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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3answers
431 views

Belief in midrashim

The ramban in sefer havikuach asserts with regard to medrash " mi shemaamin bo tov, mi shelo maamin bo lo yazik" whoever believes in it, good, he who does not believe it, will not be harmed. Are ...
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82 views

Is there a list of things that have been put away until “l'atid lavo”?

There are many mamarei chazal that discuss things that at one point existed and were hidden or saved for "l'atid lavo" (ex the ohr haganuz) does an extensive list of such things exist?
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is there an authoritative list of the ways to expound the torah?

We are all familiar with Rebbi Yishmael's 13 principles for expounding the torah, however there are other systems not included in his list. I remember once hearing a shiur that there are over 40 ways ...
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225 views

Criteria for the list of Nashim Kesheiros (Medrash Breishis Rabsi)

The Medrash Breishis Rabsi Parshas Chaya Sara 23:1 lists 22* Nashim Kesheiros. כ"ב נשים כשרות היו בעולם ואלו הן שרה, רבקה, רחל, לאה, סרח בת אשר, יוכבד, מרים, בתיה בת פרעה, דבורה, צללפונית אשת מנוח, ...
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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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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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1answer
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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2answers
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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172 views

Were Esav, Yishmael, and Nimrod Evildoers?

This question asserts that Ishmael was an evildoer (rasha). However, based on a simple (p'shat) reading of the relevant texts (in Genesis), neither he nor Esau nor Nimrod appear to do anything ...
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1answer
146 views

Years and years and years of Yishmael

Genesis 25:17 says: וְאֵלֶּה שְׁנֵי חַיֵּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל מְאַת שָׁנָה וּשְׁלשִׁים שָׁנָה וְשֶׁבַע שָׁנִים וַיִּגְוַע וַיָּמָת וַיֵּאָסֶף אֶל עַמָּיו׃ And these are the years of the life of ...
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57 views

Charging interest to “your brother”

A deleted post from a long time ago made the claim that [W]e are [allowed to charge interest to other Jews] but not from immediate family. Even from another Jew, if he or she is not a member ...
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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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132 views

Hints and thoroughness in Talmudic referencing of Tanach

There are times when the Talmud uses references to Tanach that do not seem to be proofs per se. They may not follow the middot and are more like hints. This has been discussed in answers to another ...
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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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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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222 views

Where was Adam created?

The Torah tells us G-d brought Adam into Gan Eden after his creation from earth (Bereishis 2:15). If this is the case where was Adam created?
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239 views

God's Pair of Teffilin

How when moshe turns his head not to see God's face, he sees He's got on teffilin? I thought God had no physical form.
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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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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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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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82 views

Joseph's Garment- Made or hand me down?

Source 1: Targum Yerushalmi Bereishit 48:22 which says that Yosef coat was originally Adam's. Source 2: Bereishit 37:3 Says Yaakov made Joseph's coat How can this be resolved? Source 1: כב וַאֲנָא ...
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6answers
942 views

Anyone who says these people sinned is mistaken. For real?

The Gemara (Talmud Bavli Shabbos 55b-56b) relates that several Biblical figures who, from the text itself, seemed to have sinned, in reality did not. These statements take the form of "כל האומר פלוני ...
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3answers
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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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1answer
237 views

Is there a set of “foundational” midrashic/symbolic numbers and what are they?

I've always wanted to do an analyses of the Torah based on the numbers given and their midrashic meanings. Specifically, I'm looking for symbolic, midrashic numbers: that is, which are symbolically ...
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41 views

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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160 views

source for a story: man who went to milk a lion

When I was a kid I heard the following story at least a few times in grade school from the school headmaster (probably around Rosh Hashanah time). It's based on a Jewish legend or midrash, and I'd ...
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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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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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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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1answer
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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1answer
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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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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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1answer
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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2answers
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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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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1answer
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 ...
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Flying and sorcery

Rashi (Sanhedrin 44b, s.v. D'ba'ya) relates the story of Shimon ben Shetach's capture of 80 witches. He instructed his students to pick up the witches because the sorcery would be powerless against ...
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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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177 views

Non-literal Midrashim

Sometimes I'll hear a Midrash and sometimes people might say, "Well, I don't know if it's meant to be taken literally." When do we know when Midrashim are speaking metaphorically or when they are ...
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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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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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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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1answer
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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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328 views

What is meant by the 974 “worlds” that were “created and destroyed”?

Midrash Tehillim 90:13 says that God created and destroyed 974 worlds before this one. What exactly does that mean? I've heard it used in defense of a modern understanding of evolution and cosmology ...
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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 ...