Tagged Questions

Generally refers to Avraham (Abraham), Yitzchak (Isaac), and Yaakov (Jacob); the three patriarchs of the Jewish People.

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What's the word Avraham used for his religion?

What was the biblical name of the religion or faith Avraham belonged to? the word he used to distinguish his faith from other, pagan belief systems?
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Why did Avraham wait to have a bris?

Chazal tells us (Midrash Rabbah Bereishis 64:4 and 95:3; Yoma 28b, based on. Gen. 26:5; Kiddushin 82a) that the Patriarchs observed the mitzvahs before they were given. But Avraham did not circumcize ...
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1answer
97 views

Why did Yaakov ask Yosef to swear in the way he did?

Inspired by this question In Bereshis 47:29 Yaakov asks Yosef to "put his hand under his thigh" (a euphemism) and swear not to bury him in Egypt. Here, unlike by Avraham, there is no indication that ...
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2answers
228 views

Why did Avraham prefer the daughters of Aner, Eshkol and Mamre over Eliezer's daughter?

Rashi on Bereishis 24:39 says that Abraham said to [Eliezer] “My son is blessed, and you are cursed [Eliezer was a descendant of Canaan who had been cursed by Noah], and an accursed one cannot ...
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2answers
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Torah personalities chosen for blessings on Friday nights

Why do we bless our children on Friday nights with non-correlated blessings between the boys and the girls? I can understand that we want our daughters to emulate the Matriarchs. Yet we don't bless ...
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2answers
215 views

Why does the Torah not record the passing of Leah?

The Torah records the passing of all the patriarchs and matriarchs: Sarah - Bereishis 23:1-2 Avraham - Bereishis 25:8-9 Rochel - Bereishis 35:19 Yitzchak - Bereishis 35:29 Then Rivkah is not ...
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1answer
115 views

Why does the Torah repeat the story of Efron HaChiti many times?

The story of Avraham buying the cave of Machpelah is principly mentioned in Parshat Chayei Sarah Bereshit 23:3-20. If so, why does the Torah stress again and again that Avraham bought the cave from ...
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1answer
43 views

The source that the famine ended when Yaakov blessed Pharaoh

I've been looking for the source that the famine actually ended when Yaakov blessed Pharaoh. I found it in the Midrash, but I'm not sure whether it is a purely midrashic source, or whether it is based ...
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2answers
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How did Yaakov and his family survive “when they finished eating the grain that they had brought from Egypt”.

It says in Beraishis 43(2), “…when they finished eating the grain that they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, "Go back [and] buy us a little food."” What were they to eat until ...
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0answers
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Abrahamic covenant and Brit Milah - how is the covenant passed down?

Why is it so that if a Jew has a male child with a non-Jewish woman the child is not circumcised, even though, like Ishmail, the child is under Abrahamic (but not Mosaic) covenant, since the father is ...
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3answers
131 views

What's so special about Leah?

The torah documents the positive attributes of Sarah, Rifka and Rochel. Chazal then expound in greater detail about these righteous women. But from the torah and chazal there doesn't appear to be any ...
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2answers
111 views

Did Yaakov marry Bilah and Zilpah?

Bilah and Zilpah are referred to as the נְשֵׁי of Yaakov (Bereshis 37:2). Did he ever technically, formally marry them?
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4answers
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No More Zechuth Avoth?

The Gemara (Bab. Shab. 55a) discusses when Zechuth Avoth ceased. I am aware of several opinions in Tosafoth that it ended for wicked people, or it ended for everyone but the very righteous or it ended ...
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2answers
100 views

How would Yaakov's plan have worked?

Yaakov divides his family into two camps stating that if Eisav attacks one the other will flee and be saved. However his whole family seems to be be there when Eisav arrives, furthermore Yaakov ...
6
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2answers
262 views

Yaakov Kissing Rachel

In Parashat Vayetzeh, Yaakov goes to Lavan's house, but prior to his arrival he meets up with Rachel. Shockingly, the Pasuk says that he kissed her and cried (29:11). How exactly are we to understand ...
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How did Avraham save Terach?

The gemarah (eiruvin 19a) states that Avraham Avinu sits at the entrance to gehinom and doesn't allowed anyone circumcised to enter there. The Ariz'l (Sefer Likkutim, Parsha Vayera) states that the ...
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2answers
183 views

Did Yitzchak not Fulfill the Mitzvah of “Be Fruitful and Multiply”?

