Exegetical interpretation, often of verses in Tanach. The term also refers to books based on these interpretations, e.g., Midrash Rabba, Midrash Tanchuma, et al.

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Source text behind Rabbinic view on Dinah, Simeon, and Shaul noted in Jewish Encyclopedia

Regarding Dinah, the Jewish Encyclopedia states (bolding added by me): —In Rabbinical Literature: Dinah is blamed for the affair with Shechem because she "went out" (Gen. xxxiv. 1), and her ...
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45 views

Why are Talmudical hermeneutics necessary to understand Torah Law? [duplicate]

Most books are written in such a way that everything that the author wants to communicate is spelled out clearly. The Torah is not such a book. Talmudical hermeneutics (for instance, the 13 rules of ...
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41 views

Does the use Rabbi Yishmael's principles retain the de'oraiso character of the original statement?

If we use one of Rabbi Yishmael's 13 principles of interpreting the Torah to learn from a Torah law (de'oraiso), does the inferred law also have the status of a de'oraiso? (Related: Where can I find ...
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34 views

eternal flames and channukah

I have once heard that there was a miraculous eternally burning flame present in the Temple. I have never found the source for this midrash or its hebrew name (I thought the Ner Tamid referred to ...
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31 views

Rabbi Feinstein's commentary on end of parsha's simanim and numbers

In this Hanukah / Miketz drash, Rabbi Mansour mentions a Rabbi David Feinstein sefer (book) on some parshiot simanim and numbers. Specific to the reference in the drash, which book is he referring to ...
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32 views

Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa understood “Ain od mivado” to also exclude the powers of cishuf, what is the source of this?

In Chulin 7b, Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa was not concerned with the threats of a sorcereress due to his understanding that "Ain od Milvado (Devarim 4:35)" included even the powers of sorcery. What was his ...
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23 views

Adducing Gezerah Shavah (גזירה שוה), list of Gezerah Shavah (גזירה שוה) words

In Genesis 37:15 we read Then a man found him, and behold, he was straying in the field, and the man asked him, saying, "What are you looking for?" טווַיִּמְצָאֵ֣הוּ אִ֔ישׁ וְהִנֵּ֥ה תֹעֶ֖ה ...
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“What shall become of his dreams?” - Q on Rash"i on Breishit 37:20

I'm having trouble understanding Rashi on Genesis 37:20 When Joseph came towards his brothers, they plotted to kill him. They said, (Gen. 37:20): וְעַתָּה | לְכוּ וְנַהַרְגֵהוּ וְנַשְׁלִכֵהוּ ...
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נִפְתַּ֛לְתִּי “my prayer was accepted” notarikon

In Genesis 30:8 Bilhah, Rachel's maidservant, conceived and Rachel named the son Naftali נִפְתַּלְתִּי It says here that for נִפְתַּ֛לְתִּי "my prayer was accepted" There are many aggadic ...
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34 views

Implication of uncertain letters in the Torah

I learned that there are a number of uncertain letters in the written Torah This article lists 12 (counts vary). (1) Bereishit 4:13 "Mineso" (E&T w/o Vav) (2) Bereishit 7:11 "Ma'ayanos ...
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119 views

What dates were the Talmuds and Midrashes written?

Can we prove what dates in history these texts were written? Also, do we know exactly when the various Rabbis of these texts lived? What are those dates? Are there disputes about this? Further, ...
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32 views

Where did the Assyrian language originate from according to Chazzal?

Rashi in parshas Noach 10 11, seen here quotes the Medrash Rabba: From that land: Since Asshur saw his sons obeying Nimrod and rebelling against the Omnipresent by building the tower, he departed ...
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82 views

How much schach would be required for a Leviathan succah?

Preface - While this question may appear humorous, it is not "Purim Torah". On Shmini Atzeret, there is a short "good-bye" to the Succah prayer which includes the wish that we should merit, next ...
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1answer
41 views

The Medrash and Gemara about Hoshana Rabbah

I read on shirat devorah the following: 1) The Midrash tells us that G‑d told Abraham: “If atonement is not granted to your children on Rosh Hashanah, I will grant it on Yom Kippur; if they do not ...
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27 views

Vilna Gaon on the Mechilta

I'm looking for the Vilna Gaon on the Mechilta for Shemos. Does anyone know where I can procure his sefer online?
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54 views

How tall was Moshe Rabbeinu?

