CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS NOACH
5766 - BS"D
1) Ch. 6, v. 21: "V'hoyoh l'cho v'lo'hem l'ochloh" - Why is Noach's eating
mentioned before that of the animals according to the law which we derive from
Dvorim 11:15 (parshas "V'hoyoh im shomo'a") that feeding animals comes before
feeding one's self?
2) Ch. 7, v. 14: "Ho'ofe .. tzipor" - What is the difference between these
3) Ch. 7, v. 23: "Va'yimach es kol ha'y'kum ...... va'yimochu min ho'oretz" -
Why the duplication of the same concept, that everything was eradicated?
4) Ch. 11, v. 11: "Cha'meish mei'os shonoh" - Why were the life spans of the
ensuing generations noticeably shorter than the previous generations?
5) Ch. 11, v. 29: "Va'yikach Avrom v'Nochor lohem noshim" - Why does the
Torah spend so much time on the details of Yitzchok's finding a wife (all 67
verses of chapter 24), and by Avrohom and Soroh all we find is a verse simply
stating that Avrom took Sorei as his wife?
Answers to questions on parshas Breishis:
1) Ch. 1, v. 3: "Y'hi ohr" - There shall be light - What is the difference
between "yi'h'yeh" and "y'hi"?
1) They mean the same thing, but "y'hi" is used when the subject is
something that does not grow or bear fruit. There is a nuance of permanence in the
word "y'hi." (Tosfos Hasho'leim)
2) "Y'hi" is used when the creation of the object is from a pre-existent
object. (Aderres Eliyohu)
3) "Y'hi" is used when the object is not tangible. (Maskil l'Dovid)
4) "Yi'h'yeh" means that there will be, a statement of fact regarding the
future. "Y'hi" is a command that something shall take place, in our case the
existence of light. (Haksav V'hakaboloh)
5) The Holy Zohar explains the difference in Breishis page 232b and Shmos
pages 176-177 (l'yodei chei"n).
2) Ch. 1, v. 5: "Va'y'hi erev va'y'hi voker yom ECHOD" - Why doesn't the
verse use the ordinal word "rishon," as it does from the second day onward,
"sheini," rather than "shnayim"?
1) The gemara Nozir 7a states that day and night are one day and there is no
separation between them. It seems that the gemara is explaining why the word
ECHOD is used rather than RISHON.
2) The Baal Hamo'ore on the gemara R.H. says that this means that at the
same time there is day in one place and night in another.
3 ) The Nachalas Yaakov says that ECHOD is used to indicate that this was a
unique day, as ex nihilo, "yeish mei'ayin," something from nothing, took
place. On the other days there were already parts of creation in place.
4) On a simple level we can say that the cardinal number ONE is used when
there is no other day in existence, hence "day one" and not the ordinal "first
3) Ch. 1, v. 2: "Hamoyim" - The water - Why does this word always appear in
the plural form?
1) The Ibn Ezra answers that there are male and female waters. (I have come
across the term "mayim nukvin" in the "tefiloh zakoh" prayer said on erev Yom
2) Abarbenel answers that there are fine droplets that compose water.
3) Torah M'iroh #125 answers because there are two components in water, the
sour part and the water part. Perhaps he is referring to ocean water, which is
4) Ch. 1, v. 25: "Va'yaas Elokim .. kol remmes ho'adomoh" - For what purpose
did Hashem create bugs?
The Medrash Shochar Tov on T'hilim chapter #18 offers two answers.
1) If and when Hashem would be angry with mankind and contemplate destroying
the world, He would then say to Himself, "If I am willing to sustain bugs
which serve no purpose, I should surely maintain the existence of mankind, which
is capable of great accomplishments."
2) The extract of bugs is useful in treating the sting of other creatures.
5) Ch. 3, v. 16: "Itzvoneich v'heironeich" - The gemara Eiruvin 100b says
that "itzvoneich" refers to the difficulty of raising children, while
"heironeich" refers to the difficulty of pregnancy. Why is the order switched since
pregnancy comes before raising children?
Rabbi Michel Stern shlit"a answers that Chavoh had already given birth to
Kayin and Hevel before Hashem imposed this punishment. The previous pregnancy and
birth were without any hardship. However, the raising of these children was
in progress before Chavoh's next pregnancy. Hence her difficulties in child
rearing would take place before the difficulties of future pregnancies.
Responses from readers:
Ch. 1, v. 25: "Va'yaas Elokim .. kol remmes ho'adomoh" - For what purpose
Hashem create bugs?
YERUSHALMI Berachot 9:3:
"Elijah, blessed be he, asked R. Nehorai: "Why did God create insects and
reptiles in his world? He responded "For good reason. When humans sin, He
[God] looks at them and says "If I preserve those [insects and reptiles]
that have no use all the more so [I must preserve] those [humans] who have
use." Elijah responded "They too have use; the fly as a remedy for the
homet['s sting]; bed-bugs as a remedy for a swallowed leech; a serpent as a
remedy for an eruption; the snail as a remedy for the scab, and a [crushed]
spider as a remedy for a scorpion['s bite]."
ALSO - Genesis Rabbah 10:7 (From A.E.)
"The Rabbis say that even things which appear to be superfluous in the world
such as flies, fleas and mosquitoes are in fact part of God's creation and
He utilizes all of them to fulfill his missions, even a snake, even a
mosquito and even a frog.
Regarding question #5- See Torah Temima #19 who asks the question. He refers
to the Chiddushei Aggadot of the Maharsha on Eruvin 100b who also asks this
questions (and answers based upon a Midrash) and then gives his own answer
"b'derech ha'pshat". (From M.C.)
A GUTTEN SHABBOS KODESH. FEEL FREE TO DISTRIBUTE BY COPY OR ELECTRONICALLY.
FEEDBACK IS APPRECIATED. TO SUBSCRIBE, KINDLY SEND REQUEST TO: SHOLOM613@AOL.COM
See also Oroh
V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights