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

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Why didn't Yaakov go to Egypt with his sons to get food?

Rashi 42:36 says that Yaakov suspected the brothers of killing or selling Yosef and Shimon. Wouldn't he suspect them doing the same with Binyomin? If so, why didn't Yaakov go with his sons to Egypt to ...
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2answers
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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?
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Avot keeping Mitzvot

How are we to understand the tradition that the patriarchs kept all of the mitzvot in the Torah (see for example the last mishna in Kidushin, Rashi Bereshit 32:5, etc.) in light of the many obvious ...
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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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Maimonides' Responsum on Pre-Sinaic Mitzva Observance

The Maimonides Reader (p. 478) quotes Maimonides' responsum to Hasdai Ha-Levi where he states that our forefathers didn't keep the mitzvos at all. Where else can this responsum be found? ...
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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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5answers
408 views

Why was Akeidas Yitzchok a bigger test (Nisayon) for Avraham than for Yitzchok?

Akeidas Yitzchok was the hardest test that Hashem gave to Avraham. Yet Yitzchok knew and also agreed to go along with it. Then why is it considered a bigger test for Avraham than for Yitzchok?
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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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Why all the talk about colored sheep and goats?

In the VaYetze weekly reading (Parasha) there is a long description of the colors of the sheep and goat: Akudim, Nekutim... What is the reason behind all of this descriptions? If the text wanted to ...
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1answer
73 views

Did Jacob send “real angels” to Esau?

This question sparked my interest. In Genesis Chapter 32 the Torah says that Jacob send malachim to Esau. Rashi (to that verse, can not remember which one) interprets that phrase, "malachim" (commonly ...
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2answers
72 views

Why does Yaakov mention the two camps to Hashem?

When Yaakov was praying to Hashem in chapter 32, he points out in verse 11 how much Hashem has done for him by saying כי במקלי עברתי את הירדן הזה ועתה הייתי לשני מחנות, 'for with my stick I crossed ...
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378 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 ...
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4answers
475 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 ...
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4answers
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What actually happened to Jacob's and Laban's sheeps and goats?

Genesis 30 (JPS): 34 And Laban said: 'Behold, would it might be according to thy word.' 35 And he removed that day the he-goats that were streaked and spotted, and all the she-goats that were ...
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2answers
78 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 ...
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8answers
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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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111 views

Were the Avos “Regular People”?

Were the Avos in particular and other biblical protagonists (e.g. the Imahos) regular people? That is to say, do we generally ascribe deep holy explanations for their behaviors or just say they erred? ...
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132 views

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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If Jacob's arrival in Egypt ended the famine there, why was there famine in Canaan while he was still there?

There were seven years of plenteous harvests in Egypt, to be followed by seven years of famine (Genesis 41). Joseph was placed in charge of storing food from the plenty for use during the famine. But ...
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2answers
72 views

Why did Yaakov give the city of Shechem to Yosef?

Yaakov gives Yosef what many commentators assume is the actual city of Shechem as an additional inheritance (see Genesis 48:22, especially according to Rashi's interpretation). Why did Yaakov choose ...
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139 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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3answers
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Yaakov asking for the angel's name

After struggling with the angel Yaakov wanted to know what the angel's name was (Bereishit 32:30): וַיִּשְׁאַל יַעֲקֹב, וַיֹּאמֶר הַגִּידָה-נָּא שְׁמֶךָ, וַיֹּאמֶר, לָמָּה זֶּה תִּשְׁאַל ...
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Questions on Breshit 50:8 - Who went to Ya'akov's funeral?

Breishit 50:8 lists regarding who went to Ya'akov's funeral and all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father's house; only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they ...
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Why did Yaakov Avinu tell Yosef to place his hand by his thigh? [duplicate]

In parshas Vayechi 47 29 Yaakov Avinu tells Yosef to place his hand by his thigh. We find this expression used by Avraham Avinu in Chayei Sarah 24 2 with an explenation by Rashi that an object used ...
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“May God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh” — in what way?

Bereishit 48:20: וַיְבָרֲכֵם בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לֵאמוֹר בְּךָ יְבָרֵךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר יְשִׂמְךָ אֱלֹהִים כְּאֶפְרַיִם וְכִמְנַשֶּׁה וַיָּשֶׂם אֶת אֶפְרַיִם לִפְנֵי מְנַשֶּׁה So he blessed ...
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2answers
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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 do we call him Ivri (from Ever, his grandfather). Please bring sources.
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When Yaakov said “whoever stole the idols will not live”, was that a curse or vow?

