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10
votes
3answers
63 views

What is the difference between curses that would require changing lashon?

In parshat Lech Lecha, (Bereishit 12:3) Hashem promises Avram that וַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ, אָאֹר, And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. Why ...
9
votes
6answers
258 views

The curse of cannibalism

In parshas Ki Tavo there is much talk in the curse section about parents eating their own children, G-d forbid. We understand this came into fruition in the time of the first Temple's destruction. ...
8
votes
2answers
170 views

Elisha, the children, and the bears: what is really going on here?

After Eliyahu goes up to heaven, Elisha solves a water problem in Jericho and then heads to Bethel. On the way, some young children accost him, he curses them in the name of God, and two she-bears ...
7
votes
1answer
142 views

Who is “the blaspheming foe” of Maoz Tzur?

In the song Maoz Tzur it says לְעֵת תָּכִין מַטְבֵּחַ מִצָּר הַמְנַבֵּחַ - which the OU translates as - When You will have prepared the slaughter for the blaspheming foe. Who is this ...
7
votes
3answers
82 views

Understanding the cherem to tell Yaakov that Yosef was alive

In Bereshis 37:33 Rashi cites the midrash that the brothers pronounced an excommunication and curse on anyone who would reveal what they did. This is why God, as well as Yitzhak didn't tell Yaakov. I ...
6
votes
1answer
50 views

How was Dovid HaMelech allowed to tolerate Shimmi ben Geira?

Shimmi ben Geira cursed Dovid HaMelech as he was running away from Avshalom. Dovid HaMelech commanded that he be left alone as "Hashem put the words in his mouth". However, the Gemara (Yoma 22b) ...
5
votes
2answers
480 views

Why did Noach curse Canaan and not Cham?

After the incident with Cham after the flood, Noach curses Canaan (Genesis 9:25). Why does he not curse Cham, the one who actually wronged him? The explanations I've seen of this incident have Cham ...
5
votes
1answer
84 views

Do blessings and curses affect the dead?

Do blessings and curses have any effect on the dead? We say things like, " may his memory be a blessing," "may the Neshamah have an 'Aliyah," etc. What effect does it have?
4
votes
3answers
245 views

Is the wine spilled at the Seder “cursed”?

As I recall, my mother usually discards the wine that is spilled at the Seder during the listing of the plagues. But I think she does this because, well, just because it's spilled wine and it is not ...
4
votes
1answer
50 views

How did the triennial torah reading fulfill the takanas Ezra?

Ezra declared that the curses in Vayikra be read before Shavuos and those in Devarim before Rosh HaShanna (megillah 31b), how was that accomplished by those in Eretz Yisrael who had a triennial system ...
4
votes
3answers
144 views

What if the Torah Reader for the Curses is a Kohen or Levi?

It is (at least) the Chabad custom that the Torah Reader takes the Aliya with the curses in Parshat Ki Tavo and Bechukotai. The reader ascends without being called and recites the blessings before and ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

Spain and curse

Was there a Curse placed on Jews returning to Spain after the Spanish Inquisition if so who stated it and general background information would be appreciated?
3
votes
1answer
54 views

No day without its curse

The Gemara (Sotah 48a) says, “from the day that the Beis HaMikdosh was destroyed, there has been no day without its curse.” 1a) What does the Gemara mean? 1b) What does it's curse mean?
3
votes
1answer
99 views

Did Bilaam have free will?

By God preventing Bilaam from cursing the Jews, was that not an impingement of Bilaams free will?
3
votes
0answers
47 views

Canaan's age when cursed

When Noah cursed Canaan in Genesis 9, was Canaan a full grown adult?
3
votes
0answers
54 views

Amen to another's blessing while you are in the middle of a verse containing a curse

Sometimes it happens that you find yourself in the middle of a posuk containg a curse - for example Dvarim 11:17 And the wrath of the Lord will be kindled against you, and He will close off the ...
2
votes
1answer
366 views

What was the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal?

Judges 9:57 OJPS and all the wickedness of the men of Shechem did God requite upon their heads; and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal. My understanding on this book is ...
1
vote
1answer
173 views

Why is misusing God's name so bad?

One is not allowed to take God's name in vain, and certainly not allowed to curse the name of God (chas v'shalom). I'd like to understand conceptually why these things are considered such grievous ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

what is the source suggesting that blasphemous sentences are exempted in distressing situations?

I read a talmudic source recently suggesting an 'exemption' for 'blasphemous' statements uttered in situations of extreme distress - the source for which was Talmudic, and this was articulated in the ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

Is Esther's comment in Esther 7:4 a reference to one of the curses in Devarim 28:68?

In Esther 7:4, Esther says that had the Jews been sold for slaves and maidservants, she would have been silent. Devarim 28:68 says that we would be shipped to Egypt, and we would try to sell ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

Which witness testifies about a blasphemer?

In Rambam Hilchos Avodas Kochavim Perek 2 halacha 8 it says that if someone curses the name of God, the court examines the witnesses as to what they heard. The "great one" (Rambam's words) of all the ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

From Cursing to Blessing

What was Billam's thought process? At first he was going to curse the Jews; after Hashem tells him no, he says 'OK, in that case, let me bless them'? If you want to curse someone, your second option ...