Class review Spring 2018
1. Which four Biblical characters were mentioned together in the Talmud?
2. What do the four Biblical characters who were mentioned together in the Talmud have in common?
3. Which verse is cited regarding Moshe (Moses) – how does Rashi explain the citation?
4. What was Esther's real name?
5. What possible meaning is there for the name of Esther in light of mythology?
6. Which verse is cited regarding Esther? What is the message and meaning of the verse?
7. Which verse is cited regarding Haman? What is the message and meaning of the verse?
8. Which biblical character is suggested as a precursor of Haman?
9. Where was Mordechai from? What tribe was he from?
10. In what way can Mordechai be seen as the continuation or "tikun" of Saul?
11. What does the Midrash suggest is the deeper meaning for Mordechai's refusal to bow?
12. What building stood as the meeting point between Yehudah and Binyamin?
13. How is Mordechai related to incense?
14. What is the difference in the orientation to evil of Mordechai and Haman?
15. Why do fast days need “sinners”?
16. How does Yom Kippur heal the sins from the sin of the Golden Calf?
17. How is purim more “real” than Yom Kippur?
18. Which sense was not corrupted in the Garden of Eden?
19. In what way is Mordechai connected to incense?
20. Other than Mordechai, who else is connected to incense?
21. To what or whom does the Zohar compare Esther?
22. What is the context in the Torah which brings the verse attributed to the “wise son”?
23. What about the wise son’s question is contradictory? How did the Mechilta and Yerushalmi “smooth” over the “contradiction”?
24. How is the question attributed to the “wicked son” different from the other questions posed?
25. In the context of the Torah, did the people find the question of the “wicked son” disturbing?
26. Why would the generation of the Exodus be overjoyed to have a “wicked son”?
27. With whom did we associate the identity of the “wicked son” of the Mechilta?
28. With whom did we associate the identity of the “wicked son” of the Yerushalmi?
29. In what way did Rebbe Hiyya “update” the “wicked son” teaching? What had changed by that time?
30. Is the Jewish year based on the sun or the moon?
31. Are Jewish months based on the sun of the moon?
32. What is the biblical source for adjusting the Jewish calendar?
33. When does Rabbi Eliezer say is the start of the year?
34. When does Rabbi Yehoshua say is the start of the year?
35. Why do Rabbi Eliezer, and Rabbi Yehoshua see the redemption differently?
36. What is the literal meaning of the word tal?
37. What is the spiritual meaning of the word tal?
38. What is the technical reason Pesach must be in the Spring?
39. What is the spiritual reason Pesach must be in the Spring?
40. What did the Talmud say was the reason that Rabbi Akiva’s student’s died?
41. What did Rav Shrerira Gaon say was the reason the cause of the death of Rabbi Akiva’s student’s?
42. What could be implied from Rav Shrerira Gaon’s words regarding the death of Rabbi Akiva’s student’s?
43. Can you think of any instances where of Rabbi Akiva’s student’s behaved improperly?
44. What does the Talmud say was the relationship between Bar Kochva and Rabbi Akiva?
45. Who in the Talmud say argued with Rabbi Akiva about Bar Kochva?
46. Who was Rabbi Yochanan ben Torta’s father?
47. Did Rabbi Yochanan ben Torta believe in the messianic age?
48. How did Rabbi Akiva’s epiphany impact his eschatology (understanding of the end of days)?
49. How did Rabbi Yochanan ben Torta’s epiphany impact his eschatology (understanding of the end of days)?
50. What was “pre-cave” Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai like?
51. What was Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai like, when he left the cave the first time?
52. What was Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai like, when he left the cave the second time?
53. According to the Kotzker Rebbe – what is the difference between a student and teacher?
54. What did Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai say when he saw the ominous angel?
55. Why did Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai think he could defend the people?
56. What did Rabbi Yehudah opine regarding the Romans of his day?
57. Give one example of how Rabbi Shimon could “save the Jews in the day of judgement”
58. Why was there mourning for Meshiach Ben Yosef?
59. Who is the prototype for Meshiach Ben Yosef?
60. What is the task of Meshiach Ben Yosef?
61. According to the Vilna Gaon, what can we learn from the first six days of creation?
62. Was Elazar ben Dordia really a rabbi?
63. What is the connotation of “Dordia”?
64. In what way does the dialogue between Elazar ben Dordia and elements of nature anticipate 18th- 19thcentury philosophy?
