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Parshat Acharei-Mot - Questions for Self Study

Questions for the Shabbat Table
Questions for Shiur Preparation
Questions on Parshanut

Part I - Questions for the 'Shabbat Table'
1. In the Torah, we find the concept of kedusha in three realms:

    "Kedushat zman" - time
    "Kedushat makom" - space (or geographic place)
    "Kedushat adam" - man
Based on your previous knowledge, bring an example of each type of kedusha.
What would you consider the highest level of kedusha in each of these three realms?
As you study chapter 16, can you find an example of each of these three types of kedusha?
If so, would you consider this significant? Explain why.
Can you relate this to the avodah of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur?
[This week's shiur will relate to this topic.]

2. Note how chapter 16 discusses the special avodah performed on Yom Kippur while chapter 17 discusses the prohibition against offering sacrifices outside the confines of the Mishkan.
Are these two chapters thematically related?
If so, how?
Bring at least two examples to support your answer.
[Be sure to relate to the "se'irim" (see 17:7).]
Why do you think that they are juxtaposed?
Based on their respective headers (16:1 and 17:1), would you say that these two parshiot were given at the same time?
Explain why yes, or why not.

3. At the end of chapter 17 we find once again in Sefer Vayikra the prohibition against eating blood.
Why do you think that these laws (17:10-16) are included in the same 'parsha' together with the laws of "shechutei chutz" (17:1-9) [i.e. how are these laws related]?
Are the details of these laws different than their detail in Vayikra 3:17 and 7:26-27?
If so, attempt to relate the differences to the location of each 'parshia' and its context.

4. In chapter 18 we find a lengthy list of prohibitions that are all later defined as "to'eyvot" (see 18:26).
Based on this list, how would you defined a to'eyva?
In your opinion, how are these laws different that than the laws found in the Ten Commandments or Parshat Mishpatim (which are not defined as to'eyvot)?

5. In Shmot 30:10, the concept of "kippurim" is mentioned (in relation to the mizbach k'toret) even though the precise date of when this korban is offered is not mentioned.
[See Shmot 30:10 and its context.]
How does that parshia (Shmot 30:1-10) relate to our Parsha (i.e. Vayikra chapter 16)?
In your opinion, why do you think that no specific date is given for Yom Kippur in Shmot 30:10?
[In your answer, relate to the events of Chet Ha'Egel, and why the 10th of Tishrei was chosen for Yom KippurR, as detailed in Vayikra chapter 23!]
In your opinion, and based on this question, had it not been for Chet Ha'Egel, would there have been a 'Yom Kippur?'

Part II - Questions for Preparation (for weekly shiur)
1. Answer question #1 above.

2. Read chapter 18, paying careful attention to its opening and closing psukim.
In what way is the overall topic of this chapter different than the topics discussed in chapters 16 and 17 (and for that matter in all of Sefer Vayikra thus far)?
How does the topic of chapter 18 relate to the topic of chapter 19 and the primary topics found in the remainder of Sefer Vayikra?

3. Read 18:1-5.
How would you define this set of psukim?
What is the meaning of "ani Hashem elokeichem?"
Has this phrase been mentioned earlier in Chumash?
Has it been mentioned earlier in Sefer Vayikra?
Is it mentioned again later in Sefer Vayikra?
If so, where and how often?
Relate these five psukim to 18:24-30, 19:19,37, and 20:22.

4. Make a very general outline of the major topics of Sefer Vayikra (from chapter 1 to 27).
How does chapter 18 relate to your outline?
Would you say that there are two halves to Sefer Vayikra?
If so, what are they?
If not, how and where would you divide the sefer?

5. Note Vayikra 26:46 (in comparison with 18:1-5) and 26:27-33 (in comparisson with 18:24-30).
Relate this to your answer to question #4 above.

Now that you've prepared, go to the shiur.

Part III - Parshanut
1. See the first Ramban in Sefer Vayikra (his introduction).
Based on this Rabman, how would Ramban answer question #4 above?
Note how Ramban relates to this introduction in his pirush to 16:1 and 19:2!

2. The first pasuk in Acharei-Mot (16:1) tells us when this commandment was given to Moshe, i.e. after the death of Nadav and Avihu.
Why do you think it is necessary for the Torah to include this information?
Does the Torah usually inform us concerning when each mitzva was given?
Can you think of any other examples of mitzvot that are introduced in a similar fashion?
If indeed this mitzvah was given after the death of Nadav and Avihu, where in Sefer Vayikra should it have been recorded?
Relate this to Vayikra 10:1-11.
How does this relate to the contraversy of "ein mukdam u'muchar ba'torah?"

3. Read Rashi 16:1.
How does Rashi answer the above questions?
Read Ibn Ezra 16:1.
How does Ibn Ezra answer the above questions?

On what do they argue, on what do they agree?
Does either commentary relate to the chronological issue of when this parsha was first given?

4. Read Ramban 16:1.
How does Ramban answer the above questions?
How does he relate to the chronological issue?
Does he agree or disagree with Rashi?
[Note that he quotes Rashi at the end of his commentary.]

For Yom Ha'Atzma'ut and Parshat HaShavua
Review the closing psukim of chapter 18 (i.e. 18:24-30).
Based on these psukim (especially 18:25-28), explain how the land can 'punish' Am Yisrael for not keeping God's laws.
Then, see the famous Ramban on 18:28 - where he articulates his approach to what is special about the land of Israel.
[No matter what your 'political' opinions may be, it will serve as something appropriate to study on Yom Ha'Atzma'ut!]