Torah Teasers Parshat Yitro

January 27, 2013

2 min read


Yitro (Exodus 18-20 )

11 great Torah teasers.

1. Besides Parshas Yisro, which other weekly parshas are named after an individual who is not descended from Avraham?

Parshas Noach and Balak are named after individuals who are not descended from Avraham.

2. Who besides Moshe is a son-in-law of Yisro?

In Parshas Va'era, the Torah states that Elazar the son of Aharon married a daughter of Putiel (6:25). Rashi lists Putiel as one of the seven names of Yisro (Rashi - Exodus 18:1).

3. Name two cousins who are "ten apart". One of them appears in this parsha.

Eliezar the son of Moshe, and Elazar the son of Aharon, are first cousins. Their names differ only by the letter yud - which has the gematria (numerical value) of ten!

4. Name two people in the Torah - one male, one female, one Jewish, one not - who have similar names that mean the same. One of the people is in this parsha.

Tziporah the wife of Moshe, and Tzipor the father of Balak (Numbers 22:2), have similar names that mean a bird.

5. Where in this parsha do eagles appear?

Moshe reminds the Jews that Hashem carried them "on wings of eagles." (Exodus 19:4. See Rashi for an explanation of the parable.)

6. In what context does this parsha include a command involving clothing?

In preparation for the giving of the Torah, the Jews are commanded to wash their clothing (Exodus 19:10).

7. Where in the Ten Commandments is water mentioned?

In the second commandment, we are prohibited from making "any graven image or picture of any creature that is in the water" (Exodus 20:4).

8. Which two animals are mentioned in the Ten Commandments?

The tenth commandment forbids coveting anything belonging to our friend, including "his ox and his donkey." (Exodus 20:14)

9. Which word in this parsha, synonymous with shofar, refers to a ram's horn?

The word "yovel" means "ram's horn" in the phrase: "With the blowing of the ram's horn, [the Jews] may ascend the mountain." (Exodus 19:13)

10. Which verse in this parsha contains the word "lo" - "do not" - four times?

Following the regular cantillation, the commandments, "Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness," all appear in the same verse. (Exodus 20:13)

11. Where are "steps" referred to in this parsha?

The very last verse states that it is forbidden to ascend the altar using steps, but rather a ramp must be constructed. (Exodus 20:23)
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