Parashat Vaera

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Provided by the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, exploring Torah through the original sources.

Questions

1. When God told Moses to go and speak to Pharaoh and to tell him to let the children of Israel go, why did Moses feel he was unqualified?

2. How does God describe in this week's parashah the Covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?

3. What caused God to remember His covenant?

4. What were the names of Moses' mother and father?

5. What was the name of Aaron's wife?

6. How much older than Moses was Aaron?

7. Aaron threw down his rod and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh's wise men did the same. What happened next?

8. God told Moses that He would harden Pharaoh's heart and Pharaoh would not let the Israelites go. Why did God say He was doing this?

9. After Aaron's sign with serpents and the plague of blood, Pharaoh hardened his heart because he saw his wise men could cause the same things. What was the second plague, and what caused Pharaoh to harden his heart in that case?

10. The next plague was caused when Aaron smote the dust and what was all over the place?

11. Were the Pharaoh's wise men able to replicate this plague?

12. After the plague of flies, Pharaoh told Moses and Aaron to take the people and to sacrifice to their God in the land. They refused. Why?

13. Under which plague were the Hebrews and their flocks safe as long as they were in Goshen?

14. What was the name of Moses' wife?

Answers

1. Moses felt unqualified because his own people wouldn't listen to him, so why should Pharaoh. He was "of uncircumcised lips", i.e., could not speak well (6:12).

2.  God describes the covenant by saying that He would give them the land of Canaan (6:8).

3. God heard the groaning of his people under the bondage of the Egyptians (6:5).
4. The names of Moses' mother and father were Yoheved and Amram (6:20).

5.  Aaron's wife's name was Elisheva (6:23).

6. Aaron was three years older than Moses (7:7).

7. Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods (7:12).

8. God did this so that He could multiply His signs and wonders and the Egyptians would know that He is God.

9. The second plague was frogs. Pharaoh had promised to let the Hebrews go if Moses would get the plague stopped, but after he got relief, he refused to release them (8:1-11).

10. Gnats were all over the place (8:13).

11. Pharaoh's wise men could not replicate this plague (8:14).

12. They did not do this because sacrificing these animals in the sight of the Egyptians would be an abomination to them and the Hebrews would be stoned (8:22).

13. If they were in Goshen they were safe from the plague of hail (9:26).

14. Moses' wife was Tziporah (2:21).

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