Review questions Fall 5776
1. What is the apparent paradox in the story of Moshe and Rabbi Akiva?
2. How would a comment of Rashi solve the paradox?
3. What difficulties did we find with Rashi’s solution
4. How did the Arizal solve the paradox in the story with Moshe and Rabbi Akiva?
5. What did we note was significant with the usage of the word “tel” (heaps)?
6. Would Rabbi Akiva have considered his own death an example of “a bad thing happening to a good person”? explain
7. Which row did Moshe sit in Rabbi Akiva’s classroom? (two possibilities) what is the meaning and significance?
8. What was particularly difficult with the choice on God’s part regarding which scene of Rabbi Akiva’s life to show Moshe?
9. In what way was showing Rabbi Akiva’s lifeless body a response to “theodicy”?
10. Where else did we see a “thought that arose in God’s mind”?
11. Why was the world created through “strictness”? What evidence exists for this contention?
12. In what way was Akiva’s strict death a “reward”?
13. Aside From Rabbi Akiva who else was treated very strictly?
14. In what sense did Rabbi Akiva follow or complete Moshe?
15. How does water and a well connect Moshe and Rabbi Akiva?
1. Which 2 schools argued for 3 years?
2. After 3 years of arguing how was the disagreement resolved?
3. What was the question that Tosfot (cited by RITVA) regarding the concept of “Elu v Elu”(These and these)?
4. What source did Tosfot cite to explain regarding the concept of “Elu v Elu”(These and these)?
5. How did Tosfot answer the question regarding Elu V Elu? What was the difficulty we had in reading this source back into the original text?
6. In what way was the citation of Tosfot selective? (regarding the concept of “Elu v Elu”-These and these)
7. What is the “maximalistic” concept of revelation? How was this expressed by the sages?
8. What is the minimalistic concept of revelation? How was this expressed by the sages?
9. What does the word “Hayim” –living, come to modify in the phrase Elu V Elu…? 2 possibilities, explain.
10. Why did the argument between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai take place at this point in history? Why could it not be resolved? How were arguments usually resolved?
11. According to the Jerusalem Talmud – where (and when) did the voice “elu v elu” ring out?
12. How did the educational approach of Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai respectfully preclude their ability to work things out?
13. According to the Talmud why was the law established like Beit Hillel? What is the difficulty with this approach? How was it defended and explained?
14. In what way was the approach of Beit Shammai mutually exclusive from the concept of “elu v elu”?
1. What question does the Gemara ask about Chanukah?
2. What is the answer the Gemara gives about Chanukah?
3. Had there not been a miracle of lights would Chanukah had become a holiday?
4. How does the “light” miracle connect thematically with the consecration of the Mishkan and First Temple?
5. What was missing at the consecration of the second temple?
6. Why did some people laugh and some cry when the second temple was consecrated?
7. In what way did the Maccabees sin?
8. Why is the Battle of Chanuka NOT worth celebrating? (3 reasons)
9. What “decree” does the Talmud and Midrash state with regards to the Greeks?
10. How is the lighting of the candles an inverse of writing on a horn?
11. How is an ox related to Yosef?
12. Why would the Hellenists have found Yosef to be a compelling personality?
13. What does a Unicorn have to do with Adam?
14. How is a Unicorn related to Tefilin? Who made this connection?
1. Is a cracked - fixed - oven, a utensil? Who argued about this?
2. When Rabbi Eliezer offered “every answer in the world” how did his protagonists respond?
3. Which 4 signs did Rabbi Eliezer perform? What was the response? Why did he do the second when they had ignored the first?
4. Who was “right” Rabbi Eliezer or his protagonists? explain
5. Who went to inform Rabbi Eliezer that he had been “removed?
6. What explanation did Raban Gamliel answer offer to explain his treatment of Rabbi Eliezer?
7. What was the name of Rabbi Eliezer’s wife? What prayer would she not let her husband say? What happened when he said it?
8. What was the response of Rabbi Yeshoshua when the voice came from heaven declared Rabbi Eliezer correct?
9. What did we notice regarding Rabbi Eliezer’s response to questions that's indicated rigidity?
10. Why did Horkonus have his son plow on the rocks? How did his son respond?
11. What did his father tell him to do when Rabbi Eliezer expressed the desire to study Torah
12. In what way was the Torah of Rabbi Elezer from heaven?
13. What did Rabbi Eliezer’s teacher say that gave him the impression that he should not listen to the majority?
14. Which elements of Rabbi Eliezer’s early life foreshadowed his excommunication?
15. Why did the Rabbis come to visit R’ Eliezer before he died?
16. How did they the Rabbis explain their lack of visiting him recently? What was his response?
17. How is Rabbi Akiva’s death foreshowed in the death passage of Rabbi Eliezer (2 elements)?
18. What was the question of Rabbi Nissin Gaon regarding the behavior of the Rabbis and Rabbi Eliezer? Which 2 answers does he offer? Are the answers satisfactory?
19. How does The Sefer HaChinuch understand the behavior of the Rabbis in terms of their conflict with Rabbi Eliezer? Who did he think is right? why?
20. How did the Vilna Gaon justify the behavior of the Rabbis in terms of their conflict with Rabbi Eliezer? Which rabbinic source did he muster to explain the phenomenon?