Parshat - Questions for Self Study
Questions for the Shabbat Table
Questions for Shiur Preparation
Questions on Parshanut
Part I - Questions for the 'Shabbat Table'
Parshat Emor begins (in chapter 21) with laws concerning the
After summarizing the basic laws in this chapter, try to
explain how they are different than the laws concerning Kohanim that
were detailed in Parshat Tzav (i.e. in chapters 6-7).
Based on last week's shiur, can you explain why these laws are
found in the second half of Vayikra [kedushat Mishkan], in contrast to
the laws in Tzav that are found in the first half of Vayikra [kedushat
Later in chapter 21 we learn that a Kohen "baal mum" [with a
physical blemish or defect] cannot offer korbanot (see 21:16-21); on
the other hand, he is permitted to eat "kodashim" (see 21:22-23) even though
he didn't offer that korban.
Can you explain the underlying logic
behind these two laws?
Would you consider either (or both) of them
What is difficult about the last pasuk in chapter 21
[i.e. what did Moshe tell Aharon, the Kohanim and Bnei Yisrael]?
Relate your answer to 21:16-17, 21:1 and 20:1-2!
[What is special about these three headers?]
How do these three headers help you understand the last pasuk in
Do you think that this summary pasuk could also be
considered a conclusion to chapters 18-19 as well?
Support your answer!
After summarizing the laws in chapters 21 and 22, attempt to explain
the logic of the progression of these mitzvot.
While doing so, relate to the following questions:
How is the law of a Kohen "tamey" similar to the law of Kohen
How is it different?
[Which of these two can eat
"kodshim?" Can either offer korbanot?]
Is the law of Kohen "ba'al mum" similar to the law of an animal
that is a "ba'al mum?"
How is the prohibition against offering an
animal less than eight days old similar to the prohibition of a
In what manner are the opening psukim to chapter 23 (23:1-4) similar
to the opening psukim to Parshat Va'yakhel (Shmot 35:1-4)?
In your opinion, what can we learn from this parallel?
How do the laws of shabbat relate to building the Mishkan?
How do they relate to the "moadim?"
In chapter 23 - the "moadim" - note how the phrase "chukat olam
l'doroteichem..." can be found in the laws of almost every holiday.
Review the chapter to verify this, noting the precise phrase for each
holiday (and the context of each).
Explain what this phrase means and
how it relates to each holiday. Relate as well to Shmot 12:14.
Is this phrase for each holiday identical?
If not, which holiday(s)
Relate to the word "moshvoteichem" in each!
Can you explain why?
[Relate to what is special about "succot" and the pasuk
"ba'sukkot tayshvu shivat yamim..."!]
Part II - Questions for Preparation (for weekly shiur)
In Parshat Emor (chapter 23) we find a complete list of the Jewish
Where else in Chumash do we find such a list (or similar)?
[If (/or when) you give up, see Shmot 23:24-20 and 34:18-26,
Bamidbar chapters 28-29 and Devarim chapter 16.]
In these parshiot we find many different "chagim" (holidays).
to organize them into two or three distinct groups.
Explain the reason
for your division based on how they are presented in Chumash.
In what manner is the presentation of the chagim in Parshat Emor
different than in the other parshiot in Chumash?
In what manner is it similar?
Note the dates that the Torah uses for each holiday.
Are they based
on the solar calendar (i.e. the agricultural seasons) or lunar calendar
(month/day) [or both]?
Can you explain why?
What type of date does the Torah use for those same holidays in the
other parshiot of "chagim" (as mentioned above in question #1)?
As you study chapter 23, make a table listing each of the chagim.
For each chag, note the mitzvot that are mentioned.
Which of these mitzvot are common for each of the chagim? Which of
these mitzvot are special for that specific chag?
Attempt to explain the reason for each mitzvah?.
Note that every holiday in Parshat Emor includes the commandment
"v'hikravtem ishe l'Hashem."
Scan the parsha to see if this is indeed
[Are any chagim an exception?]