The Gemara in the last Perek of Berochos (referenced by the last Rashi of Parshas Chukas)tells about the encounter of Moshe with the giant Og... Moshe was ten Amos tall - (between 15-20 feet, based ...
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55 views

How does Tehillim 33:15 imply all creatures pass before Him on Rosh HaShanah?

The Mishnah (Talmud Bavli, Masekhet Rosh HaShanah 16A; Original, English) states that "At New Year all creatures pass before Him like Bene'i Maron, as it says (Tehillim 33:15), ‘He that fashioneth the ...
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86 views

Is the Leviatan real?

I've heard that he is a giant fish that will be eaten by the tzadikim when the Messiah arrives. But I've also read that it may be just a metaphor. If it is real, what about the Behemoth and the Ziz? ...
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60 views

Exodus Rabbah 1:5 These are the names of the Children of Israel

Parashat Shemot starts with a list of the names of all who came to Egypt, the Midrash Rabba 1:5 rereads all these names, with a new set of meanings reflecting the upcoming exodus. Searching for the ...
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47 views

Adam 's sin out of deveikut?

I found this online: In his sefer "Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh," R' Itamar Shwartz emphasizes the important point that our existence in this world is for the purpose of being davuk to our Creator; to be ...
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67 views

In Sifra, what's the difference between a 'perek' and a 'parshata'

Sifra, or Torat Kohanim, has an unusual layout. Within each Parasha, the book is divided into sections called 'Perek' and 'Parshata'. Neither one appears to contain the other, they appear one after ...
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Any more 'daughters of God'?

As far as I have been able to ascertain, there were only two individuals explicitly referred to as a "daughter of God" or had God refer to them as "My daughter": Batya/Bithiah the daughter of ...
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44 views

Location of source for a midrash of Zipporah on Har Sinai?

A friend was expounding a midrash to me about Zipporah but was unaware of the provenance. The story involves Zipporah, prior to meeting Moshe, searching for her lost flocks near Har Sinai. She ...
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88 views

Why Pinchas = Eliyahu?

The Midrash says that Pinchas and Eliyahu are the same person. According to most of the Rishonim, I believe, this (as any other Midrash) should not be taken literally. Which are some of the ...
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39 views

Midrashic non-literalism in the Taz

The Taz writes in his Divrei David (Genesis 1:23) regarding a Midrash: ואין לנו להפקיע דברי חכמים מפשטן "We should not remove words of the Sages from their simple interpretations." Does the Taz ...
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57 views

Relationship between “Tafasta mi'uta tafasta” and Occam's Razor

The Talmud often invokes the principle of תפסת מרובה לא תפסת תפסת מועט תפסת. (E.g. Yoma 80a) This would seem to be a presentation of Occam's razor. I am looking for confirmation (or rejection) of the ...
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38 views

Example of Solomon's 3000 parables or 1005 interpretations

As cited here, Rashi on I Kings 5:12 states: In the Medrash Aggada [we find Solomon’s great wisdom enabled him] to say three thousand allegories in each sentence of the Torah, and in each of the ...
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What does “made into a pile of bones” mean?

Several places in Chazal we find the expression נתן בו עיניו ועשהו גל של עצמות - someone was looked at and made into a pile of bones (e.g. Sanhedrin 100a, Bava Basra 75a, Brachos 58a, Shabbos 34a). ...
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According to Bamidbar Rabba, why was Caleb so adamant about the fruit?

Bamidbar Rabba 16:14 has an interesting back-story for the giant fruits that Numbers 13:23 tells us the twelve spies retrieved from Canaan: ויבאו עד נחל אשכול - לא רצו ליטול מפירות א"י, אילולי כלב ...
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1answer
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Devarim Rabbah 2:24 - conversion without beit din?

In Devarim Rabbah 2:24, there is a story where the Rabbis pay condolences to a Roman senator who committed suicide to save the Jews. The Rabbis hint that it was a shame that the senator died ...
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81 views

Reshit is Torah or khalla ? Contradiction

In the beginning of midrash rabbah we read from rav Oshaya : וְאֵין רֵאשִׁית אֶלָּא תּוֹרָה There is no "Reshit" except Torah and there, just after : וְאֵין רֵאשִׁית אֶלָא חַלָּה There is no ...
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34 views

Authorship of Midrash Tehillim

What do traditional sources say regarding the date of authorship of Midrash Tehillim?
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66 views

Why didn't the Ten Martyrs answer differently?

