interpretation of parts of Tanach by close reading, not derivation (Pronounced "par-sha-noot")

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Why was the punishment for the sin of the spies so severe?

Avot Derabbi Natan 9:2, commenting on Bamidbar 14:22, enumerates the 10 times that B'nai Israel tested G-d in the desert. The Mishnah states that G-d did not punish them until they spoke lashon hara ...
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32 views

How can something negative be a blessing?

Ya'akov calls out for his sons to come to him, in order to tell them what would happen in the acharit hayamim. From Bereshit 49 verse 28 we learn that Ya'akov gave the tribes a bracha (blessing). But ...
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Was the Jubilee in mind in Isaiah 49:8-9 and 61:1-2?

Did the prophet Isaiah have the Jubilee in mind in Isaiah 49:8 and 61:1-2? I notice the term "proclaim freedom" appears in Leviticus as well as Isaiah. Is the similarity superficial?
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Is G-d near to us in times of trouble?

In Psalm 46:2, it is said that "G-d is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." How is this compatible with Psalm 10:1 which reads "Why standest Thou afar off, O LORD? Why hidest ...
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36 views

How did Saul deliver Israel from the Philistines

1 Samuel 9:15 says that Saul was chosen to deliver Israel from the Philistines. How is this compatible with how in 1 Samuel 31:6 and 7 is demonstrates that he killed himself due to a military defeat ...
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To what degree and under what conditions can the righteous influence God's judgement of a population?

When Noah was told of the flood's coming, he did not pray for mercy on behalf of the world. When God told Abraham that he was about to assess S'dom and Amorrah, Abraham continually questioned God ...
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39 views

Who is “the Desire of all Nations” in Haggai 2:7?

Haggai 2:7 mentions "the Desire of all Nations", according to modern day Judaism, is this a reference to the Messiah or to God Himself?
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How can Nefesh mean a dead person?

In Vayikra 21:1 it's stated that one should not defile himself for any (dead) 'nefesh' person... How can a word like Nefesh which seems to be the force that animated the body and gave it it's life, ...
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Was G-d “overcomplaining” in Shemot (Exodus) 16:28?

Exodus 16:4 (Somewhat modified English translation from Sefaria): וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה הִנְנִ֨י מַמְטִ֥יר לָכֶ֛ם לֶ֖חֶם מִן־הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם וְיָצָ֨א הָעָ֤ם וְלָֽקְטוּ֙ דְּבַר־י֣וֹם ...
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Would Jobs daughters sons have been sons of Job?

In Job's testing, Jobs sons all died. When God restored him, he had seven sons and three daughters. He gave the daughters an inheritance among their brothers. Would Job's grand sons (The daughter's ...
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Calling the name of God

Chapter 3 in Joel: א וְהָיָה אַחֲרֵי-כֵן, אֶשְׁפּוֹךְ אֶת-רוּחִי עַל-כָּל-בָּשָׂר, וְנִבְּאוּ, בְּנֵיכֶם וּבְנוֹתֵיכֶם; זִקְנֵיכֶם, חֲלֹמוֹת יַחֲלֹמוּן--בַּחוּרֵיכֶם, חֶזְיֹנוֹת יִרְאוּ. 1 ב ...
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What is the Jewish understanding of Micah 5:1

I listened to a debate between a Rabbi and Christian scholar. The Rabbi quoted the end of the verse (2 in the Christian's English Translation) pointing out that Christians often quote this verse to ...
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What do the words ויהי כן (Beraishis 1:15) mean? It seems the “making” happens in the next verse?

In Beraishis, the posuk often says ויהי כן. But, for example, regarding Day 4, after Hashem says "there should be luminaries" (verses 14 and 15) then it says ויהי כן (verse 15), and then it says ...
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how to close parsha gap between israel and overseas [duplicate]

for overseas to catch up to Israel why not double up on either acharey mos/kedoshim or behar/bechukoysay? why wait to matos/maasey?
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Why should other nations praise G-d because of His mercy towards us?

The shortest chapter in the book of Psalms is one we recite as part of our prayers on holidays and the New Moon: Psalms 117:1-2 (translation from Sefaria): הַֽלְל֣וּ אֶת־יְ֭הוָה כָּל־גּוֹיִ֑ם ...
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Bemidbar 9:2 - Why is the word pronounced “Posach”, with a kamatz?

During this morning's (4th day Hol Hamo'ed Pesach outside Israel) I noticed that in Numbers 9:2: וְיַעֲשׂ֧וּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל אֶת־הַפָּ֖סַח בְּמוֹעֲדֽוֹ׃ ’Let the children of Israel keep the ...
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Age of Avram (Avraham) when he left for Kena'an out of the Ur Kasdim?

