Torah Teasers Parshat Ki Tisa

March 2, 2021

3 min read


Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35 )

10 challenging questions.

1. Which two people appear in the Torah for the first time in this parsha?

Betzalel ben Uri, the artisan in charge of building the Tabernacle, and his assistant, Aholiav ben Achisamech, appear in this parsha for the first time (Exodus 31:2, 6).

2. In what context is the "the finger of God" (Etzbah Elokim) mentioned? Where else in the Torah is the "the finger of God" mentioned?

The tablets of the Ten Commandments were written "with the finger of God" (Exodus 31:18). In parshas Va'erah, the magicians of Egypt declare that the plague of lice displays "the finger of God" (Exodus 8:15).

3. The Hebrew word for mask is masecha, yet in this parsha the word used instead is masveh. Who wears this "mask"? And in what two contexts does the word masecha appear in the parsha?

At the end of the parsha, Moshe wears a masveh on his face after speaking with the people (Exodus 34:33). The Golden Calf is called an "egel masecha" (a molten calf) (32:4), and later the Jews are warned not to make any "elohei masecha" (molten gods) (34:17).

4. In this parsha, what is explicitly referred to as made of gold? Where in the Torah is the first time these items mentioned?

The earrings donated to fashion the Golden Calf are referred to as "golden earrings" (Exodus 32:2-3). The Golden Calf itself is called a "molten calf" (Exodus 32:4). In parshas Chayei Sarah when Eliezer meets Rivka, he gives her earrings (Genesis 24:22).

5. Aside from this parsha, where else in the Torah is a partial list of the 13 attributes of Hashem mentioned?

In parshas Shelach, Moshe entreats Hashem through the 13 attributes to forgive the nation for believing the evil report of the spies (Numbers 14:18).

6. In this parsha, what item is destroyed in four different ways, and how?

The Golden Calf is burned, finely ground up, scattered on water, and then drunk by the nation (Exodus 32:20).

7. In what connection does a tzur (rock) appear in this parsha?

Hashem agrees to show Moshe His glory, and directs him to stand on ha'tzur - "the rock" (Exodus 33:21-22).

8. In this parsha, what item does Moshe fashion on his own? What other two items in the Torah is Moshe commanded to fashion on his own?

Moshe carves out the second set of tablets on his own, as Hashem commands (Exodus 34:1). In parshas Beha'aolscha, Moshe is commanded to make two silver trumpets (Numbers 10:2), and in parshas Chukas, Moshe is commanded to fashion a fiery serpent to place on a pole (Numbers 21:8).

9. Aside from a calf, what other animals appear in this parsha? (4 answers)

Ox, sheep and donkey are all mentioned in reference to the law of redeeming a firstborn animal (Exodus 34:19-20). A kid is mentioned in reference to the prohibition of cooking together meat and milk (34:26).

10. What descriptive term for the Jewish people (Bnei Yisrael) is used four times in this parsha?

Bnei Yisrael are called "a stiff-necked nation" in Exodus 32:9, 33:3, 33:5, and 34:9.
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