What "ishe" (offering) is the Torah referring to - a private korban
from each individual or somethign for the tzibbur (the
Can you relate this commandment to the description of the
chagim in Parshat Pinchas (Bamidbar 28-29)?
Relate in your answer to Vayikra 23:37!
[After answering this yourself, be sure to see Ramban 23:1]
Which specific korbanot are presented in more precise detail in
Parshat Emor (scan from 23:1-44)?
Are these korbanot identical to the
korbanot described in Parshat Pinchas or are they different?
Can you explain their purpose and why they are different?
Do the korbanot that are detailed in Parshat Emor share any 'common
If so, explain what it is and why.
Make a table listing all the holidays in Parshat Emor.
holiday, note its date (lunar and/or solar) together with the special
mitzvah for that chag.
As you make your table, make note of either any
historical or agricultural aspect relating to those chagim.
[Relate to both the mitzvot which are mentioned in Emor, as
well as the mitzvot for each holiday that you know from other
sources as well.]
In your opinion, does the mitzvah to sit in a succah (see 23:42-43)
relate to the historical aspect of Succot (i.e. yetziat mitzraim) or to
its agricultural aspect (i.e. temporary booths built by the farmers in
the field collecting the harvest) - or both?
Quote psukim to support your answer.
[Relate also to Succah 11b -
"succah k'neged ananei kavod or succot mamash."]
Does your table help you understand the nature of the lunar and
[Use the parshiot of the chagim in Sefer Shmot and Sefer Devarim
(chapter 16) to help answer this question.]
Which of the chagim are referred to as "moadim" and which are called
"shabbatonim" (or "shabbat"), and which chagim are referred to as both?
Be sure to note 23:11,15,16,24,32,39!
In your answer, relate to the 'double' description of Succot in
23:33-43, noting the distinction between "moed" and "shabbaton" and
their related mitzvot.
Use this to explain 23:37-39 and the use of the
Attempt to relate this as well to the 'double header' in 23:1-3!
In what manner does the final pasuk in chapter 23 complement the
opening pasuk of this chapter?
Based on our shiurim thus far in Sefer Vayikra, why do you think
that chapter 23 is included in this Sefer?
[Does it relate to korbanot, to kedusha, etc.?]
Be sure to relate to the specific mitzvot of the chagim (as well
as the general mitzvot) that are detailed in this chapter.
Now that you've prepared, go to the shiur.
Part III - Parshanut
A major debate exist concerning how to explain the pasuk that
defines when we begin counting the omer -"mimochorat ha'shabbat" (see
In your opinion, why does the Torah refer to the first day of
chag ha'matzot as "shabbat?"
Can you relate your answer to the above preparation questions?
Relate to how each of the chagim in some manner or other is
referred to as a "shabbat" or "shabbaton."
See Rashi, Ramban, Ibn Ezra, Chizkuni and Mesechet M'nachot 61a.
Even though everyone agrees that shabbat is referring to the first
day of yom-tov, each commentator offers a different reason why.
explain each "parshan" and the reason for the machloket.
Read 21:1 (the opening pasuk of the Parsha).
What is problematic
about the 'wording' of this opening statement?
See Ramban on this pasuk, noting how he first quotes Rashi, then
Ibn Ezra, and then offers his own opinion.
Explain each of these three approaches. Why do you think that
Ramban does not agree with either Rashi or Ibn Ezra?
Finally, see Chizkuni on 21:1.
In what manner is his pirush
What does he learn from "smichut parshiot" between this
pasuk and the last pasuk in Parshat Kedoshim?
Read 24:10, how did you translate the opening phrase ["vayeitzei ben
isha yisraelit"] - i.e. what does "vayeitzei" mean?
What are the different possibilities?
See Rashi; how does he understand this word?
What questions bother him based on this understanding?
all the questions raised by the Midrash.]
See Ibn Ezra and Ramban.
How do they translate "vayeitzei?"
Do they both offer the same
[If not, how do they differ?]
[Note also how Ibn Ezra later explains the reason for the "smichut
Finally, see Chizkuni.
How does he explain "vayeitzei?"
In what manner is his pirush totally different than all of the
Why does he refer to this as "pshat?"