Torah Teasers Parshat Bo

January 14, 2013

3 min read


Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16 )

12 great Torah Teasers.

1. Aside from the actual plague of darkness, when else does the land of Egypt become dark?

During the plague of locusts, the swarm covers the entire sky, darkening the entire land (Exodus 10:15).

2. In what context is an "east wind" mentioned in this parsha? Where else in the book of Exodus is an east wind mentioned?

In this parsha, the locusts are swept into the land with an "east wind" (Exodus 10:13). In parshas Beshalach, the Red Sea is split with a powerful "east wind" (Exodus 14:21).

3. The Red Sea is mentioned in Parshas Beshalach with regard to the splitting of the sea. In what context is it mentioned in this parsha - with regard to the ten plagues?

Locusts are blown out of Egypt by a west wind in the direction of the Red Sea (Exodus 10:19).

4. Which name of a plague from Parshas Va'erah is also mentioned in this parsha? (2 answers)

Moshe warned Pharaoh that the locusts will eat any remaining crops not destroyed by the plague of hail (Exodus 10:5), the seventh plague mentioned in Parshas Va'erah (Exodus 9:18). The Israelites are commanded to place the blood of the Passover sacrifice on their doorposts (Exodus 12:7); blood is the first plague mentioned in Parshas Va'erah (Exodus 7:17).

5. In this parsha, where is an animal hoof mentioned?

After the plague of darkness, Pharaoh proposes that the Israelites leave without their sheep and cattle. Moshe refuses, insisting that "not one hoof will remain behind" (Exodus 10:26)

6. In this parsha, where is a dog mentioned? What other two places in the Torah is a dog mentioned?

Moshe warns Pharaoh that during plague of the firstborn there will be terrible screams throughout Egypt, yet amongst the Israelites "not even a dog will bark" (Exodus 11:7). In Parshas Mishpatim, the Torah commands that flesh from a torn animal should be thrown to a dog (Exodus 22:30), and in Parshas Ki Teitzei, the Torah prohibits offering any animal that was exchanged for a dog (Deut. 23:19).

7. In what way is the number 21 associated with the command to eat matzah?

The last day of Passover is the 21st day of the month of Nissan (Exodus 12:18).

8. In what context are shoes mentioned in this parsha?

The Jews in Egypt were instructed to eat the Passover offering with "their shoes on their feet" (Exodus 12:11).

9. Which law in this parsha involves a bone?

The Torah states that one may not break any bones of the Passover offering (Exodus 12:46).

10. In what context are shoulders mentioned?

When leaving Egypt, the Jews carried matzah on their shoulders (Exodus 12:34).

11. What two-letter word appears four times in this parsha, and has two different meanings?

The word "na" is used to mean "please" three times in this parsha (Exodus 10:11, 10:17, 11:2). The phrase "al tochlu mimenu na" - "Do not eat it [the Passover offering] raw" - has the alternate meaning of "raw" or "undercooked" (Exodus 12:9).

12. What two-letter word appears 27 times in this parsha and has four different meanings in the Torah?

The word "ki" appears 27 times in the parsha. Throughout the Torah, it is translated in four different ways: if, perhaps, rather and because (Rashi, Genesis 18:15).
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