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Q&A: Parshiyot Mattot-Mass'ei

07/15/2020 04:29:40 PM


Rabbi Edward Davis

From the Text
1. How large of an army did Moshe raise to fight Midian? (31:4,5)
2. Who led the army in its fight with Midian? (31:6)
3. How was a metal utensil kashered? (31:23)
4. What did Bnei Gad and Bnei Reuven request from Moshe? (32:3,4)
5. What answer did Moshe give the tribe of Menasheh when they raised the question of whom the daughters of Tzelaphchad should marry? (36:6)

From Rashi
6. If a girl makes a vow, who may annul her vow, if she is 10 years old; if she is 11 and 1/2; if she is 13? (30:4)
7. How did the army know if a Midianite woman was to be executed? (31:17)
8. Why did Ya’ir, the son of Menasheh, name his cities that he conquered, after himself (Chavot Ya’ir)? (32:41)
9. What did the Leviyim do with the empty lands surrounding their cities? (35:2)
10. There were three Cities of Refuge built in the lands west of the Jordan River, for 9 and a 1/2 tribes. And there were three Cities of Refuge located east of the Jordan. Why were there so many Cities of Refuge located east of the Jordan? (35:14)

From the Rabbis
11. The Torah states that one half of the tribe of Menasheh would settle east of the Jordan. In truth, what percentage of Menasheh settled there? (Ramban)
12. Is there a Biblical Mitzvah to live in Eretz Yisrael? (Ramban)
13. Why was the duration of time an accidental killer spent in the City of Refuge determined by the death of the High Priest? (Seforno)

Haftorah.  Jeremiah
14. Who was left to save the Jews who sinned and rejected Hashem?

a) Ya’ir - Menasheh
b) Livni - Shim’ee
c) Dan - Chushim
d) Moshe - Gershon
e) Aharon - Nachshon


1. 12,000 men. One thousand from each tribe.
2. Pinchas
3. If the utensil was used without a liquid (broiled a non kosher food), then the utensil had to be purged (blowtorched). If the utensil was used with a liquid, then it was immersed in boiling water.
4. To settle east of the Jordan River, on the land Bnei Yisrael conquered from Sichon and Og.
5. The daughters of Tzelaphchad should marry only men from their own tribe, from Menasheh.
6. If she is 10, there is no vow. She is a minor.
If she is 13, she is an adult. (She would go to a Beit Din.)
If she is 11 1/2, either her father or her husband if she is married.
7. The women would pass in front of the High Priest’s Tzitz (Headplate). If her face turned greenish, she was to be executed.
8. Ya’ir had no children; he named his cities after himself (to memorialize himself).
9. The land was used to beautify the city. It was forbidden to build or grow crops there.
10.  Because there were more killings east of the Jordan. (The Ramban took a different approach. Since the Levitical cities also acted as Cities of Refuge, all tribes had what they needed.)
11. Two of the eight families of Menasheh settled east of the Jordan; 25% settled in the east.
12. According to the Ramban, 33:53 reads “You shall possess...and you shall settle...” This means that there is a Biblical Mitzvah to live in Eretz Yisrael. (Most others disagree. Rav Moshe Feinstein wrote that there is an OPTIONAL Mitzvah to live in Eretz Yisrael.)
13. No human court can accurately determine how long an exile the killer should experience. Therefore the exact duration was left to Hashem.
14. Hashem said: let your gods (idols) save you.
a) Father Menasheh
b) Brothers (sons of Gershon ben Levi)
c) Father Dan
d) Uncle Gershon
e) Brothers-in-Law

Wed, October 28 2020 10 Cheshvan 5781