> Weekly Torah Portion > Intermediate > Torah Teasers

Torah Teasers Parshat Shmini

Shmini (Leviticus 9-11 )

by Moshe Erlbaum

Challenging questions for the Shabbat table.

1. This parsha begins with the eighth day of the inauguration of the Tabernacle. What two Torah laws that refer to the "eighth day" are applicable nowadays?

(1) In parshas Tazria, the Torah describes the mitzvah of circumcision, which is performed on the eighth day after the baby boy's birth (Leviticus 12:3). (2) In parshas Emor and parshas Pinchas, the holiday of Shmini Atzeres is described as the additional eighth day added on to the holiday of Sukkot (Leviticus 23:36, 39 and Numbers 29:35).

2. In what two contexts does this parsha state: "And a fire came out from before Hashem"?

The expression "And a fire came out from before Hashem" is used to describe consuming the korban olah (burnt offering) and its fats (Leviticus 9:24), and also to describe the consuming of Nadav and Avihu, the sons of Aaron, who brought a foreign fire into the Tabernacle (Leviticus 10:2).

3. What other two places in the Torah is a similar expression of "a fire from Hashem" used to describe the consuming of sinners?

In parshas Korach, the 250 men who attempted to bring incense during the rebellion of Korach are consumed in "a fire came out from Hashem" (Numbers 16:35). In parshas Beha'alotecha, regarding the complainers, the Torah states: "And a fire of Hashem burned against them" (Numbers 11:1).

4. Which pairs of brothers appear in this parsha? (4 pairs)

The four pairs are (1) Moshe and Aharon, (2) Nadav and Avihu, (3) Itamar and Elazar, (4) and Mishael and Eltzafan, the sons of Uziel who are asked to carry the bodies of Nadav and Avihu out of the Tabernacle (Leviticus 10:4).

5. Who is referred to in this parsha as someone's "uncle"?

The Torah states that Uziel is the uncle of Aharon (Leviticus 10:4).

6. What person appears in this parsha, but appears only one other time in the entire Torah?

Mishael the son of Uziel appears in this parsha (Leviticus 10:4) and in parshas Va'erah (Exodus 6:22).

7. Which cousins are described in this parsha as "brothers"?

Eltzafan and Mishael are asked to carry the bodies of Nadav and Avihu out of the Tabernacle. Eltzafan and Mishael are the first cousins once-removed of Nadav and Avihu, but are referred to as their brothers (Leviticus 10:4).

8. Which law in this parsha mentions "wine and aged wine"? What other Torah law involves both wine and aged wine?

In this parsha the kohanim are prohibited from drinking "wine and aged wine" when entering the Tabernacle (Leviticus 10:9). A nazir is also prohibited from drinking all forms of wine (Numbers 6:3).

9. In what context are "daughters" mentioned in this parsha?

Moshe tells Aharon and his sons Elazar and Itamar that the breast and thigh of the peace-offering may be eaten by their sons and daughters (Leviticus 10:14).

10. Which non-kosher animal is listed in this parsha, and mentioned in another parsha 18 times?

In parshas Chayei Sara, camels are mentioned 18 times in the account of Eliezer finding a wife for Yitzchak (Genesis 24).

11. Of all the non-kosher birds listed in this parsha (and in parshas Re'eh), which birds appear elsewhere in the Torah?

The raven and the eagle are two non-kosher birds mentioned elsewhere in the Torah. In parshas Noach, a raven is sent out first to check if the land has dried (Genesis 8:7). The eagle is mentioned several times: (1) In parshas Yisro, Hashem compares the Exodus to being carried on the wings of eagles (Exodus 19:4). (2) In the rebuke of parshas Ki Tavo, the enemy is described as coming from as far as an eagle flies (Deut. 28:49). (3) In parshas Ha'azinu, Hashem's protection is compared to an eagle protecting its young (Deut. 32:11).

12. In this parsha, which brothers die on the same day? Where else in the Torah do two brothers die on the same day?

In this parsha, Aharon's sons Nadav and Avihu die on the same day (Leviticus 10:2). In parshas Korach, Dasan and Aviram, the sons of Eliav, also die on the same day (Numbers 16:1, 27, 33).

1 2 3 2,901

🤯 ⇐ That's you after reading our weekly email.

Our weekly email is chock full of interesting and relevant insights into Jewish history, food, philosophy, current events, holidays and more.
Sign up now. Impress your friends with how much you know.
We will never share your email address and you can unsubscribe in a single click.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram