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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (3)

18
votes
6answers
702 views

When did Avraham Avinu become Jewish

Avraham Avinu is often called "the first Jew". When did he become Jewish. Was it when: He recognized G-d? G-d spoke to him for the first time? Covenant Between The Parts? When G-d changed his name? ...
17
votes
9answers
777 views

Why did Avraham take gifts from Pharaoh, but not the King of Sodom?

In Bereshit 12:11-16, we see that Avraham was willing to receive gifts from Pharoah: 11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife: 'Behold ...
15
votes
2answers
194 views

What happened to the Yeshivas Shem v'Aiver?

What happened to the Yeshiva of Shem v'Aiver and all who learnt there?
14
votes
10answers
463 views

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)
14
votes
4answers
286 views

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 ...
14
votes
2answers
218 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
176 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...". ...
13
votes
2answers
250 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
195 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
764 views

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 ...
12
votes
2answers
246 views

Why is Yitzchak spelled with a “sin” in Tehillim 105:9?

I just came across this strange variant spelling this morning. I've been in the habit of reciting Tikkun HaKlali recently and saw this in Artscroll's Tehillim this past Shabbat. Thinking it was a ...
11
votes
6answers
277 views

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?
11
votes
3answers
301 views

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 ...
11
votes
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 ...
11
votes
5answers
255 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.
11
votes
2answers
163 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
266 views

Why is Jacob idolized and not villainised?

I've just read the story of Jacob and Esau (Bereishis ch. 25 and 27), and I fail to understand why Jacob is consistently portrayed and idolized as a protagonist and a hero - based on what I've read, I ...
10
votes
6answers
249 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
196 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
202 views

How did Avrohom learn that nine doesn't work?

The Midrash says (Bereshis Rabbah 49:13 quoted in Rashi Genesis 18:32) that Abraham stopped asking HaShem to save Sodom in the merit of less than 10 people because Noah and his family who were 8 ...
10
votes
1answer
168 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
164 views

Esav was coming with 400 men: why then

Why was Esav going toward Yaakov (Gen. 33:1, 32:7) if he had (27:41) planned to wait to kill him until Yitzchak was dead? (Please cite your source, if any.)
10
votes
2answers
102 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
383 views

Was Eisav Jewish?

Was Eisav Jewish? Eisav was born to the same father and mother as Yaakov. It may be possible to say that Yaakov was not Jewish either as it was before Matan Torah, however if Yaakov was Jewish, then ...
9
votes
2answers
197 views

Avram-Avraham; Yaakov-Yisroel; Yitzchok-?

Why from the three Avos, Avraham and Yaakov had their name changed, and not Yitzchok?
9
votes
3answers
161 views

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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
51 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
74 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
381 views

Why does Rashi not comment on the repetition of the word “shono” in the age of Yishmoel?

Rashi comments on the repetition of the word “shono” in the ages of both Soroh Braishis 23 (1) and Avrohom Braishis 25 (7). Why is there no comment for the age of Yishmoel which also repeats “shono” ...
8
votes
5answers
341 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?
8
votes
2answers
339 views

How are we to understand Malchi-Tzedek, non-Jewish priest of God?

Malchi-Tzedek is a gentile priest who worships God. I initially read this as just saying God is not exclusive (it says somewhere in Nevi'im that God also has covenants with other peoples), but today ...
8
votes
5answers
286 views

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
112 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?
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
157 views

How can people effectively bless when blessing is God's domain?

How do people have the power to bless? Yitzchak's blessings for his sons pretty much came true, and similarly later when Yaakov blesses his children and earlier (in the inverse) Noach curses Canaan. ...
7
votes
3answers
161 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
136 views

Why didn't Noach Pray for his generation like Avraham did for Sodom

Why didn't Noach Daven to save his generation like Avraham Davened for Sodom?
7
votes
3answers
135 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?
7
votes
2answers
70 views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
126 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
182 views

Yisrael or Yaakov?

Does anyone have any sources on a conclusive guide to when the name "Yisrael" is used and when the name "Yaakov" is used in the Torah in reference to Yaakov Avinu, the individual?
7
votes
1answer
130 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 ...
7
votes
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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
0answers
55 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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
147 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
82 views

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
307 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 ...