Tagged Questions

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

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6
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2answers
80 views

What would have happened if Esav hadn't sold the bechora?

If Esav hadn't sold the bechora to Yaakov what, if anything, would have been different? In other words, what consequence was there to the sale? What did it change, how did it make anything different? ...
6
votes
1answer
54 views

Why did Yaakov wait to marry?

According to the Talmud in Megillah, and quoted in Rashi at the end of Toldos, Yaakov was 84 when he first married. Why did he wait so long? I saw somewhere (don't remember where) that Avraham first ...
4
votes
1answer
32 views

Yitzchak Avinu and Eretz Yisrael

I remember reading somewhere that the reason Yitzchak did not go to see Rivkah before engaging/marrying her (even though you are supposed to see the girl before engaging/marrying her per gemara ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Why was Yitzhak “laughing” with his wife openly?

Rashi on Bereshis 26:8 indicates that Avimelech saw Yitzhak sleeping with his wife. A) Why were they having relations during the daytime? B) Why were they having relations in a way that others could ...
7
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2answers
73 views

Who did the Avos give maaser to?

Rashi in parshas Toldos (25:27) tells us about Esav: יודע ציד: לצוד ולרמות את אביו בפיו, ושואלו אבא היאך מעשרין את המלח ואת התבן, כסבור אביו שהוא מדקדק במצות׃ who understood hunting: [He knew ...
4
votes
3answers
66 views

Why did Avraham arrange Yitzchak's marriage?

According to Rashi Yitzchak was 37 at the time of the akeida. If that is the case why did Avraham have to arrange for Eliezer to find a wife for Yitzchak? Why couldn't Yitzchak find a wife himself?
9
votes
1answer
48 views

Did Yitzchak have free will?

G-d promises that his covenant to Avraham will be fulfilled through Yitzchak. Now we know of course that Yitzchak, like Avraham before him and Yaakov after him, was totally righteous (albeit not ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

Why did Yaakov only mention sheep dying?

In Bereshis 33:13 it says יג וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו, אֲדֹנִי יֹדֵעַ כִּי-הַיְלָדִים רַכִּים, וְהַצֹּאן וְהַבָּקָר, עָלוֹת עָלָי; וּדְפָקוּם יוֹם אֶחָד, וָמֵתוּ כָּל-הַצֹּאן. Yaakov initially ...
2
votes
1answer
33 views

Avraham's tithe

Genesis 14:20 says that Avraham gave "a tenth of all" to Malki-Tzedek. A tenth of what? His annual income, his assets, the booty from the war, or something else?
6
votes
1answer
329 views

What was Avraham Avinu's mother's name?

What was Avraham Avinu's mother's name? Our shul received a paper with questions on Simhat Torah, with this question being one of the harder ones. Is there a midrash on her name?
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vote
0answers
47 views

Avram to Avraham [closed]

Could the name Avraham אברהם gramatically in any way be rendered or explained as Av Ha'am אב העם (beside the verse of Bereshit 17:5)? While the explaination for the name change from that of Avram ...
0
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1answer
63 views

Was Adam Jewish?

As I understand it, both Adam and Avraham had direct communication with God. Did Adam's communication with God make him Jewish? If not, what is the difference between the belief system of the ...
5
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3answers
86 views

Did anyone recognize (pray, follow, worship) God between Adam and Avraham?

As I understand it, God created Adam, who had direct communications with God. According to the questions and answers in these four questions, at the time of Avraham the existence of God had been ...
1
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0answers
23 views

From where do we know that Yaakov has the spirit of prophecy when referred to as Yisroel?

The Torah frequently shifts in references to Yaakov. I have heard that it refers to him as Yisroel when he is experiencing prophecy, and as Yaakov when his prophetic abilities are lacking, as they ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

Source for Bless you

I've heard that the custom of saying tzu gezunt, bless you etc. When someone sneezes is because until Ya'akov, people used to sneeze and die, but Ya'akov was the first one to first get sick. What is ...
3
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4answers
174 views

Where was Berit Ben Habetarim done?

I've always imagined that Berit Ben Habetarim was done in Eretz Yisrael, but someone recently told me it happened in Haran. Anybody have any sources for either?
7
votes
2answers
211 views

Do Jews pray to deceased forefathers?

