Parsha Q&A

For the week ending 4 January 2014 / 3 Shevat 5774

Parshat Bo

The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Questions

  1. What was Pharaoh's excuse for not releasing the Jewish children?
  2. How did the locusts in the time of Moshe differ from those in the days of Yoel?
  3. How did the first three days of darkness differ from the last three?
  4. When the Jews asked the Egyptians for gold and silver vessels, the Egyptians were unable to deny ownership of such vessels. Why?
  5. Makat bechorot took place at exactly midnight. Why did Moshe say it would take place at approximately midnight?
  6. Why did the first-born of the animals die?
  7. How did Moshe show respect to Pharaoh when he warned him about the aftermath of the plague of the first-born?
  8. G-d told Moshe "so that My wonders will be multiplied" (11:9 ). What three wonders was G-d referring to?
  9. Why did G-d command the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh to Aharon, and not only to Moshe?
  10. Up to what age is an animal fit to be a Pesach offering?
  11. Prior to the Exodus from Egypt, what two mitzvot involving blood did G-d give to the Jewish People?
  12. Rashi gives two explanations of the word "Pasachti ." What are they?
  13. Why were the Jews told to stay indoors during makat bechorot?
  14. What was Pharaoh screaming as he ran from door to door the night of makat bechorot ?
  15. Why did Pharaoh ask Moshe to bless him?
  16. Why did the Jewish People carry their matzah on their shoulders rather than have their animals carry it?
  17. Who comprised the erev rav (mixed multitude)?
  18. What three historical events occurred on the 15th of Nissan, prior to the event of the Exodus from Egypt?
  19. What is the source of the "milk and honey" found in Eretz Yisrael ?
  20. The only non-kosher animal whose first-born is redeemed is the donkey. What did the donkeys do to "earn" this distinction?

Answers

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

  1. What was Pharaoh's excuse for not releasing the Jewish children?
    10:11 - Since children don't bring sacrifices there was no need for them to go.
  2. How did the locusts in the time of Moshe differ from those in the days of Yoel?
    10:14 - The plague brought by Moshe was composed of one species of locust, whereas the plague in the days of Yoel was composed of many species.
  3. How did the first three days of darkness differ from the last three?
    10:22 - During the first three days the Egyptians couldn't see. During the last three days they couldn't move.
  4. When the Jews asked the Egyptians for gold and silver vessels, the Egyptians were unable to deny ownership of such vessels. Why?
    10:22 - During the plague of darkness the Jews could see and they searched for and found the Egyptians' vessels.
  5. Makat bechorot took place at exactly midnight. Why did Moshe say it would take place at approximately midnight?
    11:4 - If Moshe said the plague would begin exactly at midnight, the Egyptians might miscalculate and accuse Moshe of being a fake.
  6. Why did the first-born of the animals die?
    11:5 - Because the Egyptians worshiped them as gods, and when G-d punishes a nation He also punishes its gods.
  7. How did Moshe show respect to Pharaoh when he warned him about the aftermath of the plague of the first-born?
    11:8 - Moshe warned that "All these servants of yours will come down to me" when, in fact, it was Pharaoh himself who actually came running to Moshe.
  8. G-d told Moshe "so that My wonders will be multiplied" (11:9 ). What three wonders was G-d referring to?
    11:9 - The plague of the first-born, the splitting of the sea, the drowning of the Egyptian soldiers.
  9. Why did G-d command the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh to Aharon, and not only to Moshe?
    12:1 - As reward for his efforts in bringing about the plagues.
  10. Up to what age is an animal fit to be a Pesach offering?
    12:5 - One year.
  11. Prior to the Exodus from Egypt, what two mitzvot involving blood did G-d give to the Jewish People?
    12:6 - Circumcision and Korban Pesach.
  12. Rashi gives two explanations of the word "Pasachti ." What are they?
    12:13 - "I had mercy" and "I skipped."
  13. Why were the Jews told to stay indoors during makat bechorot?
    12:22 - Since it was a night of destruction, it was not safe for anyone to leave the protected premises of his home.
  14. What was Pharaoh screaming as he ran from door to door the night of makat bechorot ?
    12:31 - "Where does Moshe live? Where does Aharon live?"
  15. Why did Pharaoh ask Moshe to bless him?
    12:32 - So he wouldn't die, for he himself was a first-born.
  16. Why did the Jewish People carry their matzah on their shoulders rather than have their animals carry it?
    12:34 - Because the commandment of matzah was dear to them.
  17. Who comprised the erev rav (mixed multitude)?
    12:38 - People from other nations who became converts.
  18. What three historical events occurred on the 15th of Nissan, prior to the event of the Exodus from Egypt?
    12:41 - The angels came to promise that Sarah would have a son, Yitzchak was born, and the exile of the "covenant between the parts" was decreed.
  19. What is the source of the "milk and honey" found in Eretz Yisrael ?
    13:5 - Goat milk, date and fig honey.
  20. The only non-kosher animal whose first-born is redeemed is the donkey. What did the donkeys do to "earn" this distinction?
    13:13 - They helped the Jews by carrying silver and gold out of Egypt.

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