In this week's parsha (Bereishit 31:32), Yaakov says that whoever stole Lavan's idols will not live, not knowing that Rachel had taken them. The question is, was this said as a curse or a neder ...
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1answer
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What “end” was Yaakov prevented from revealing, and to what extent does S'forno disagree?

In B'reshis 49:1, Yaakov tells his sons: Gather, and I'll tell you what will occur to you in the end of the days. S'forno explains "in the end of the days": at the end of the days, with the ...
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0answers
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Does Jacob's Well in present-day Nablus/Shechem have a Jewish tradition associated with it?

There's a well in present-day Shechem (Nablus) called "Jacob's Well." It has an Orthodox Christian church on top of it right now. I was wondering if there is any Jewish tradition that Jacob dug this ...
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5answers
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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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Why Didn't Yosef tell Yaakov He was Still Alive?

What do the meforshim say on why Yosef didn't tell Yaakov he was still alive? Do any critique him?
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1answer
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How many years before Yakov did Rochel die?

The torah teaches us that when Binyomin was born to Yakov, his wife Rochel died. How old was Yakov Avinu when Rochel died and how many years was that before his petira?
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476 views

Can G-d ever take on a physical form?

There are 3 religions that says so. The obvious one is Christianity with that being it's central term. The second one is Hindu. Khrisna is said to be a God incarnate. But in torah I often see stories ...
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2answers
188 views

Are Noahides obligated in the commandment of Yibum?

Regarding the subject of Yibum (Levirate marriage), what is the source, if any, that this is also an obligation on a Noahide? Many of the discussions on this Q&A site concerning Yibum connect to ...
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4answers
483 views

Why did Yaakov send only animals to Esav?

In Parshas Vayishlach, the Torah details the gift Yaakov sent to Esav, consisting of hundreds of animals of various types. Why did Yaakov only send animals? Why not send other things like gold, ...
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1answer
52 views

Why is Yaakov calling Esau “Master”?

It is stated in this weeks Parsha, Parshas Vayishlach 32:5: That he commanded them, saying, "This is what you should say to my master to Esau, 'this is what is what your servant Yaakov said, "I ...
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1answer
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Why is Yaakov later willing to say אלוהי יצחק?

In Bereishit 31:42, Yaakov says אֱלֹהֵ֣י אָבִי֩ אֱלֹהֵ֨י אַבְרָהָ֜ם וּפַ֤חַד יִצְחָק֙ Rashi there: ופחד יצחק. לא רצה לומר אלהי יצחק, שאין הקדוש ברוך הוא מיחד שמו על הצדיקים בחייהם, ואף על פי ...
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2answers
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Should Ya'akov have married Rachel?

Every year, I see questions and answers regarding how could Ya'akov marry two sisters, etc. but it struck me this year that one thing I've never seen is the question whether Ya'akov was right to marry ...
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Why is it called parshas Chayei Sarah

2 Weeks ago was Parshas Chayei Sarah, and in the beginning for the first Alia (portion) it spoke about how Abraham buried Sarah.And then for the next 6 Alia's it speaks about Yitzchok and the whole ...
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How good was Yaakov's trickery?

Yaakov told Rachel that " וַיַּגֵּד יַעֲקֹב לְרָחֵל כִּי אֲחִי אָבִיהָ הוּא וְכִי בֶן רִבְקָה הוּא וַתָּרָץ וַתַּגֵּד לְאָבִיהָ:" And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's kinsman and that he ...
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Doesn't Yaakov have רוח הקודש

In this week's parsha (Bereishit 31:32), Yaakov says that whoever stole Lavan's idols will not live, not knowing that Rochel had taken them. Doesn't Yaakov have רוח הקודש he should have known that it ...
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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 ...
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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? ...
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1answer
39 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 ...
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6answers
185 views

Why do we find two adjacent pesukim stating what seems to be the same?

In Bereishit 26:3 Hashem tells Yitzhak: "...and to your descendants I will give all these lands...". In the next pasuk, Hashem says: "...and I will give to your descendants all these lands...". ...
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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 ...
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3answers
69 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?
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Why did Rivka consult Shem, and not Avraham or Yitzchok?

The Posuk says (Gen. 25:22) regarding Rivka: וַיִּתְרֹצֲצוּ הַבָּנִים בְּקִרְבָּהּ וַתֹּאמֶר אִם כֵּן לָמָּה זֶּה אָנֹכִי וַתֵּלֶךְ לִדְרֹשׁ אֶת יְ־הֹוָ־ה Translated as: And the children ...
9
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1answer
63 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 ...
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1answer
30 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 ...