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Torah Teasers Parshat Shlach

Shlach (Numbers 13-15 )

by Moshe Erlbaum

Challenging questions for the Shabbat table.

1. Where is the first time that Yehoshua bin Nun is mentioned in the Torah?

Yehoshua is first mentioned in parshas Beshalach when he was chosen to lead the war against Amalek (Exodus 17:9).

2. The name of which son of Yaakov appears in the name of one of the spies?

The name of the spy from the tribe of Yissachar is Yigal ben Yosef (Numbers 13:7).

3. Who in this parsha does Hashem call "my servant"? Who else in the Torah does Hashem call "my servant"?

Hashem refers to Kalev ben Yefuna as "my servant" (Numbers 14:24). In parshas Beha'alosecha, Hashem refers to Moshe as "my servant" (Numbers 12:7-8).

4. In this parsha, which three fruits of Israel's special seven species all appear in one verse?

Grapes, pomegranates and figs appear in Numbers 13:23, as the three species brought back by the spies from Canaan.

5. What two places in this parsha is someone stoned or almost stoned? Where in the Torah is someone afraid he will be stoned?

When Kalev and Yehoshua praise the land of Canaan, the nation is ready to stone them (Numbers 14:10). Later, the one who gathers wood on Shabbat is given the death penalty of stoning (Numbers 15:35-36). In parshas Beshalach, when the nation complains, Moshe cries out to Hashem that "a bit more and they will stone me" (Exodus 17:4).

6. Where does the number 10 appear in this parsha?

Hashem tells Moshe that the nation tested Him 10 times (Numbers 14:22).

7. In this parsha, which two people tear their clothing? When is the first time in the Torah that a group of people (not an individual) tear their clothing?

Yehoshua and Kalev tear their clothing upon realizing that the nation has accepted the derogatory report of the Spies (Numbers 14:6). In parshas Miketz, Yosef's brothers tear their clothing when a goblet is discovered in Binyamin's sack (44:13).

8. In this parsha, Hashem decrees that the nation will wander in the desert for 40 years (Numbers 14:33). What two other places in the Torah is "40 years" mentioned?

Both Yitzhak and Eisav got married at 40 years old (Genesis 25:20, 26:34).

9. Where in this parsha is someone placed in prison (mishmar)? Who else in the Torah is placed in prison? (5 people)

The one who gathered wood on the Shabbat is placed in prison until Hashem tells Moshe his proper punishment (Numbers 15:34). In parshas Vayeshev, (1) Pharaoh's chief butler, (2) his chief baker and (3) Yosef are all imprisoned (Genesis 40:3) In parshas Miketz, Yosef places his brothers in prison for three days (Genesis 42:17). In parshas Emor, the person who cursed Hashem is placed in prison until Hashem reveals his proper punishment (Leviticus 24:12).

10. Which verse in this parsha begins and ends with the same three words?

The last verse in the parsha (which is also the final verse in the third section of Kriyat Shema) begins and ends with the same three words: "Ani Hashem Elokeichem" - "I am Hashem your God" (Numbers 15:41).


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