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

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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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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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 ...
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What happened to Avraham's students?

We read how Avraham was going around convincing people to believe in one G-d and of his many students. Yet we don't hear of those students (or their descendants) ever again. What happened to them ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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“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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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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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 ...
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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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Why did Avraham name his son before the Bris (circumcision)?

Why does the Torah seem to imply that Avraham named his son before the bris? First: וַיִּקְרָא אַבְרָהָם אֶת שֶׁם בְּנוֹ הַנּוֹלַד לוֹ אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה לּוֹ שָׂרָה יִצְחָק And Abraham called ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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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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. ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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why did the angel fight with yaakov?

Why did hashem allow the angel to even fight with yaakov in the first place?
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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 ...
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Avram-Avraham; Yaakov-Yisroel; Yitzchok-?

Why from the three Avos, Avraham and Yaakov had their name changed, and not Yitzchok?
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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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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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Yaakov Marrying Two Sisters

According to those that say the Avos kept the Torah beforehand (here), how was Yaakov allowed to marry two sisters? (Yes, I'm aware that there are many answers)
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“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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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 ...
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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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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?
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How did Rivkah give Yackov Eisav's clothing? Isn't borrowing without permission tantamount to stealing?

How did Rivkah give Yackov Eisav's clothing without asking? וַתִּקַּח רִבְקָה אֶת בִּגְדֵי עֵשָׂו בְּנָהּ הַגָּדֹל הַחֲמֻדֹת אֲשֶׁר אִתָּהּ בַּבָּיִת וַתַּלְבֵּשׁ אֶת יַעֲקֹב בְּנָהּ הַקָּטָן ...
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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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Did Yaakov steal Eisav's clothing? [duplicate]

in Bereshis 27:15 it says that Rivka dressed Yaakov in Eisav's clothing. Isn't this stealing on the part of either Rivka, Yaakov or both?
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How many stones did Yackov take to sleep on and what are their significances? [closed]

How many stones did Yackov take to sleep on and what are their significances? (Genesis 28:11)
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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How could Yackov Lie

How could Yackov Lie it is גניבת דעת to say אָנֹכִי עֵשָׂו בְּכֹרֶךָ How was he allowed to make this statement?
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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 ...
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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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Why didn't Avraham tell Eliezer to go get Rivka?

In Parshas Chayei Sara, Avraham tells Eliezer to go find a wife for Yitzchok from his family, כִּי אֶל אַרְצִי וְאֶל מוֹלַדְתִּי תֵּלֵךְ וְלָקַחְתָּ אִשָּׁה לִבְנִי לְיִצְחָק:‏ and not from the ...
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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 ...