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Vayishlach(Genesis 32:4-36:43)

Torah Teasers Parshat Vayishlach

1. This parsha begins: "And Yaakov sent messengers" to Esav. Where does the Torah state: "And Yisrael sent messengers"?

Numbers 21:21 states that "Yisrael sent messengers" - i.e. the Jews sent messengers to the Emorite king for permission to cross his land.

2. In this parsha, what verse has 8 words in a row ending with the letters yud-mem?

In Genesis 32:15, the gifts of Yaakov to Esav are enumerated, with 8 words in a row ending with the letters yud-mem.

3. What competitive sport is mentioned in this parsha?

Wrestling is mentioned in Genesis 32:25: "And a man wrestled with him [Yaakov]."

4. Where in this parsha is a question used as an answer? (2 answers)

After the unknown "Ish" changes Yaakov's name to Yisrael, Yaakov asks his name. The "Ish" responds with a question: "Why do you inquire of my name?" (Genesis 32:30). After Yaakov berates Shimon and Levi for killing the city of Shchem, they respond, "Should he treat our sister like a harlot?" (Genesis 34:31).

5. Who is mentioned in the Torah as walking with a limp?

Yaakov walks with a limp after he is injured in the wrestling match (Genesis 32:32).

6. In this parsha, who has a name that is also the name of an animal? (5 answers)

The following people have names of animals: Chamor (donkey) is the father of Shchem (Genesis 33:19). Devorah (bee) is the wet-nurse of Rivka (Genesis 35:8). Rachel (sheep) is one of the Matriarchs. Aya, which means "buzzard" (Genesis 36:24). Dishon, which means "elk" (Genesis 36:25).

7. In the Torah, what names are types of animals? (5 answers)

Tachash, which means "dolphin" (Genesis 22:24). Becher the son of Benjamin, means "young camel" (Genesis 46:21). Tzipporah (bird) is the wife of Moshe (Exodus 2:21). Tzippor (bird) is the father of Balak (Numbers 22:2). Chaglah, one of the daughters of Tzelofchad, means "partridge" (Numbers 26:33).

8. In the Prophets, what names are types of animals? (14 answers)

Devorah (bee) is a prophet (Judges 4:4). Yael (ibex) is the woman who kills Sisra (Judges 4:17). Ze'ev (wolf) and Orev (raven) are officers of Midian (Judges 7:25). The Jewish leader Tolah means "partridge" (Judges 10:1). Nachash (snake) is defeated by King Shaul (1-Shmuel 4:17). Layish, who was the father-in-law of King Saul's daughter, means "lion" (1-Shmuel 25:44). Eglah, a wife of King David, means "calf" (2-Shmuel 3:5). Shafan, meaning "rabbit," was the scribe of King Yoshiyahu (2-Kings 22:3). Aya, which means "buzzard" (2-Shmuel 3:7). Chulda (weasel) is one of the seven female prophets (2-Kings 22:14). Tzivia (deer) is the mother of King Yehoash (2-Kings 12:2). Yona (dove) is a prophet (Yona 1:1).

9. In this parsha, Shchem and Chamor who are killed "at the point of a sword." Who else in the Torah is killed "at the point of a sword"? (2 answers)

The nation of Amalek is killed "at the point of a sword" (Exodus 17:13), as is Sichon (Numbers 21:24). Bilaam is also killed by sword but the verse states "with the sword," not "at the point of a sword" (Numbers 31:8).

10. In this parsha, who dies during childbirth? Where else in Tanach does a woman die during childbirth?

Rachel dies when giving birth to Benyamin (Genesis 35:18). In Tanach, the wife of Pinchas ben Eli dies in childbirth (1-Shmuel 4:20).

11. Which married couple in this parsha have names that begin with the same letter? Which other married couples in the Torah have names that begin with the same letter? (2 couples - one found in Rashi)

Esav is married to Ada, both beginning with ayin (Genesis 36:2). Aaron married Elisheva, both beginning with aleph (Exodus 6:23). The wife of Noach is Na'ama, both beginning with nun (Genesis 4:22 with Rashi).

From "Rabbi Moshe Atik's Torah Teasers"

November 21, 2012

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Visitor Comments: 2

(2) yehuda, November 15, 2013 1:10 PM

Tachash, which means "dolphin"?

according to the gemara in shabbat the tachash is an animal unknown to us today - it apeared only in the time of the building of the Mishkan for its colorful skin to be used as the walls and it had only one horn. -- maybe it was a unicorn??

(1) Reuven B, Frank, November 14, 2013 3:16 PM

one more...Q.10

If you check, I believe you'll find a Mesora that Michal bas Shaul died in childbirth as well

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