Shalom, I would like to know if Jews consider it acceptable to pray to deceased ancestors, forefathers, or "saints" like some Christians in the Catholic tradition do. Deuteronomy 18:11 would seem to ...
3
votes
0answers
104 views

Jacob's Dual Names and Wives

The third Patriarch's birth name was Jacob. He is given another name, Israel, in Genesis 32. Jacob had two primary wives; Leah and Rachel. I have heard the idea that the Rachel was the betrothed ...
3
votes
0answers
84 views

Abraham's converts…to what?

Assuming the view that Avraham was not a Jew (see here and here1), "ha-nefesh asher asu beCharan" (Gen. 12:5) that Rashi explains were converts, what did they convert to? To give credit where credit ...
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0answers
33 views

What exactly did Yaakov learn at Yeshivat Shem v'Ever? [duplicate]

The Midrash (Bereshit Rabba 84:8) says ר' נחמיה אמר שכל הלכות שמסרו שם ועבר ליעקב מסרן לו All the laws that Yaakov learned by Shem and Ever, he taught to Yosef (his son). What exactly did ...
2
votes
1answer
518 views

Why are we allowed to refer to “Yisra'el” as “Ya'akov”?

The Torah states (Bereshis 35:10) that when G-d blessed Ya'akov, he says, "Your name shall no longer be called Ya'akov, but Yisra'el shall be your name". If so, why does God, and we are allowed to ...
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1answer
41 views

Avraham, Av Hamon, Av ha'am

Avraham seems to mean a father of a multitude or exalted father. But is there any scripture that calls him Av Ha'am? A father of nations or our nation? I read an article which wrote that Avraham was ...
2
votes
2answers
95 views

Hammurabi in Jewish sources

The Hammurabi code is one of the oldest preserved codes of law dating back to 1772 BCE. This is roughly the time after the flood (-2105BCE), the tower of Bavel (1765BCE) and the Patriarchs. Although ...
9
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2answers
73 views

“Terach, father of Avraham and of Nachor”—what about Haran?

As quoted in the Hagadah, Yehoshua 24:2 reminds the Jewish people that, “Your ancestors lived across the river: Terach, father of Avraham and of Nachor; and they served strange gods.” God then reminds ...
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2answers
200 views

Creation of State of Israel and birth of Abraham - 1948

According to the Jewish calendar, Abraham was born on the year 1948. The state of Israel was declared in 1948 according to the secular calendar. Is there any significance to this or is it just ...
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votes
1answer
76 views

Who is this woman keturah in פרשת חיי שרה [duplicate]

I've been hearing a lot about this woman named Keturah who married Abraham after Sarah died. Who is she and where was she from?
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0answers
52 views

Shochen Ad- Isaac & Rivka

How come (for nusach Ashkenaz) Shochen Ad spells out Isaac & Rivka on Yom Kippur, but only Isaac is spelled on regular shabbos? For Sephardim and nusach Sephard, it always spells out both names. ...
5
votes
4answers
341 views

If Jews don't eat cheeseburgers, why did Abraham serve a calf with milk?

Genesis 18:8 (JPS): And he took curd, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat. Looks like Abraham and 3 ...
3
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2answers
103 views

Why is Sefer Yetzirah attributed to Avraham?

It seems fairly widely accepted that Sefer Yetzirah, one of the primary books of Kabbalah, is attributed to Avraham Avinu. Why is that?
3
votes
1answer
71 views

Understanding Maaseh Avos Siman L'banim

To the best of my knowledge the earliest source for the concept of maaseh avos siman l'banim is Ramban on Bereshis 12:6. I would like to know if there is an earlier source and what the parameters of ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

When did Yitzchak pray for Rivka to become fertile?

Bereishit 25:21 tells us that Yitzchak prayed for Rivka because she was barren and God accepted his prayer. They were married for 20 years before she had the twins. I am assuming that they didn't ...
4
votes
0answers
49 views

Yakkov living in Egypt 17 years - connection to 210 years of servitude

Parshas Vayechi starts off that Yaakov lived in Egypt for 17 years. I was thinking that 17 years x 12 months = 204 months. Usually in 17 years there are 6 leap years which would increase the total ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

Why does Yaakov say in Braishis 43(6) "Why have you harmed me etc”

What is Yaakov’s purpose in saying Braishis 43 (6) And Israel said, "Why have you harmed me, by telling the man that you have another brother?" This seems like a remark unworthy of Yaakov ...
7
votes
3answers
134 views

Esav is coming with 400 men - is there a significance to the 400 men?

