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Parshat Kedoshim - 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 Parshat Kedoshim, there is a very important pasuk/mitzvah which unfortunately is very often overlooked.
Read 19:18, especially the first half of the pasuk (not to mention the second half) and be sure to see Rashi's commentary (and Ramban's).
Isn't it rather amazing that this type of behavior which most of us would consider a very 'normal' (or even 'expected') reaction is actually an "issur d'orayta" - a Torah prohibition?!
[In your opinion, why are so many people not familiar with this law?]

2. Based on the above question, attempt to explain how 19:18 thematically relates to 19:14-17.
Then, note the sudden change of topic in 19:19, and especially its header.
Can you explain the thematic nature of this transition?
Finally, review the finale of this chapter, i.e. 19:33-36.
Relate these psukim and their finale (i.e. 19:36) and explain how this relates to the transition from 19:18-19.

3. Review 19:30, noting the connection between the Mikdash and Shabbat.
Where else in Chumash do we find a similar thematic connection between Shabbat and the Mikdash/Mishkan?
Can you explain why this pasuk is located specifically at this point in Parshat Kedoshim?

Part II - Questions for Preparation (this week, for 3 shiurim!)

For Shiur #1 - The Ten Commandments in Parshat Kedoshim
1. Many commentators have noted that one can find an example of each of the Ten Commandments (or a very similar mitzvah) in the opening psukim of Parshat Vayikra.
Before seeing the commentaries inside, carefully review chapter 19 and attempt to find these parallels on your own.
When you finish, record your answers so that you can compare your conclusions to those of the various commentators.

2. First see the Chizkuni on 19:2.
Did your list match his?

Next, see Ramban on 19:4 (towards the end), where he too finds all of the Ten Commandments in this Parsha.

Finally, see also the Ibn Ezra on 19:2 ("ki kadosh...")!
How did your list compare to theirs?

Using your list, note on which dibrot everyone agrees, and on which dibrot we find differences of opinion.
Based on your own attempt to find these parallels, can you explain why?

3. Even though these mitzvot are similar to the Ten Commandments, they are not identical.
There are also many examples of additional mitzvot.
Try to define the manner in which the mitzvot in Kedoshim are different than the Dibrot (i.e. are they more strict or lenient, etc.), even though they may also be 'parallel.'
Is this difference significant?
Can you relate it to the title of the Parsha - "Kedoshim ti'hiyu?"

4. Review the first 18 psukim of chapter 19 once again, this time noting how often the phrase Ani Hashem is repeated.
Is there a pattern to this repetition?
Note when it states Ani Hashem and Ani Hashem Elokeichem.
Does this also fit into a pattern?
Does this pattern relate in any way to the division of the Dibrot into 'two halves?'
How does this observation relate to the parallels that you found between the Dibrot and the mitzvot in chapter 19? [See questions #1 and #2 above.]
Which mitzvah in Parshat Kedoshim seems to 'ruin' this pattern?
Can you explain why?

5. Review Shmot 20:19-23, noting how these psukim are the first mitzvot that Bnei Yisrael receive after the Ten Commandments.
Can you found a parallel between these mitzvot and the Dibrot as well?
Then, continue reading into chapter 21 [Parshat Mishpatim] and see if this pattern continues.
Relate these parallels to your answers to the above questions. [See also the TSC shiur on Parshat Mishpatim.]

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

For Shiur #2 - The Header "Kol Adat Bnei Yisrael"
1. In what manner is the header of Parshat Kedoshim (19:1-2) different than the standard header introducing a parsha of mitzvot that is usually found in Chumash?
Does Rashi comment on this?
If so, what is his comment?
How does it explain the reason for this difference?

2. Where else in Chumash do we find a parsha of mitzvot that also includes the header of "Kol Adat Bnei Yisrael?"
Does it relate in any way to Parshat Kedoshim?
[If you give up, try Shmot 12:1-3, and 35:1.]
Do any of these sources help you better understand the Rashi referred to above - 19:2 - "daber... m'lamed shene'emar b'hakhel...?"
See also Vayikra 8:3-5!

3. What does the word "eydah" mean?
What is the Hebrew "shoresh" of this word?
Can you relate this "shoresh" to the reason why this parsha was given to the entire "eydah?"

4. In what context do Bnei Yisrael serve as "eydim" should they fulfill the commandments of Kedoshim Tihiyu?
See Seforno on 19:2, and relate his commentary to your answer.

5. See also Chizkuni on 19:2, and compare his pirush to that of Rashi on 19:2 [in regard to "daber el kol adat Bnei Yisrael"].
In what way is Chizkuni similar, and in what way is his statement different than Rashi's?
Attempt to explain why.

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

For Shiur #3 - The Repetition of the Arayot
1. Even though the "arayot" were detailed in chapter 18, most of them are repeated again in chapter 20.
After verifying this point, attempt to determine in what manner their presentation in chapter 20 is different.
At this point, relate only to the laws of the "arayot" themselves in 20:10-21 and to the laws that 'surround' them in 20:1-9 and 20:22-27.
Can you suggest a reason for this repetition of the same set of laws twice?
In your answer, relate as well to the placement of chapter 19 in between them.

2. Next, carefully review the psukim that surround these "arayot" (in 20:10-21), i.e. to 20:1-9 and 20:22-27.
Attempt to understand (and explain) the internal 'structure' of chapter 20.
Then, compare this structure to the internal structure in chapter 18, where we also find psukim that 'surround' the "arayot," i.e. to 18:1-5 and 18:24-30 that surround 18:6-23.
In what manner is this structure similar to the pattern in chapter 20? In what manner is it different?
[What specific laws does chapter 20 contain that were not found in chapter 18? What 'general' statements are found in both chapters, and what is their importance?]

3. In regard to the structure of chapter 20, what is especially difficult about its final pasuk (i.e. 20:27)?
In your opinion, why is this pasuk 'out of place' and where in this chapter does it belong?

4. If you are familiar with 'chiastic structures,' see if you can find one within chapter 20.
Use this (and your answer to question #1) to explain the final pasuk of chapter 20.

5. For those of you familiar with the sugya in the Gemara of "ein onshin ella im keyn mazhrin" [there is no punishment (by Bet Din) unless first there is a warning], relate this principle to the above question!

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

Part III - Parshanut

Parshat Kedoshim as Part of Sefer Vayikra
1. See Ramban on 19:2.
How does Ramban explain why Parshat Kedoshim is recorded in Sefer Vayikra?
Review Ramban's introduction to Sefer Vayikra (on 1:1).
Relate this to his pirush on 19:2.

2. Next, see Ibn Ezra on 19:2.
How does he answer this question?
How and why are their answers different?

3. Finally see Seforno on 19:2. Study it very carefully!
According to Seforno, why is Parshat Kedoshim in Sefer Vayikra?
How does Seforno use this to explain the progression of parshiot in Sefer Vayikra?
In what manner is his approach totally different than Ramban's (in regard to this question)?
Note carefully how Seforno finds not only a thematic connection between Parshat Kedoshim and the first half of Sefer Vayikra, but also how he connects this progression to primary themes in both Sefer Shmot and Sefer Breishit!
Explain how, and how this is consistent with Seforno's overall [thematic] approach to Parshanut.
[Relate this as well to his introduction to Chumash!]

The Flow of Topics in Chapter 19
4. If you have time, review the Ibn Ezra's on chapter 19, noting how he explains the flow of topic from one pasuk to the next.
In you have even more time, before you see each Ibn Ezra, attempt to suggest a reason first on your own.