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Torah Teasers Parshat Beshalach

Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16 )

by Moshe Erlbaum

10 great Torah teasers.

1. Which son of Yaakov is mentioned in this parsha?

In this parsha, the bones of Yosef were brought out of Egypt by Moshe (Exodus 13:19).

2. Aside from Egypt and Israel, which four other nations are mentioned in the Song of the Sea ("Az Yashir")?

The dwellers of Pleshes (Philistines), Edom, Moab and Canaan are mentioned in the Song of the Sea (Exodus 15:14-15).

3. Aside from this parsha, where else does the Torah use the expression "Az Yashir"?

In Parshas Chukas, the Israelites sing praises to Hashem regarding the well of water used through their sojourn in the desert. The song begins "Az Yashir" (Numbers 21:17).

4. In this parsha, which verse has five words in a row beginning with the same letter?

In the Song of the Sea, the first five words of Exodus 15:9 begin with the Hebrew letter aleph.

5. In what two contexts is a wall mentioned in this parsha?

The Torah states: "The water was to them a wall (chomah) to their right and to their left" (Exodus 14:22, 29). The Torah states: "Like a wall (neid) stood the running water" (Exodus 15:8).

6. In what three contexts is a stone (evven) mentioned in this parsha? [Not a flint/rock (tzur) which is struck by Moshe to bring forth water.]

(1) In the Song of the Sea, the Torah states that the Egyptians "descended in the depths like a stone (Exodus 15:5). (2) "At the greatness of Your arm may they [the other nations] be still as stone" (Exodus 15:16). (3) When Moshe was tired of holding up his hands during the war with Amalek, a stone was used for Moshe to sit on (Exodus 17:12).

7. In this parsha, in what three contexts did Moshe take his mateh (staff)?

Moshe raised his staff over the water to split the sea (Exodus 14:16). (The verse does not mention the staff when the sea came together.) Moshe used his staff to hit the rock and bring forth water (Exodus 17:5). When Moshe went up the hill during the war with Amalek, he took along his staff (Exodus 17:5, 7).

8. Besides Moshe and Aharon, who else in the Torah has a staff? (2 answers)

In Parshas Vayeshev, Yehudah gave his staff to Tamar as collateral (Genesis 38:18). In Parshas Va'era, Pharaoh's magicians transformed their staffs into snakes (Exodus 4:12).

9. What verse in this parsha has five two-letter words in a row?

After the war with Amalek, Moshe declares "ki yad al keis Kah," which all have two letters in Hebrew (Exodus 17:16).

10. Thought question: What blessing would we say when eating manna?

Based on the verse which refers to manna with the expression "lechem min hashamayim" (Exodus 16:4), one could say the blessing of "hamotzi lechem min hashamayim" - "Who brings forth bread from the heavens."


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