According to the understanding of many commentators "pru u'revu" (be fruitful and multiply) is a positive commandment which is not fulfilled unless a man has both a son and daughter as offspring. ...
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1answer
124 views

How much contact did Avraham and Yitzchak have after the akeidah?

The akeidah was a traumatic event for both Avraham and Yitzchak. Immediately after they appear to go their separate ways. After Sarah's death Avraham arranges a marriage for his son, which could ...
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1answer
183 views

why did avraham pray for sodom

Sodom was one of the most morally corrupted societies that ever existed. wouldn't their disappearance be good for everyone (including themselves). keeping those who are thoroughly wicked alive is ...
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Why does Eliezer address his prayer to Hashem, [24(12)], “Hashem, the G-d of my master Avrohom”?

Why does Eliezer address his prayer to Hashem, 24(12), “Hashem, the G-d of my master Avrohom” and repeat this formulation in verses 27 and 42. He himself was after all a believer. In verse 35, he is ...
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Why did Avraham ask Eliezer to swear in the way he did?

Avraham asks his servant Eliezer to place his hand under his thigh to swear an oath regarding finding a daughter for his son. Chazal explain that he asked him to hold his (Avraham's) milah (male ...
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1answer
301 views

When is Avraham Avinu's Yahrzeit?

I have no sources to provide to this question. Rather I am asking simply. On what day was Avraham Avinu nifter? (pass away.) Do we know at all?
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1answer
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Why was no one else tested 10 times the way Avraham was?

Why was Avraham the only person that, according to tradition, was tested by God 10 times?
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How did they use to count years in the time of Abraham? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Rationalist Position on Bible Ancients' Long Lives The bible states that Abraham has lived for 175 years, Yishmael lived for 137 years, and so on and so forth. Now, ...
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4answers
332 views

Why did God lie about Sarah?

Why did God have to lie to cover for Sarah (Bereshis 18:13)? Why not just avoid asking Avraham altogether? Note that the answer cannot be anything that would either impinge on their shalom bayis (cf ...
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2answers
132 views

Washing feet before coming inside: Avraham vs. Lot

When the angels came to visit Avraham, he asked them (Bereishis 18:4) to "Bathe your feet, and recline under the tree". Rashi explains: He thought that they were Arabs, who prostrate themselves to ...
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160 views

“Avram” for when he was young?

The Gemara in Brachot 13a teaches us that we should only refer to Avraham as Avraham and not as Avram. תני בר קפרא כל הקורא לאברהם אברם עובר בעשה שנאמר (בראשית יז) והיה שמך אברהם רבי אליעזר אומר ...
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Neither from a thread to a shoe strap [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why did Avraham take gifts from Pharaoh, but not the King of Sodom? After Avram saved Lot and the people of Sodom from the 4 kings, the king of Sodom offered him the ...
10
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1answer
165 views

Why are Isaac and Rivka in Shochen Ad

Many siddurim capitalize the Yitzchak in Shochen Ad. Some draw attention to the Rivka. But why are either of them there? If you wanted to throw Yitzchak somewhere, why not minchah, which we ...
3
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1answer
66 views

Hilchot Shchita for the Binding of Isaac

I was wondering if Hazal referred to the question of how exactly Abraham was planning to perform the שחיטה of his son Isaac. Clearly, Abraham had intended to do it as it is written "ויקח את המאכלת ...
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2answers
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Why does the Yom Kippur service seem to reenact Abraham's treatment of his sons?

In the Yom Kippur service during Temple times, the Kohen would (Lev 16:7-10ff): And he shall take the two goats, and set them before the LORD at the door of the tent of meeting. And Aaron shall ...
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0answers
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Abraham and Matzah [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Avot keeping Mitzvot According to some traditions, Abraham was completely Torah observant. Would this include the mitzvah of eating matzah? Or participating in the ...
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3answers
158 views

Yeshivat Sheim v'Eiver

Assuming that our patriarchs Abraham Isaac and Jacob spent time learning in the House of Study of Sheim v'Eiver, the descendents of Noach, what were they learning? The seven commandments of the ...
2
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1answer
191 views

Were the prophets and holy people who lived before Judah (Yehudah) also Jews?

