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

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Who are considered “avot” who worshipped idols?

In the beginning of the Amidah, we identify "avoteinu" our forefathers and we list them as Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov. But in the Haggadah, we begin by saying "Mitchilah, ovdei avodah zara hayu ...
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Why does the Torah say ואלה תולדת יצחק?

Parashat Toldot starts with the words ואלה תולדת יצחק בן אברהם; אברהם הוליד את יצחק These are the generations of Yitzhak the son of Avraham; Avraham gave birth to Yitzhak. Normally when the ...
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How did Ya'akov keep his vow regarding tithing?

With permission, I ask this question with honor and respect to a 92 year old man who paid attention to my laining this morning. May he live a long life! Genesis 28:22: וְהָאֶ֣בֶן הַזֹּ֗את ...
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How could Yaakov make Menashe and Efraim like his sons?

We find in the last part of Bereshit that, just before Yaacov Avinu passed away, he blessed Yosef sons and made them his sons. How do we understand that a grandson becomes a son? Can we apply it in ...
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What is Jacob's ladder?

He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. Genesis 28: 10-17 What is this ladder? ...
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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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Was Joseph presenting his father to Pharaoh as a job candidate?

In פרק מז, פסוק ו, Paroah says to Joseph: ״...ואם ידעת ויש בם אנשי-חיל ושמתם שרי מקנה על-אשר-לי.״ "If you know and there are capable men among you, appoint them as managers over my livestock ...
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Is “וְרַב יַעֲבֹד צָעִיר” ever fulfilled?

When Yaakov and Eisav are born we are told of their eternal battle. Bereishit (25:23): וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה לָהּ, שְׁנֵי גֹיִים בְּבִטְנֵךְ, וּשְׁנֵי לְאֻמִּים, מִמֵּעַיִךְ יִפָּרֵדוּ; וּלְאֹם ...
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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 Maccabees (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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“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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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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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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What was red in the stew that Jacob made for Esau?

Genesis 25:29–30 (JPS): And Jacob sod pottage; and Esau came in from the field, and he was faint. And Esau said to Jacob: 'Let me swallow, I pray thee, some of this red, red pottage; for I ...
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Did Jacob actually send angels to Esau?

The Torah (Genesis 32:4) says that Jacob sends "malachim" to Esau. Rashi there interprets "malachim" (commonly referring to messengers, or angels) as "real malachim" ("מלאכים ממש"). I've also heard ...
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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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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 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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Wasn't Yishmael already sent away from Avraham's house?

In Bereshit 22:3, Rashi tells us that when Avraham went to sacrifice Yitzchok, the two lads he took with him were Yishmael and Eliezer. Wasn't Yishmael already gone from Avraham's house? In Bereshit ...
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Why does Avraham's Torah protect before battle reaches him more than Yaakov's g'milas chasadim?

In the Haamek Davar on Lech L'cha 12:17, the author tells us a rule you should understand for all the subsequent sections of Genesis, the "book of the upright", Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: that it ...
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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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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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How did Jacob manage to have 12 children in 7 years?

Did Leah manage to have 6 sons and 1 daughter in the space of 7 years or was it over a longer period of time? In general it seems difficult to fit all of Ya'akov's children into a 7 year period. ...
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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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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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One Navi revealing themselves to another Navi

Rav Moshe Feinstein is quoted in Kol Ram asking why didn't Yosef reveal to his father that he is alive in Egypt. He answers that maybe one navi cannot reveal themselves to another navi without HaShem ...
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How did Yitzhak get blind?

I once heard that Yitzhak got blind (Genesis 27:1) because G-d showed him the whole world, the future, etc. (basically G-d's view). But I've also heard one opinion that says that he got blind because ...
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Why Bless Eisav and not Yackov

Why was it that Yizhak originally chose to bless Eisav and not Yackov? I would have thought he would bless both of his sons equally. Why did he choose to only give the blessing to one of them?
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Why didn't Ya'akov contact Yitzchak prior to contacting Esav?

Follow up on this M.Y. question. Genesis 32:4: וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח יַעֲקֹ֤ב מַלְאָכִים֙ לְפָנָ֔יו אֶל־עֵשָׂ֖ו אָחִ֑יו אַ֥רְצָה שֵׂעִ֖יר שְׂדֵ֥ה אֱדֽוֹם׃ And Jacob sent messengers before him to ...
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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 ...
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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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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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Which אֶת is which in Gen. 17:21?

The word "אֶת" can mark the direct object (as in Gen. 1:1) or mean "with" (as in Gen. 35:14). I recently saw someone ask whether "וְאֶת", the first word of Gen. 17:21, means "and with", which struck ...
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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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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 ...
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Why didn't Esav try to kill Ya'akov while Ya'akov was in Lavan's home?

I'm trying to reconcile a verse with the actual event timeline. Genesis 27:41: וַיִּשְׂטֹ֤ם עֵשָׂו֙ אֶֽת־יַעֲקֹ֔ב עַל־הַ֨בְּרָכָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר בֵּרֲכ֖וֹ אָבִ֑יו וַיֹּ֨אמֶר עֵשָׂ֜ו בְּלִבּ֗וֹ ...
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How could Yaakov have relations with a wife (Leah) whom he hated?

The Gemoro Nedorim 20b is critical of children born to a wife who is hated. וברותי מכם המורדים והפושעים בי אמר רבי לוי אלו בני תשע מדות בני אסנ"ת משגע"ח בני אימה בני אנוסה בני שנואה And I ...
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Why is the test (Nisayon) of Kivshan Haish not mentioned in the Torah?

One of the difficult tests Avraham Avinu faced was when Nimrod threw him into the (Kivshan Haish) fire. It is not mentioned in the Torah at all. Why?
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Why is Avraham's monotheism not mentioned in the torah?

One of the more famous achievements of Avraham was his discovery in a single God. However there is no mention of this accomplishment anywhere in the Torah. In fact there is no conclusive proof that he ...
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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 doesn't Yitchak have his name changed? [duplicate]

Avram's name was changed to Avraham; Ya'akov's name was changed to Yisra'el. Yitzchak's name was not changed. In the case of Ya'akov, we see that his name was changed in association with a specific ...
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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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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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Does 'Halacha Eisav Soneh Yaakov' really mean that it is innate in all gentiles to hate Jews?

People so often use this statement to claim that the gentiles innately hate Jews, is this an accurate understanding of the statement?
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Ibrahim slaugthering his son as per Jewish believes?

Does Jews has a custom or teaching of Qurban/ slaughtering animals as Muslims do to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim's test of slaughtering his son? If so is it on a particular time or month and what this ...
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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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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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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 ...