Brain Teasers Answers

 

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Answers compiled by Larry Padwa. KCT cannot vouch for the correctness of all
of these, as we have received them from several different people (and
some are our own). We think that most are correct, however.
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1. When can a person be called to the Torah for 3 successive aliyot on
the same day?
a)  If a Kohen receives the Maftir aliyah on Shabbat
morning, and then at Mincha there is no Levi present, he will receive the
first two aliyot at Mincha as well.
b) In a minyan of all kohanim, the same person who gets Kohen, can
also get Levi and Yisrael.  It doesn't work with a minyan of all Leviim
or all Yisraelim.  In those cases, you would call a either two or three
people (two Leviim, three yisraelim).
c)Simchas Torah - regular aliya, Chasan Torah, Chasan Beraishis.
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2. Someday, if they colonize the moon and there is a Jewish community,
what blessing will they be unable to recite?
 Kiddush Levanah.
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3. How can you have a mixture which is dairy, and when meat accidentally
falls in, the mixture becomes parve (neither meat nor dairy)?
The original  mixture is 58 parts parve and 1 part milchig.  If
additional part (proportional, of course) fleishing falls into it, both
the Milchig and the Fleishig parts become batel b'shishim.
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4. What is the explanation of the following? "Shmini B'Shmini Shmini
Shmini."
When  sh'mini (the parasha) ba'shmini (is
read on the eighth day of pesach) (then) sh'mini (the parasha is read)
sh'mini (eight times). Now the explanation. In the diaspora if the last (sh'mini) day
of pesach is on Shabbat we sometimes read parashat sh'mini at mincha(1x). It will
also be read the following Mon & Thurs. mornings (2x, 3x) and the following Shabbat
morning as the regular reading (4x). However, it will also have been read the first
day of pesach, also a shabbat, at mincha (5x) as well as the shabbat minchah
and the Mon & Thurs AM prior to pesach (6x, 7x, 8x). Thus, when  sh'mini (the parasha)
ba'shmini (is read on the eighth day of pesach) (then) sh'mini (the parasha is
read) sh'mini (eight times). Sh'mini ba'sh'mini, sh'mini sh'mini.
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5. One morning there were three people attending the same minyan. Each
finished the silent amidah at the same time, yet, during the repetition
of the amidah, one responded "amen" 26 times, the second only 22 times
and the third only three times. Can you explain this? (By the way, none
of these people fell asleep or failed to respond amen as required.)
N. REISS: Weekday Rosh Chodesh in Israel. A Davener says Amen 26 times
(19 after each Brocho, 3 for Yaaleh V'Yovoh, and 4 for Birchas Kohanim. A
Kohen says Amen 22 times (Doesn't say it for Birchas Kohanim).  The Ba'al
Tefilah says Amen 3 times (During Birchas Kohanim, after
'V'Yishmere-cho', after V'chune-kah' and after Shalom).
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6. What is the shortest word in the Torah?
In the beginning of HaAzenu. The
one-letter word is Ha, spelled with a heh
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7. The year 2000 is generally thought to have no particular significance
to Jews, yet, the year 2000 is special in one respect: there is a
particular commemoration that will not be observed in that calendar year.
What day is it?
Asarah B'Tevet (a week or so after Chanukah ends) falls
out in December 1999 and January 2001.
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8. On what date in the Jewish calendar do we sometimes recite Hallel
while, in other years, on the same date, we recite Tachanun?
3-Teveth. In an abundant year (ie 30 day Kislev), 3-Teveth is
an ordinary day and Tachanun is said. In a normal or deficient year (ie 29 day
Kislev), 3-Teveth is the eighth day of Chanukah, and Hallel is said.
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9. Triplets and their cousin are born within two hours of each other. Yet
their circumcisions are on four consecutive days. How can this occur? (No
consideration need be given to the international date line or any
possible health related issues.)
a)The triplets are born starting late Friday afternoon (Erev
Shabbos)in the the United States, the cousin is born by C-section in
Israel a couple of hours later, and the following week is a 2-day yom tov
(Shabbos and Sunday).
For the triplets, the one born late Friday afternoon, will have his Bris
the following Friday. If the second is born bein Hashmoshot, the bris
would be the  Monday after the Sunday yom tov.  It cannot be Sunday
because it's yom tov.  If the third is born a little later on Friday
night when it's already Shabbos, the bris is the next Shabbos. The cousin
who is born by C-section in Israel during Bein Hashmoshot in the US which
is 100% Shabbos in Israel, will have his Bris on the following Sunday,
because it ain't yom tov there.
b)  The triplets are born in the twilight period ("bay'n hashmashot)
a week before erev yom tov. The first one is born before sunset. The second is
born in the "doubtful" period and the third is born after dark. The first
one's brit is on erev yom tov. The third one's is on yom tov. The second one's
is postponed to the day after yom tov because of the uncertainty.
Now consider that the above scenario took place in Israel, and a cousin
Of these triplets was born in Galut but in the same time zone as Israel
(say South Africa). If he were born in the doubtful period, his brit would=20
be postponed TWO days (yom tov sheni shel galut) as opposed to the one day
postponement for Israeli triplet #2.
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10. Twins are born on the same day, Shabbat, yet their circumcisions are
NOT on the same day. (The health of neither baby is an issue.)
One was born natural, and the other by c-section.
I feel that for the purposes of this question, Bein Hashmoshot is not
Shabbos. Therefore...
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11. Generally because Jerusalem is in an earlier time zone, rituals are
performed earlier there than in New York. What celebration occurs earlier
in New York than in Jerusalem.
Purim.  Jerusalem is a walled city.
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 What single verse (i.e. the same verse, not different
verses with the same words) is read publicly from the Torah most often?
a) It's in B'Midbar (Numbers) Chapter 28, possuk (verse) 3.  In a year
when at least one day of each two-day Rosh Chodesh and each one-day Rosh
Chodesh falls on a weekday, this verse is read 23 times.
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13. We read the next regular Shabbat weekly Torah reading at Shabbat
mincha. What weekly parashah is read at Shabbat mincha in Israel but
NEVER in the diaspora?=20
Breishit. When Shmini Atzeres comes out on Shabbos in
Israel, they read Breishit during Mincha.  In the United States, they
would read V'zos Habracha. There is no possibility to ever read Parshat
Breishit on Shabbos Mincha in the US.
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