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Torah Teasers Parshat Kedoshim

Kedoshim (Leviticus 19-20 )

by Moshe Erlbaum

1. The name of our parsha means "holy." Where is the first place in the Torah that holiness is mentioned? Where is the second time that holiness is mentioned?

The first mention of holiness is mentioned is in parshas Bereishis in connection to the Shabbat (Genesis 2:3). The next mention of holiness is in parshas Shemos when Hashem appears to Moshe at the Burning Bush. Hashem commands Moshe to take off his shoes, since the place where he is standing is "holy ground" (Exodus 3:5).

2. Which commandment in this parsha refers to the morning?

The law regarding paying a daytime worker states that a person must not delay payment past the morning following the work (Leviticus 19:13).

3. In which two places is blood mentioned in this parsha (other than the many times the Torah states "their blood is upon them" to describe a punishment)?

The verse states: "Do not stand idly by the blood of your friend" (Leviticus 19:16), which is the requirement to save somebody in danger (Rashi). Another verse states: "Do not eat over the blood" (Leviticus 19:26), which is interpreted by our Sages in several different ways, including the command to pray in the morning before eating.

4. In this parsha, what three similar laws appear in the same verse?

The three prohibitions of forbidden mixtures are all found in one verse: (1) not to mix animals when plowing one's field, (2) not to mix seeds when planting, and (3) not to mix wool and linen in the same garment (Leviticus 19:19).

5. In this parsha, in what context is fire mentioned?

Any leftover meat of an offering (nosar) must be burned by fire (Leviticus 19:6).

6. In this parsha, which three laws refer to corners or edges (peyos)?

Three laws refer to corners/edges: (1) Do not harvest the "corners of your field," but rather leave them for the poor (Leviticus 19:9). (2) Do not round off "the edges [of hair] of the head, (3) nor destroy the "the edges of the beard" (Leviticus 19:27).

7. In this parsha, what law refers to the numbers 3, 4 and 5?

The law of orlah refers to the numbers 3, 4 and 5. Any fruit grown within the first 3 years of planting may not be eaten. In the fourth year, the fruit from this tree must be eaten in Jerusalem. In the fifth year, the fruits are totally permitted (Leviticus 19:23-25).

8. In this parsha, what law refers to a blind person? Which law in the next parsha (Emor) refers to a blind person?

In this parsha, the verse states: "Do not place a stumbling block before the blind " (Leviticus 19:14). In the next parsha (Emor), the verse states that a blind person may not serve in the Tabernacle (Leviticus 21:18).

9. In this parsha, which 3-letter Hebrew word appears four times in one verse?

The word tzedek (correct) appears four times in one Leviticus 19:36: One must possess correct scales, correct stone weights, correct dry measures, and correct liquid measures.

10. In this parsha, which serious sin is described with a word that usually refers to a positive and commendable action?

Incest with one's sister is described by the Torah as "chesed" (Leviticus 20:17). This word usually refers to a kind and benevolent act - e.g. Genesis 21:23, 24:12, 24:14.


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