65. What is the symbol of air in the story of Elazar ben Dordia?
66. What is the meaning of the word rachamim?
67. What is the objective of Elazar ben Dordia? Does he achieve it?
68. What concerned the people when the Second Temple was completed?
69. At which moment did prophecy end?
70. What happened when the people prayed to remove the inclination for erotic desire?
71. What image represented the “evil inclination”? from where did it emerge?
72. What was the goal of the mystic?
73. What did rabbi Akiva succeed in seeing (like Yehezkel”)
74. How were Yeshayau and Yehezkel similar? Different?
75. How is the number 222 related to the Chariot?
76. What happened to Ben Azzai in Pardes (according to Rashi)
77. What happened to Ben Zoma in Pardes
78. What happened to Aher in Pardes
79. What did Aher see in Pardes? What was the result?
80. How does the Talmud Bavli explain “ripping up the saplings”?
81. How does the Talmud Yerushalmi explain “ripping up the saplings”?
82. Could Aher have done Teshuva?
83. According to Rabbi Soloveitchik what should Aher have done?
84. How does Aher himself explain the origin of his problems?
85. In what sense is theodicy evident in the narrative about Aher in both the Bavli and Yerushalmi?
86. What does the Rambam say is the price to be paid for saying “I will sin and then repent”?
87. In what sense was the Bat Kol Aher heard trying to lead him to complete Teshuva (repentance)?
World of the Sages
1. The word for clothing begedhas a connotation of?
2. The word for clothing me’ilhas a connotation of?
3. When the pagans destroyed the Temple – what surprised them?
4. In what way were the keruvima spiritual barometer?
5. How is the Hebrew word for “embarrassment” (used to describe Adam and Eve before the sin – when it says they were not embarrassed) related to clothing?
6. In what way are the keruvimrelated to Adam and Eve?
7. What was the act of compassion that God performed as he exiled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden?
