The weekly Torah portion of Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16)

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How to define the Malach YHVH

The Malach YHVH is mentioned many times, but what is or who is this being exactly? How should one define: Malach YHVH? It's the Malach YHVH that is talking to Hagar, but after the whole event she ...
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Who came up with this story?

It says in Mekor Baruch (of Rabbi Baruch Epstein) The Rosh Yeshiva of Volozhin, the Netziv, was once sitting down surrounded by several high-caliber students – avrechim versed in Torah, wise, and ...
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When was the war with Amalek?

It seems from its placement in Chumash that the (first) war with Amalek occurred between the exodus from Egypt and the giving of the Torah at Sinai. (Is that the case, or did it occur at another ...
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Why Can't Moshe's Hands Perform Miracles?

The Torah (Shemos 17) describes a battle between Israel and Amalek in Refidim, and says that when Moshe's hands were raised, the Israel would be winning, but when he lowered his hands Amalek would ...
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1answer
210 views

Who did Yehoshua weaken with the sword?

The verse says (Shemos 17:13): And Yehoshua weakened Amalek and his nation in accordance with the sword. Who did he weaken exactly - what's the difference between Amalek and his nation? Or is there a ...
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Why did Pharaoh's officers wait for three whole days before returning to inform him? Rashi Shemos 14 (5)

The Torah tells us Shemos 14 (5) It was reported to Pharaoh that the people had fled; and Pharaoh and his servants had a change of heart toward the people, and they said, What is this that we ...
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Did Pharaoh himself drown at Yam Suf

It would appear from the text that he did. Firstly the fact he was there, and leading the army himself: (Exodus 14 verse 10) with Rashi Pharaoh drew near, and the children of Israel lifted up ...
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Children of Israel ate Manna for 40 years: Verse inserted later? [duplicate]

From this week's sedra (Shmot 16:35): And the children of Israel did eat the manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat the manna, until they came unto the borders of ...
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Ibn Ezra at the Yam Suf - Hashem saved them THAT day?

The Torah says in Sh'mos 14:30 . . .וַיּוֹשַׁע ה' בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיַּד מִצְרָיִם That day God saved Yisra'el from the hand of Mitzrayim. . . I wondered why in this context ...
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Why the use of “King of Egypt” at the beginning of Shemot 14::5?

The beginning of Shemot 14:5 says, "It was told to the King of Egypt...". Why use this term instead of the more common term "Pharoah"?
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Explain how the last word of Yosef's “oath” got into the verse in Shemot 13:19

In Shemot 13:19, the verse quotes the oath that Yosef made his brothers and descendants swear about carrying his bones when they leave Egypt. Compare these words in this verse with the actual oath ...
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Who spoke in Sh'mot 15:26?

After shirat hayam the people grow concerned about water and God instructs Moshe in how to satisfy their needs. Then Shemot 15:26 says: וַיֹּאמֶר אִם שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמַע לְקוֹל | יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ ...
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Trope for Shirat Hayam - Parashat Beshallach [duplicate]

Which verses in Shirat Hayam use special cantillation?
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47 views

Rashi Shemos 14:4 seems to contradict later experience in the Midbar

Rashi says in Parshas Beshalach Shemos 14:4, sv ויעשו כן: [This is stated] to tell their praise, that they obeyed Moshe and did not say, “How will we draw near to our enemies [by returning in ...
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74 views

Why is it repeating something that's already known?

It is stated in Shemos Parshas Beshalach 14:4 the following: "And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them, and I will be glorified through Pharaoh and through his entire army, and the ...
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Why is there a dagesh in second camocha, but not in first?

In "Mi chamocha ba'elim H', Mi camocha nedar bakodesh" (from the Az Yashir song by the sea, but also between the shma and the amidah in the morning, and elsewhere): מִֽי-כָמֹ֤כָה בָּֽאֵלִם֙ ...
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Why the person switches in Shemos 14:2-4?

Shemos 14:2-4: דבר, אל-בני ישראל, וישובו ויחנו לפני פי החירות, בין מגדול ובין הים: לפני בעל צפון, נכחו תחנו על-הים.‏ ואמר פרעה לבני ישראל, נבוכים הם בארץ; סגר עליהם, המדבר.‏ ...
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What is the kabbalistic understanding of the name אזבוג״ה?

