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Torah Teasers Parshat Va'eira

Va'eira (Exodus 6:2-9:35 )

by Moshe Erlbaum

11 great Torah Teasers.

1. In this parsha, what is called a "morasha" - "a heritage"? What else in the Torah is called a "morasha"?

In this parsha, the land of Israel is referred to as a "morasha" - "a heritage" (Exodus 6:9) In parshas V'zos Habracha, the Torah itself is called a "morasha" (Deut. 33:4).

2. Which grandfather and grandson lived the same amount of years?

Levi and his grandson Amram both lived 137 years (Exodus 6:16, 18).

3. In this parsha, which married couple begins their names with the same letter of the Aleph-Bet?

The names of Aaron and his wife Elisheva both begin with the Hebrew letter aleph (Exodus 6:23).

4. Who is the ancestor of every king from the Kingdom of Judah, and every High Priest except for one?

Aminadav, the father of Nachshon and Elisheva (the wife of Aaron), is an ancestor of King David (Ruth 4:20) and of every High Priest except for Aaron (Exodus 6:23).

5. In this parsha, which person has the same name as an ancient city in the Land of Israel?

Chevron, an ancient city in Israel, is also the name of the third son of Kehas (Exodus 6:18).

6. Which body parts are referred to in this parsha? (7 answers)

This parsha refers to: arm, hand, heart, palm of a hand, eyes, finger, lips. (1) Hashem informs Moshe that He will redeem the Jews "with an outstretched arm" (Exodus 6:6). (2) Hand is mentioned several times, mostly regarding the hand of Hashem that will punish the Egyptians (e.g. Exodus 7:4) (3) Heart appears several times in reference to Pharaoh's "hardened heart" (Exodus 7:3 is the first place). (4) Moshe informs Pharaoh that he will spread out the palms of his hands to stop the plague of hail (Exodus 9:29). (5) Moshe is told by Hashem to take a handful of ashes and throw them skyward in front of Pharaoh's eyes (Exodus 7:8). (6) The Egyptian magicians admit that the plague of lice is from "the finger of God" (Exodus 8:15). (7) Moshe refers to himself as having "blocked lips" (Exodus 6:17).

7. In what context is an oven mentioned in this parsha?

The frogs jump into the Egyptians' ovens (Exodus 7:28).

8. Where is a furnace mentioned in this parsha? What other two places in the Torah is a furnace mentioned?

In this parsha, the ashes that Moshe threw skyward to initiate the plague of boils were taken from a furnace (Exodus 9:8, 10). Elsewhere, in parshas Vayera, following the destruction of Sodom, smoke rose from the city as if rising from a furnace (Genesis 19:28). In parshas Yisro, the Torah states that the smoke rising from Mount Sinai was like smoke rising from a furnace (Exodus 19:18).

9. In what context are camels mentioned in this parsha?

Camels were smitten in the plague pestilence (Exodus 9:3).

10. Where does this parsha refer to someone as the sister of someone else? Where else in the book of Exodus is a woman referred to as someone's sister?

This parsha refers to Elisheva as the sister of Nachshon ben Aminadav (Exodus 6:23). Elsewhere, when Miriam sings praises to Hashem after the splitting of the Red Sea, the Torah refers to her as the sister of Aaron (Exodus 15:20).

11. Where in the book of Genesis is a woman referred to as someone's sister? (5 answers)

In parshas Bereishis, the Torah states that the sister of Tuval Kayin is Na'amah (Genesis 4:22). In parshas Toldos, the Torah refers to Rivka as the sister of Lavan (Genesis 25:2), and Machlas (Basmas) as the sister of Nevayos (Genesis (28:9, 36:3). In parshas Vayishlach, the Torah states that from the family of Esav, Timna is the sister of Lotan (Genesis 36:22). In parshas Vayigash, Serach bas Asher is referred to as the sister of Asher's sons (Genesis (46:7).

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