In Parshas Vayishlach Eisav comes to meet Yaakov with 400 men. Is there a significance to the amount of men that were with Eisav?
5
votes
2answers
102 views

Why did Leah give Zilpah to bear children?

I understand that Rochel saw she was not bearing children so she gave her maidservant Bilhah to Yakov but Leah was able to bear children. True the verse says she stopped from bearing children but what ...
2
votes
2answers
68 views

Why does the Torah reading break up Lavan's short speech?

Why does the split between the fourth and fifth readings of Parashat Vayeitzei occur in the middle of Lavan's short piece of dialogue? Genesis 30:25 - 34 describes a dialogue between Ya'akov and ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

The Avot and the number 3 [closed]

I have read numerous divrei chazal that associate the avot with the number 3, or three aspects of something e.g. torah, avodah and gemilut chassadim (from pirkei avot, chapter 1). I am looking for a ...
7
votes
0answers
54 views

Did Jacob and Esau have other brothers? [duplicate]

In Bereishit 27:29, Isaac's Blessing of Jacob contains: "You shall be a master over your brothers, and your mother's sons shall bow down to you." Are there any explanations in the literature ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Why name Yitzchak after something that is perhaps negative?

The episode in Bereishit 18:12-25 of Sarah laughing at the news of having a child in a year is often seen as a negative thing. יב וַתִּצְחַק שָׂרָה, בְּקִרְבָּהּ לֵאמֹר: אַחֲרֵי בְלֹתִי ...
8
votes
2answers
125 views

Why did Yitchak not follow in Avraham's footsteps regarding hospitality

Avraham is described in the midrashim as being extreme in the mitzva of hachnasat orchim (hospitality). Through this method, he was able to mekarev (reach out to) thousands of people and teach them ...
2
votes
0answers
64 views

Did Akeidat Yitzchak dedicate Yitzchak and his future offspring to Hashem?

In the case of an animal that is intended to be brought as a korban, but the animal has offspring before being sacrificed, the offspring retains a special status. Depending on the type of Korban, the ...
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vote
2answers
88 views

Avraham's different approaches to kidnapping

I find something very strange. Lot gets kidnapped; Avraham goes to war to get him back. Sarah his wife gets kidnapped; he does and says nothing. What is with this very strange discrepancy?
2
votes
2answers
211 views

How did Avraham discover that God exists?

How did Avraham discover that God exists? Was because of logic or tradition since Adam? If was by logic why we called him ivri (from Ever, his granfather). Please bring sources.
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votes
2answers
108 views

Historical evidence for Abraham

According to prof. John Huddleston there is no historical evidence of Abraham from The Genesis. Here is the video. He spokes about it in the first 2-3 minutes: http://youtu.be/21NoQuKTB8Q Is that ...
9
votes
2answers
114 views

What's the connection between Avraham and Bilaam?

In chapter 5 of Pirkei Avos, it states (from Chabad.org): יט. כל מי שיש בידו שלושה דברים הללו הוא מתלמידיו של אברהם אבינו. ושלושה דברים אחרים הוא מתלמידיו של בלעם הרשע. 19. Whoever possesses ...
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votes
2answers
85 views

How Avraham could receive the Divine Presence?

How Avraham was able to receive the Divine Presence if he was not in Eretz Israel and had no brit milah?
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3answers
121 views

What did the Akeida accomplish that Avraham didn't already?

Avram stood up to Nimrod (which meant him being sent into a fire). This demonstrated his ultimate self-sacrifice for God, publicly. What more did the Akeida accomplish?
3
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0answers
47 views

What lesson do we learn from Abraham paying money for the Cave of Machpelah?

In Genesis, we see that Abraham makes Ephron accept money for the Cave of Machpelah in order to bury Sarah. He is offered the cave for free, but insists on paying the full price. This sort of story ...
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votes
3answers
206 views

Demolishing Idolatry sneakily?

As an extension to this question which makes it obligatory to demolish idols, is it equally virtuous to demolish places of idolatry sneakily as we see examples from the story of Abraham? As people ...
0
votes
1answer
586 views

Why do people say that Abraham and his family were idolaters at first?

A common idea these days, is that Abraham, his father and their families were supposed to have worshipped idols, until the true Creator, the LORD, called him from Ur of the Chaldees to give unto him ...