In the sefer Brit Menucha it mentions the name of God אזבוג״ה which comes from Shemos 15:1. I would like to understand what the kabbalistic associations with this name are. Particularly what is the ...
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Do the Jews know the location of the omer of manna?

Do the Jews know the location of the omer of manna? Is there a story? Is it lost? It sure would be helpful in proving God to Atheists. Then Moses said, “This is the thing which the LORD has ...
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Amaleik, Refidim and Disunity

The Torah says that the Amaleik came and battled Israel at Refidim. I read somewhere: That according to the sages, the Jews were actually attacked because they lacked unity. This is alluded to in the ...
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Can dew really make an eggshell fly?

In פרשת בשלח 16:14, it says -- The layer of dew went up, and behold, on the surface of the desert, a fine, bare [substance] as fine as frost on the ground. On that verse, Rashi says ...
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Was the rock the Moshe hit in Shemos 17 the be'er miriam

Rashi in Bamidbar 20:2 notes that until Miriam died the be'er [literally well] gave water. Was this be'er the rock which Moshe hit in Shemos 17? Or was it a well, and if so where is the first source ...
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Who wrote the verse near the end of the story about Mahn in Shmot 16:35?

I am aware that the Talmud discusses a debate as to who wrote the last few verses in the Torah about Moses's death. Near the end of the story about mahn, in Shmot (Exodus) 16:35, the verse says that ...
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Where is the first time that the splitting of the Red Sea is referred to as קריעת ים סוף?

The text of the Torah refers to the sea "splitting" (וַיִּבָּקְעוּ הַמָּיִם - Ex.14:21). Where is the first source where the Sages refer to this event as "tearing" (קריעה)?
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Should one lain the trop while reciting Shiras Hayam during Pesukei D'zimra?

Should one lain the trop while reciting Shiras Hayam during Pesukei D'zimra? My siddur includes the trop for the Shiras Hayam, just as it does for the Shema. With regards to the Shema I know of a ...
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134 views

Were Amalek offered a peaceful exit?

Inspired by this: The Rambam in Hilchos Melachim 6:1 writes: אין עושין מלחמה עם אדם בעולם, עד שקוראין לו לשלום--אחד מלחמת הרשות, ואחד מלחמת מצוה War is not waged with anyone in the world ...
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Why was Yam Suf necessary according to Rabenu Chananel?

What is Rabenu Chananel's explanation for the reason Hashem couldn't just take the Jewish people through the short route and took them on the long journey through the desert?
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How did someone know which portion of 'manna' was his?

The gemara (Yoma 75a) writes that the more righteous someone was, the closer to them the manna would fall. Given that there were two million people encamped in close proximity, how did someone know ...
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What was the underlying problem behind Hashem’s decision to lead the Children of Israel to Eretz Yisrael by a circuitous route?

It says in Shemos (13,17) “And it was that when Pharaoh sent the people, G-d did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines for it was near, because G-d said: Lest the people reconsider when ...
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How does Judaism reconcile God cannot be seen/incarnate/etc. with Pilar of Fire story? [duplicate]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pillar_of_Fire_%28theophany%29 Exodus 13:21-22. By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire ...
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353 views

What is the difference between the words “tzur” and “selah” (which both mean rock)?

Beshalach (Shmot 17:6): ... you shall strike the rock (tzur) and water will come forth from it ... Chukat (Bamidbar 20:8): ... speak to the rock (selah) before their eyes and it shall give ...
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327 views

Shirat HaYam Trop: Which Phrases?

Which phrases in Shirat HaYam are read with the special 'shirah' trop? (Inspired by this question.)
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86 views

Source for Mishne Torah's Song of the Levites for Shabbat afternoons

Mishne Torah in Hilchos Temidin uMusafin 6:9 brings the following halacha: במוספי שבת, אומרין שירת "האזינו" (דברים לב,א), וחולקין אותה לשישה פרקים ה'ז'י'ו' ל'ך', כדרך שקוראין אותה שישה בבית הכנסת; ...
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Pesach: Shira Taamim?

I cannot recall, find or ask anyone who remembers 100% if, when we read Shiras Hayam (from Beshalach) on the 7th day of Pesach, we do so using the regular taamim (Trupp) or the Taamey Shira, the same ...
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Dagesh for adornment

On Sh'mos 2:3 and 15:17, Minchas Shay notes that הַצְּפִינוֹ and מִקְּדָשׁ have a dagesh in their respective second letters "for adornment (tif'eres)". Is this aural or visual adornment? How/Why is ...
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Shiras HaYam - why specifically by this miracle?

