Torah Teasers by Moshe Erlbaum
- What sets of parshas of the Torah share the same root in their name? (10 sets) Example: Lech Lecha and Vayelech.
The following ten sets of parshas share the same root: (1) Lech Lecha and Vayelech, (2) Vayera, Va’era and Re’eh, (3) Chayei Sarah and Vayechi, (4) Vayetze and Ki Tetzei, (5) Vayishlach, Beshalach and Shlach, (6) Bo and Ki Tavo, (7) Mishpatim and Shoftim, (8) Tetzaveh and Tzav, (9) Ki Tisa and Naso, (10) Bechukotai and Chukat.
- Aside from this parsha, where else does Hashem command Avraham with the words Lech Lecha – “Go for yourself”?
When Hashem tells Avraham to sacrifice his son, He says Lech Lecha – “And go to the land of Moriah” (Genesis 22:2).
- Which two people are called brothers but weren’t?
Avraham refers to Lot and himself as “brothers” (Genesis 13:8). Avraham was actually the uncle of Lot (Genesis 11:27).
- Which Brit (“covenant/treaty”) was made between people, and not with Hashem?
Avraham makes a Brit with three men in Genesis 14:13.
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- Which body of water, found in Israel, is mentioned in this parsha?
The Dead Sea, is mentioned in conjunction with the war of the four and the five kings (Genesis 14:3).
- Where is Avraham called an Ivri (“the Hebrew”)? Who is the only other person in the Torah called an Ivri?
When the refugee informs of the capture of Lot, Avraham is referred to as HaIvri (Genesis 14:13). It is the only place where he is called this. Yosef is the only other person called an Irvi, by the wife of Potiphar (Genesis 39:14), and by the butler when he informs Pharaoh of Yosef’s ability to interpret dreams (Genesis 41:12).
- Which birds are mentioned in this parsha? (3 answers)
Three birds appear in the parsha: turtledove, young dove and vulture (Genesis 15:9, 11). The first two were used as part of the Brit Bein HaBetarim, and the last one came to eat the carcasses of the dead animals and birds.
- Who was both a king and a Kohen (priest)? Who else in the book of Genesis is called a Kohen?
Malchei-Tzedek was both the king of Shalem and “a priest to the G-d above” (14:18). Later, Yosef marries the daughter of Poti-Phera who was the “priest of On” (Genesis 41:45).
- In this parsha, in what context is the number 10 mentioned? In what context is one-tenth mentioned?
Avraham and Sarah wait 10 years in the land of Canaan before Avraham marries Hagar (Genesis 15:3). Avraham gave one-tenth of everything to Malchei-Tzedek (Genesis 14:20).
- Which article of clothing appears in this parsha, but nowhere else in the Torah?
Avraham tells the king of Sodom that he will not even take a shoelace from the spoils of war (Genesis 14:23).
- Aside from Avraham and Sarah, who else in the book of Genesis is given a new name? (3 answers) Who else in the Torah is given a new name?
The name of Yaakov is changed to Yisrael – both by the angel he fought (Genesis 32:29) and by Hashem (35:10). The name of Yosef is changed by Pharaoh to Tzafnat Pane’ach (Genesis 41:45). Benyamin’s original birth name was Ben-Oni, later called Benyamin (Genesis 35:18). Moshe changes the name of Hoshea Bin Nun to Yehoshua (Numbers 13:16).
- What event in this parsha occurs B’etzem hayom ha’zeh – “on that very day”? What other events in the Torah occur B’etzem hayom ha’zeh? (3 answers)
Avraham gives all the members of his household a Brit Milah “on that very day” he is commanded (Genesis 17:23, 26). The same expression is used when Noach enters the Ark with his family (Genesis 7:13), when Hashem takes Jews out of Egypt (Exodus 12:17), and when Hashem tells Moshe to ascend Har Nevo to visually survey the Land of Israel before his death (Deut. 32:48 with Rashi).