Torah Teasers Parshat Emor

April 21, 2013

3 min read


Emor (Leviticus 21-24 )

Challenging questions for the Shabbat table.

1. In this parsha, which sin is punishable by burning? What 4 places in the Torah is fire explicitly used as a punishment?

In this parsha, adultery committed by a Kohen's daughter is punishable by burning (Leviticus 21:9). Elsewhere: in parshas Vayera, the entire city of Sodom is burned with sulfur and fire (Genesis 19:24). In parshas Shmini, Aharon's sons, Nadav and Avihu, are burned with fire (Leviticus 10:2). In parshas Beha'alosecha, fire consumes the complainers (Numbers 11:1). In parshas Korach, the 250 men who joined the rebellion are burned with fire (Numbers 16:35).

2. In this parsha, which law involves the sun?

A ritually impure person who purifies himself in a mikveh must wait for sunset to be considered completely pure (Leviticus 22:7).

3. In this parsha, which three laws refer to broken bones?

A Kohen with a broken bone is disqualified from serving in the Tabernacle (Leviticus 21:19). An animal with a broken bone cannot be brought as an offering (Leviticus 22:22). If someone breaks another person's bone, he must compensate the victim (Leviticus 24:20).

4. In what two contexts is the "eighth day" mentioned in this parsha?

An animal is only fit as an offering starting from the eighth day after its birth (Leviticus 22:27). The festival of Shmini Atzeret is on the eighth day of Sukkot (Leviticus 23:36).

5. Which offering contains leavened bread (chametz)? Where else in the Torah does an offering contain leavened bread?

The sacrifice of the "Two Loaves" (shtei halechem) brought on Shavuos are leavened bread (Leviticus 23:17). In parshas Tzav, the loaves accompanying the Thanksgiving offering are of leavened bread (Leviticus 7:13).

6. Which two of the seven species of the land of Israel, explicitly appear in this parsha?

Dates are mentioned in the command to take a branch of the date-palm tree on Sukkot (Leviticus 23:40). Olives are mentioned in the command to light the menorah in the Tabernacle with pure olive oil (Leviticus 24:2).

7. In this parsha, which seven laws explicitly mention the number seven?

(1) An animal must be with its mother for seven days before it can be brought as a sacrifice (Leviticus 22:27). (2) The holiday of Passover is seven days (Leviticus 23:6). (3) We count seven weeks from Passover to Shavuot (Leviticus 23:15). (4) Seven sheep are brought on Shavuot, along with the grain offering (Leviticus 23:18). (5) Rosh Hashana is celebrated in the seventh month of the year (Leviticus 23:24). (6) Yom Kippur is celebrated on the 10th day of the seventh month (Leviticus 23:27). (7) The holiday of Sukkot involves multiple sevens: The holiday begins on the 15th day of the seventh month (Leviticus 23:34) and lasts seven days (Leviticus 23:34). Sitting in the sukkah (Leviticus 23:42) and waving the four species applies for seven days (Leviticus 23:40-41).

8. In this parsha, which two laws involve the number seven - but the number seven is not mentioned in the description?

(1) A Kohen is allowed to become ritually impure upon the death of his seven close relatives (Leviticus 21:2-3 with Rashi). (2) This parsha states the command to light the seven-branched menorah (Leviticus 24:4).

9. In this parsha, which item is described as "braided"? What other item in the Torah is braided?

In this parsha, the myrtle branches taken on Sukkot are called "a branch with braided leaves" (Leviticus 23:40). The chains that attach the High Priest breastplate to the apron are called "a braided work" (Exodus 28:14).

10. In this parsha, which law refers to the numbers twelve, six, two, and one?

These are all descriptions of the Showbread, the loaves placed on the golden table in the Tabernacle. There are "twelve" loaves, placed in sets of "six" loaves each. Each ("one") loaf is kneaded with "two" solid measurements of flour (Leviticus 24:5-7).

11. In this parsha, who is given the punishment of stoning? Who else in the Torah is given the punishment of stoning?

In this parsha, the person who cursed Hashem is given the punishment of stoning (Leviticus 24:23). In parshas Shelach, the person who gathered sticks on Shabbat is punished with stoning (Numbers 15:36).
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