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Torah Teasers Parshat V'Zot Habracha

V'Zot HaBracha (Deuteronomy 33-34 )

by Moshe Erlbaum

1. What unique description of Moshe is found only in this parsha? Who else in the Torah is described in a similar manner?

Moshe is described as an "a man of G-d" (Deut. 33:1), the only time that Moshe is described this way. In parshas Chayei Sara, Avraham is described by the children of Ches as "a prince of G-d" (Genesis 23:6).

2. Which tribal blessing mentions a father and mother?

The blessing of Levi mentions a father and mother (Deut. 33:9).

3. Which tribal blessing refers to sand?

The blessing of Zevulun mentions that his portion contains treasures hidden in the sand. (Deut. 33:19).

4. In this parsha, which two tribes does Moshe compare to a lion? In parshas Vayechi, when Yaakov blesses his sons, which other tribe is compared to a lion?

Moshe compares both the tribes of Gad and Dan to a lion (Deut. 33:20, 22). Yaakov compares Yehuda to a lion (Genesis 49:9).

5. In this parsha, which tribe is compared to an ox?

The tribe of Yosef is compared to an ox (Deut. 33:17).

6. Which tribal blessing refers to the sun and moon? Where else in the Torah is that son of Yaakov connected to the sun and moon?

The blessing of Yosef mentions the sun and moon (Deut. 32:14). In parshas Vayeshev, the sun and the moon appear in Yosef's dream (Genesis 37:9).

7. In this parsha, which city is known as "the city of the date palm trees"?

Jericho is called "the city of the date palm trees" (Deut. 34:3).

8. Which city, not mentioned since parshas Vayera, appears in this parsha?

The city of Tzohar appears in the parsha (Deut. 34:3). It most previously appeared in Genesis 19:22, as the city to which Lot and his daughters escape after the destruction of Sodom.

9. Where is the number 30 mentioned in this parsha? In what other similar situation does the Torah refer to the number 30?

After the death of Moshe, the Jews cry for 30 days (Deut. 34:8). In parshas Chukas, the Jews cried for 30 days following the death of Aharon (Numbers 20:29).

10. Moshe is described twice in the Torah as talking to Hashem "face to face." (Deut. 34:10, Exodus 33:11). About whom else does the Torah describe a divine encounter with the expression "face to face"?

In parshas Vayishlach, Yaakov calls the place where he wrestled the angel as "Peniel" - having seen the angel "face to face" (Genesis 32:31).

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