The word "Jew" originates from the name of the eldest son of Jacob. The term "Jew" was introduced many generations and decades after him. I wonder whether Adam, Noah, Lot, Abraham and Moses were all ...
6
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1answer
112 views

Why not do as Avraham and Sara did w.r.t. conversion

Rashi to B'reshis 12:5 quotes Rav Huna: "... whom they brought [to Judaism]. Avraham was converting the men and Sara the women...". My understanding is that nowadays female prospective converts study ...
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4answers
181 views

Why does Yitzchak's blessing of Yaakov refer to Yaakov's mother's *sons*?

B'reishit 27:29 reads: Let peoples serve thee, and nations bow down to thee. Be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee. Cursed be every one that curseth thee, and ...
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3answers
298 views

Yaakov Avinu didn't die

This question was asked by msh210 during Parshas Hashavua chat. It says in the Gemara that R' Yitzchak said to R' Nachman in the name of R' Yochanan "Jacob our forefather didn't die". R' Nachman ...
6
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1answer
119 views

“There they buried Yitzchak” — not “my father”?

"What is awe" of a parent? asks Shulchan Aruch Yore Dea 240:2. It includes, SA answers, that one shall not call [his parent] by [the latter's] name, neither during [the parent]'s life, nor in his ...
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2answers
101 views

Why does Yosef bring his sons to Yaakov

Yaakov famously blesses Ephraim and Menashe but who tells Yosef to bring them to their grandfather? It doesn't seem that this would be a natural thing to do as they are not Yaakov's sons. Does ...
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5answers
121 views

Why didn't Yaakov and Yosef spend much time together?

It seems that Yaakov and Yosef did not spend much time together in Egypt. After the emotional reunion is there any other mention of them together? Why not?
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2answers
190 views

Why should the patriarchs have lived to 180?

Rashi to B'reshis 25:30 says that Avraham should have lived to the age of 180 had his life not been cut short. Yitzchak lived to 180. The Daas Z'kenim to B'reshis 47:8 quotes a midrash as saying ...
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2answers
58 views

What was the effect of Yaakov placing his right hand on Efraim?

Yaakov saw (Beraishis 48 (19)) that Efraim would be greater than Menashe and so insisted that his right hand should rest on Efraim. Did the placing of the hand bring about the greatness and if not why ...
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1answer
65 views

Why didn't Hashem call twice to Yitzchak like he did to other prophets?

Avraham Avraham, Yaakov Yaakov, Moshe Moshe, Shmuel Shmuel - why not Yitzchok Yitzchok? Related to Hashem calls people twice and Hinneni We find in Tanach that Hashem called Avraham Avraham, ...
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7answers
2k views

How are Spartans the son of Abraham?

I was reading the Book of Maccabbees (I and II) over shabbat and in it there is a letter written to Sparta to ask for peace, goodwill and friendship. In the reply letter back from Sparta, they affirm ...
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1answer
86 views

Yaakov blessed the angel?

Vayishlach, perek 32, describes Yaakov's struggle with a "man" who many, including targum Yonasan (:25, :27, :29), explain is actually an angel. In pasuk 27 (as explained by Yonasan), Yaakov seeks a ...
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1answer
69 views

What was the composition of Yaakov's two camps?

In Parshat Vayishlach Yaakov divides his group into two camps so that if one is attacked the other might escape. How did he divide people between them? Did Leah go in one and Rachel in the other, ...
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6answers
247 views

“עם לבן גרתי”? Really? “עם לבן ברתי” maybe

Rashi brings a gematria at the beginning of Parshas Vayishlach: גרתי בגימטריא תרי"ג, כלומר, עם לבן הרשע גרתי, ותרי"ג מצות שמרתי, ולא למדתי ממעשיו הרעים Now, if one takes this literally, it is ...
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5answers
248 views

Why do the angels need a ladder?

We know the angels in Yaakov's dream go down and up a ladder but why do they need the ladder? Angels appear on earth and with Hashem throughout the Bible without a ladder.
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אַשְׁרֵי--שֶׁאֵל יַעֲקֹב בְּעֶזְרוֹ: Why Kel Yaakov?

Tehilim 146:5 says אַשְׁרֵי--שֶׁאֵל יַעֲקֹב בְּעֶזְרוֹ: why Kel Yaakov? Why not Kel Avraham or Kel Yitzchok?
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Why do we find two adjacent pesukim stating what seems to be the same?

In Breshit 26:3 Hashem tells Yizhak: "...and to your zera (sons?) I will give all these lands...". In the next passuk, Hasehm says: "...and I will give to your zera all these lands...". Isn't this ...