the plague of lice displays"the finger of God" (Exodus 8:15).
3. The earrings donated to fashion the GoldenCalf are referred to as "golden ear-rings" (Exodus 32:2
3). The Golden Calf itself is called a "molten calf" (Exodus 32:4). In par-shas Chayei Sarah when Eliezer meets Rivka,he gives her earrings (Genesis 24:22).
4. In parshas Shelach, Moshe entreats Hashemthrough the 13 attributes to forgive the nationfor believing the evil report of the spies(Numbers 14:18).
5. The Golden Calf is burned, finely ground up,scattered on water, and then drunk by the na-tion (Exodus 32:20).
nevertheless, it is incumbent upon all people, male and fe-male, to keep these laws to the degree that they do apply.
In the time of the Bais Hamikdash it was required of every male adult to visit the Bais Hamikdash and offer a sac-rifice a minimum of three times a year: Pesach, Shevuot, andSuccot. However, it was even more important to be there onErev Pesach to sacrifice the Korban Pesach or Pascal Lamb.Anyone who happened to be Tameh from having had contactwith a dead body would have to undergo the process of theParah Adumah to remove the status of Tumah and be allowedto bring his Pascal Lamb to the Bais Hamikdash.
The Talmud tells us that the furthest point in Israelfrom Yerushalayim was a two weeks travel. If so, a personwho was Tameh living two weeks travel away would requirea minimum of three weeks to arrive in Yerushalayim withsufficient time to go through the one week process of the RedHeifer and be able to offer his Korban Pesach. Therefore,Chazal ordained the reading of Parah on the week before thereading of Chodesh as a public reminder to those who areTameh that they must immediately arrange to get toYerushalayim so that they can purify themselves in time to bring the Korban Pesach.
Adapted from Rav Aron Tendler
(Ariel Sacknovitz — Continued from page 1)
The complete edition ofRabbi Moshe Atik's Torah Teasersis available on AMAZON(keyword Torah Teasers)
That is why it is hazardous to count Jews. We are a tiny people. In one of his concluding speeches in Devarim, Moshesays, “The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples,
for youare the fewest of all peoples.”
(Deuteronomy 7: 7). Now, we area fifth of a percent of the population of the world, by any nor-mal standards too small to be significant. If Jews are counted, itrisks the possibility of the belief that our strength is in our num- bers.
How then, is the strength of the Jews estimated? To thisthe Torah gives an answer of surpassing beauty. Ask Jews togive, through the medium of the half
shekel, and then counttheir contributions. Numerically we are small, but in terms of our contributions to civilizations and humankind, we are vast.
The Jewish contribution to the life of the spirit hasshaped the course of Western civilization. Somehow, this tiny people produced an unceasing flow of patriarchs, priests, poetsand prophets, masters of Halacha and Aggada, philosophers andmystics in a way that defies comprehension. It was not once thatthe Jewish imagination caught fire, but in century after century,sometimes in the worst persecution known to any nation onEarth. The destruction of the first Beis Hamikdash gave rise tosystematic Torah study in Bavel. The destruction of the second brought forth the great literature of
Torah SheBa’al Peh.
(Hillel Field — Continued from page 1)
(Continued on page 3)