Out of all the nissim (miracles) that HaShem did for Klal Yisrael (the Mann, Makkos, Bar Miriam, etc) why was it specifically by this miracle that Klal Yisrael sang Shira?
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Seeing, fearing, then faith?

It says in the Pasuk (Shemos 14:31 Beshalach) וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת הַיָּד הַגְּדֹלָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהֹוָה בְּמִצְרַיִם וַיִּירְאוּ הָעָם אֶת יְהֹוָה וַיַּאֲמִינוּ בַּיהֹוָה וּבְמשֶׁה עַבְדּוֹ ...
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Layout of Shiras HaYam: Half-Brick Over Brick

Is there a reason/meaning behind the "half-brick over brick" layout of Shiras Hayam as written in a Sefer Torah? I am familiar with the gemara in Megilla (16b) that states the layout is to be that ...
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Ibn Ezra's Arabic-based explanation of the vav heading some clauses

Sh'mos 9:21: וַאֲשֶׁר לֹא שָׂם לִבּוֹ אֶל דְּבַר יהוה וַיַּעֲזֹב אֶת עֲבָדָיו וְאֶת מִקְנֵהוּ בַּשָּׂדֶה And 13:17: וַיְהִי בְּשַׁלַּח פַּרְעֹה אֶת הָעָם וְלֹא נָחָם אֱלֹהִים דֶּרֶךְ אֶרֶץ ...
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Are there mystical underpinnings to Maccabi?

One of the explanations I have heard for the title מכבי is that it is an acronym for the pasuk 'מִי-כָמֹכָה בָּאֵלִם ה (Shemos 15:11). Is there any reason, mystical or otherwise that that pasuk (or ...
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2answers
258 views

Kriyas Yam Suf and Naḥshon ben Amminadav

By Kriyas Yam Suf it says that the first one to Jump in was Naḥchshon ben Amminadav. My question is: why didn't Moshe Rabbenu jump in first?
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Where did the Egyptians get the wealth they brought to the sea?

In Shemot 15:22, Rashi says: Moses led Israel away: lit., made Israel journey. He led them away against their will, for the Egyptians had adorned their steeds with ornaments of gold, silver, and ...
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Why strong wind when splitting the sea?

The verses describing the splitting of the Yam Suf (Reed Sea) say a strong wind blew overnight before the sea split. To me, this implies a gradual process of moving a great deal of water. On the ...
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1answer
238 views

Shabbos Shira - putting out bread for the birds

Is there a problem with putting out bread for birds on Shabbos (in a case where there is no carrying issues)?
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148 views

Is “Vayugad L'Melech Mitzrayim” used as a template for Torah cantillation (trop)?

It seems that several times when I've discussed different styles of Torah cantillation (trop) with someone, and they wanted to sing a sample of it, the text they chose was "Vayugad l'melech mitzrayim ...
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2answers
178 views

Dolphins in the Sea

I have heard that there is a Midrash which says that Dolphins swam on either side of the dry land when the sea was split for Moshe to warn the fish not to swim out onto dry land. Why are there ...
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213 views

What are the evidence of red/reed sea crossing?

Are there any credible historical evidences behind red/reed sea crossing? Besides, of course, the Torah.
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109 views

Why does the Torah repeat that the nation believed in Moshe?

In Yisro it says: וְגַם בְּךָ יַאֲמִינוּ לְעוֹלָם Earlier it says: ויאמינו בה' ובמשה עבדו Why Both?
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49 views

Heard our Prayer Really?

Every morning we say וְאֶת זַעֲקָתָם שָׁמַעְתָּ עַל יַם סוּף That would seem to be wrong as we know Hashem told Moshe וַיֹּאמֶר יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֶל מֹשֶׁה מַה תִּצְעַק אֵלָי דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל ...
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מָחֹה אֶמְחֶה Remez [closed]

כִּי מָחֹה אֶמְחֶה אֶת זֵכֶר עֲמָלֵק What does אֶמְחֶה stand for? Hint: See Yalkut Reuvani or the Gra or the Chidah for amazing Remez