8. How many times is Shabbat mentioned in the Book of Shmot?
9. What was the last law taught to Moshe before God handed him the Tablets?
10. What was comforting or healing about the laws of Shabbat taught to Moshe while on top of the mountain?
11. Why are the laws of Shabbat taught in the context of the Mishkan?
12. How are Shabbat and the Mishkan parallel?
13. What is the idea of tzimtzum?
14. How is man meant to practice tzimtzum?
15. In what way are the korbanot(offerings) cathartic?
16. Did the Rambam think that offerings would exist in the future?
17. How did the Rambam understand the verses which described the lamb and lion living in harmony?
18. How did Rav Kook understand the verses which described the lamb and lion living in harmony?
19. According to Rav Kook what would be the impediment to offering animals in the future?
20. In general, can chametzbe brought to the Beit Hamikdash?
21. What is unique about the korban toda?
22. How do Pesach and Shavuot together create a korban toda?
23. Where do we find the word omerfirst in the Torah?
24. What was the omeroffering? Why?
25. What was the “sin offering” Aharon was told to bring at the installation of the Mishkan? Why?
26. What was the “sin offering” the Jewish people were told to bring at the installation of the Mishkan? Why?
27. What was the “olah” (burnt offering) brought at the installation of the Mishkan?
28. How is the “Akaida” related to the consecration of the Mishkan?
29. Why would God ask the Jewish people a bring a “sin offering” for Him?
30. What is the meaning of the word Shabbat?
31. Does Shabbat always mean Saturday?
32. What is the best definition of the word p’shat?
33. Which law did the Sadducees practice different from the Pharisees?
34. Which law did the Baytusim (Boethusians) practice different from the Pharisees?
35. What was the rationale offered by the Baytusim (Boethusians) for their different practice?
36. What did the Ramban consider the great secret of the Torah?
37. In the Ramban’s day what were the two prominent positions regarding the age of the world?
38. What is the “cosmic jubilee”?
39. Which number does the Ramban say is the “chosen” number?
40. What is a “Tochecha”?
41. Why would a new covenant be necessary at the end of the book of Vayikra?
42. What is “replacement theology”?
43. Which law seems to counter “replacement theology”?
44. What is the significance of 600,000?
45. How many letters does the Zohar say there are in the Torah? Why? How many are there in actuality?
46. How did we reconcile the number of souls with the number 600,000?
47. How did we reconcile the number of letters in the Torah with the number 600,000?
48. Why did Yakov think the battle with Shechem was premature?
49. Was Moshe “suicidal”? why?
50. How does the midrash describe the Jews who left Sinai?
51. How many books are there in the Torah?
52. How are the two verses in Bahalotcha demarcated?
53. Could the Torah contain a book which didn’t happen?
54. What did the Spies not understand?
55. Why was Yehoshua silent when the other spies spoke?
56. How did the prophecy of Eldad and Meidad impact the story of the spies?
57. Where did we see “projection” in the words of the spies?
58. Where did we see “projection” in the words of the people after they heard the report of the spies?
59. What is the significance of grasshoppers in the story of the spies?
60. How do we see that the followers of Korah really belived that they were holy?
61. How many people died in Parashat Korah?
62. Who were the 250 men? Where they sincere?
63. Midrashically – where do we see Datan and Aviram? What do they say?
64. How did On’s wife see through Korah?
65. In what sense is Korah and his demise an echo of an episode in Bereishit? Which episode? Which word of phrase is the connection?
Contemporary Halacha – Law and Ethics
1. Which three laws are the exception – and one should accept martyrdom rather than break the law?
2. Does the law of “death over transgression” only apply when there is another person threatening the victim?
3. What was the case of the man who got a doctor’s note who needed a “prohibition”?
4. What was the case of the Shvut Yaakov?
5. What was the case of the Maharik?
6. Is there an absolute correlation between culpability and consequences? Who discusses this?
7. Is “duress” the same as rape?
8. How would the approach of the Noda Beyehuda exonerate the woman in the story with “Eliyahu”?
9. What was the argument of Rabbi Etlinger (Binyan Zion) in his attempt to exonerate the woman in the story with “Eliyahu”?
10. What was the question posed to Rabbi Etlinger (Binyan Zion)?
11. Is the sale of chametza “legal fiction”?
12. According to Rav Moshe Feinstein what are the conditions for the sale of Chametz?
13. In what way does chametzon Pesach not “belong” to you?
14. What was the case in the Tosefta which was permissive in terms of selling Chametz?
15. What is the difference between a mitzva which is incumbent on a the “gavra” or “cheftza”?
16. Is a rabbinic law more likely going to be one incumbent on a the “gavra” or “cheftza”?
17. What is “pruzbol”?
18. Does “pruzbol” circumvent Torah law?
19. In what way does “pruzbol” upkeep Torah law?
20. Is shemita (the sabbatical year) in this day and age rabbinic or Torah law? Does it make a difference?
21. There is
22. What did Rabbi Yanai advise to do when the tax bill was imminent?
23. Why is selling the land of Israel to a ger toshavless problematic?
24. How old is the heter mechira?
25. Can a parent lose the privilege of the obligation of the children to honor their parents?
26. Is a person permitted to believe gossip? Explain
27. Which kind of person should not be given the benefit of the doubt regarding gossip?
28. Which kind of person should be given the benefit of the doubt regarding gossip?
29. When is gossip not “gossip” and allowed?
30. What is included in honoring (kavod) parents?
31. What is included in revering (yirah) parents?
32. Would a mamzer be obligated to honor his parents?
33. Is one obligated to listen to one’s parents?
34. In which case did the discussion of listening to parents emerge?
35. With whose money does one honor their parents?
36. If someone’s parent threw away his/her wallet – what is the law?
37. Did Rav Asi respect his mother?
38. According to the Rambam how should a person treat a parent who suffers from dementia?
39. Is the obligation to care for one’s parent personally, or see to it that they are cared for?
40. What was the lament of Rav Assi at the end of the story?
41. Is a “Get” given under duress kosher?
42. Why does the Rambam allow a recalcitrant husband to be beaten?
43. Is the international dateline a Halakic reality?
44. What are the parameters of Tzar Baalie Chaim (causing pain to animals)?
45. What is the Torah law regarding helping someone unload an animal?
46. In which case does the Talmud introduce “kifiat Yetzer” (forcing the inclination)?
47. If an animal was abused in the steps leading up to slaughter is the animal still kosher?