Without arguing either the historicity or the historical accuracy of the midrash of Eleh Ezkerah, the 10 Martyrs, I am wondering about the details of the story as told. According to the version on ...
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38 views

Where is the Medrash about natural disasters showing Hashem is boss?

I recall coming across a Medrash that said, in passing, every couple of years Hashem brings about a disaster to show that he controls the world (or perhaps that we don't). This idea, I've seen in אור ...
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33 views

Traditional Approaches to Midrash Tanchuma

What do traditional Jewish sources say about Midrash Tanchuma (in contradistinction to the Midrash Tanchuma Yashah) regarding its date of redaction and authority vis-à-vis works of Chazal (such as ...
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52 views

Traditional Approaches to B'midbar Rabba

What do traditional Jewish sources say about B'midbar Rabba regarding its date of redaction and authority vis-à-vis works of Chazal (such as other Midrashim).
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1answer
81 views

What are the philosophical implications behind g'zerah shavah?

I am wondering about G'zerah Shavah. It is a rule that I have a hard time accepting, at times. I am wondering what philosophical and theological implications this rule holds. If it is assumed to be a ...
4
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1answer
223 views

Midrash About God Repeating Words of Torah

I am drawing a blank as to the source of this midrash, that when a person learns Torah, at the same time God is learning that same section, or that He repeats what the person said? (Hopefully I am ...
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72 views

Help with finding a Pirkei Avot Citation

Hebrew Wikipedia writes, commenting on the well known quote "אבות אכלו בוסר, ושיני בנים תקהינה:" אבות אכלו בוסר ושיני בנים תקהינה הינה סוגיה דתית-פילוסופית מרכזית ביהדות ובדתות אחרות. פסוק ...
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Location for medrash cited by the Chizkuni

The Chizkuni in Parshas Achrei Mos 16:22 writes that the ish iti (the person who would take the goat to har azazel) would not live through the year. He cites from a medrash that the person knew he was ...
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Was the Mishkan Built on Shabbat?

There is a famous midrash that relates the 39 prohibitions of Shabbat to the various types of activities that were required for the mishkan's construction. Implicit within this idea is the notion that ...
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102 views

Rebbe Akivah's background

I heard from someone that Rabbi Akiva was a shepherd, a laborer, an am ha’aretz – religious in observance, but ignorant of Torah knowledge. At age 40, he didn’t even know how to read the aleph-beis. ...
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Sifrei on Book of Devarim

Where can I find the Sifre on the book of Devarim online in text form (as opposed to Pdf)? The commentary of the Netziv would also be appreciated.
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1answer
78 views

The End of Prophecy amongst the Nations

There is a medrash that after the story with Bilaam attempting to curse the Jewish people and instigating the incident with the Midianites and Baal Peor, Moshe prayed that there never again be ...
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29 views

Half-Hallel in commemoration of the fallen Egyptians

There seem to be two separate explanations as to why we only say a "half" hallel on the intermediate and final days of Pesach. According to one opinion (as attributed to the Shibolet Haleket here) it ...
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1answer
42 views

Can someone help me understand Genesis Rabbah 4?

The beginning of Genesis Rabbah 4 talks mainly about the firmament in creation account. It goes as follows (from the Artscroll Mesorah publication): (4:2): "At the moment the Holy One, Blessed is ...
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77 views

What was the Plague of the Sword?

In the Haggadah you will find the following exegesis of part of Deuteronomy 26:8: וּבִזְרֹעַ נְטוּיָה. זוֹ הַחֶרֶב, כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְחַרְבּוֹ שְׁלוּפָה בְּיָדוֹ, נְטוּיָה ...
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241 views

Is there any evidence of time-zones in Talmud? (Tanaim and Amoraim only)

There are many verses in the Talmud, Midrash and Siddur that state that the sun and moon rise and set through gates in the firmament. This would imply that there are no time-zones. To this world view ...
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1answer
52 views

Midrashic(?) Proof from Design story about overturned inkwell

I believe I read years ago about an instance where a rabbi presented a heretic with a well written poem that he claimed had actually formed accidentally when he overturned his inkwell. I though I had ...
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110 views

Locating a copy of Sifra (Torat Kohanim)

Now that we are starting Sefer Vayikra, this seems like an opportune time to ask a question that has been bugging me for years! Where can I find a good copy of Sifra (aka "Torat Kohanim")? A ...