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Parshat Bechukotai - Questions for Self Study

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

Part I - Questions for the 'Shabbat Table'
1. Can you find any textual similarities between the Torah's description of the 'positive side' of the Tochacha (see 26:3-13) and the Torah's description of man in Gan Eden (see Breishit chapter 2)?
If so, can you suggest any thematic similarities as well?
[Could this explain why certain Midrashim find an aspect of Gan Eden in the Land of Israel?]

2. See 26:12 ["v'hithalachti b'tochachem..."] in its context.
How does this pasuk relate to Gan Eden? [Do you find this textual parallel in your answer to question #1?]
Relate your answer to Rashi's pirush on this pasuk!
See Ramban on this pasuk as well for a very interesting and important explanation concerning how the Torah relates to "olam ha'bah!"

3. In 26:9, God promises that 'He will keep His covenant.'
In your opinion, what covenant ("brit") is this pasuk referring to?
Compare this pasuk with Breishit 6:18, 9:11-12 (in relation to 9:1,7), Breishit 17:7-8 (and its context), and Shmot 6:2-5.
How do these sources enhance your understanding of 26:9?
See now Ramban on 6:18, especially towards the end (beginning with "v'al derech ha'emet...").
See Parshanut section below (#2) for a continuation!

4. In what manner is the Tochacha in this week's Parsha similar to the Tochacha in Parshat Ki-Tavo (Devarim perek 28)?
In what manner is it different?
Why do you think that this Tochacha specifically is included in Sefer Vayikra? [How does it relate to the theme of the sefer?]
[Be sure to relate to Vayikra 18:24-29. See also Ibn Ezra on 25:1!]

Part II - Questions for Preparation (for weekly shiur)
[Be sure that you answer last week's questions (on Parshat Behar) as well.]

1. How does the Tochacha relate to the laws of shmita and yovel that are found it chapter 25?
[Be sure to relate to 26:34. Relate also to 25:1 and 26:46, and the last 7 psukim of Sefer Divrei Hayamim!]

2. How does the Tochacha relate to Vayikra chapter 18?
[Note especially 18:1-5, 18:24-30.]
How does it relate to the theme of the 'second half' of Sefer Vayikra?

3. Based on your answer to question #2, could you consider chapter 26 as an appropriate conclusion for Sefer Vayikra?
[Relate in your answer to 26:46!]

4. Is there a logical progression from chapter 26 to chapter 27?
If so, what is it?
If not, where does chapter 27 belong?
Note 27:14-25. Based on these details, how does this chapter relate to chapter 25?
Based on that parallel, would it make more sense to put these laws within chapter 25, or at least before the tochacha in chapter 26?

5. Note 27:34.
What mitzvot does this pasuk refer to?
How does this pasuk relate to the final pasuk of chapter 26?
How do both these psukim relate to the opening pasuk of chapter 25?

6. In what manner is Vayikra chapter 27 similar to Vayikra chapters 1-3?
In what manner are these units different?

7. Can you explain why Sefer Vayikra prefers to conclude with chapter 27 instead of chapter 26?
Relate to the primary topic of each chapter.
See Ibn Ezra at the beginning of chapter 27.

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

Part III - Parshanut
1. 26:46 is clearly a 'summary pasuk.' What does it summarize?
[In other words, what do the words "chukim," "mishpatim," and "torot" refer to?]
Note Rashi, Rashbam, Ibn Ezra, and Sforno. Why do you think that each rishon offers a very different answer?
See also Chizkuni to Shmot 24:7 ["sefer ha'brit"]!
What leads Chizkuni to his conclusion?
Based on the previous shiurim on the 'two halves' of Sefer Vayikra, can you suggest an alternative answer?

2. Question #3 in Part I above discussed the deeper meaning of 36:9 - "v'hakimoti et briti itchem."
See Rashi on this pasuk.
What causes Rashi to explain that this pasuk refers to a new covenant, as opposed to a fulfillment of the original covenant?
Next, see Ibn Ezra.
Why does he mention specifically "kochvei ha'shamayim" and "afar ha'aretz?"
Relate this to the beginning of the pasuk!
Finally, see Seforno.
Note how he refers to the psukim of "brit milah."
Relate this to your answer to question #3 in Part I!
Can you explain the reason for this three way "machloket?"