Nechemyah 9:7-8 teaches that it was HaShem who brought (or called?) Avram forth out of the Ur Kasdim Bereshit 11:31 teaches that Terach took his whole household in which included Avram and they went ...
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No mention of Simcha for Pesach

Devarim (Deut.) ch. 16).. lists the 3 pilgrimage holidays, Pesach, Shavuot and Succot. Of the 3 holidays, Pesach has no explicit mention of "simcha" (joy). Why is that? Is simcha not required on ...
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Why did nachshon jump first?

In sota 37a and michilta beshalach 14,22 and bamidber raba 13,7 it says that nachshon ben aminodov jumped in first in the yam suf and his name is nachshon says the midrash because he jumped into ...
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Why does Megilas Esther describe Achashveirosh's sleepless night as “on that night”?

What was so special about the night that Achashveirosh couldn't sleep that it was referred to in the Megila (6:1) as "that night", i.e. בלילה ההוא נדדה שנת המלך It could have said something more ...
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Info on Levonah

Considering the current parshios mentioning of Levonah (Frankincense, Olibanum), I decided to look into it a bit. According to the wiki entry here there are therapeutic and medicinal properties ...
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Why does HaShem refer to Himself in the third “person”?

In Joshua 1:9, HaShem says to Joshua: Did I not command you, be strong and have courage, do not fear and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. My wife asked a ...
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127 views

Why did Esther have to become queen and be forced into adultery?

Presumably God could save the Jewish people without Esther, a married woman, becoming the wife of Achashverosh. So why did He choose to bring the salvation in this fashion? (although she was ...
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Why the difference in כאשר צוה ה׳ between Vayakhel and Pekudei?

Why does the Torah consistently say כאשר צוה ה׳ את משה or some equivalent after describing the making of each step of the priestly garments (Exodus 39:1, 5, 7, 21, 26, 29 and 31) but not in the ...
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Why is Aaron's account of the Golden Calf incident different from the narrative account?

Before Moses asks Aaron what he did, the narrative account of the Golden Calf's creation is that Aaron asked for gold, received the gold, "and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made it a molten ...
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71 views

Mi La'Hashem Eilai - Was this an appropriate response?

This question weaves together a couple different sources. The first nekudah comes from 32:32 where we have the phrase: וְאִם-אַיִן--מְחֵנִי נָא, מִסִּפְרְךָ אֲשֶׁר כָּתָבְתָּ - If you will not [...
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60 views

Parshas Terumah vs. Vayakhel - instruction vs action

Last night my chavrusa and I were comparing the language surrounding the command of the construction of the Tabernacle versus the language used to describe the fulfillment of that command. By the ...
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Active vs. Passive regarding work during 6 days of the week

Exodus 31:15: שֵׁ֣שֶׁת יָמִים֮ יֵעָשֶׂ֣ה מְלָאכָה֒ וּבַיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֗י שַׁבַּ֧ת שַׁבָּת֛וֹן קֹ֖דֶשׁ לַיהוָ֑ה כָּל־הָעֹשֶׂ֧ה מְלָאכָ֛ה בְּי֥וֹם הַשַּׁבָּ֖ת מ֥וֹת יוּמָֽת׃ Six days ...
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What was the purpose of the veil that Moses wore?

Sforno on Exodus 34:33 ויכל משה מדבר אתם אבל בעוד שהיה מדבר אתם היה בלי מסוה, כענין והיו עיניך רואות את מוריך וכאמרם ז''ל (פרק קמא דעירובין) ואי חזיתיה מקמיה, הוינא מחדד טפי (English ...
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Request in Kiddush Levanah about restoring the moon's original luminance

Near the end of Kiddush Levana, there is a request that says: וִיהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהַי וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתַי לְמַלּאֹת פְּגִימַת הַלְּבָנָה, וְלאֹ יִהְיֶה בָּהּ שׁוּם מִעוּט, וִיהִי אוֹר ...
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About Shemot 38:8

Can someone explain this passage? I absolutely do not understand where does it say anything about mirrors or women? bemarot means "in a vision" as in Bereshit 46:2 and hatsoveot means probably "...
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What is the significance of the Choshen stones assigned to each tribe?

Shemot 28:17-20 discusses the types of stones and their arrangements on the Choshen (breastplate). Each stone had the name of a tribe inscribed in it. Verse 21 mentions that the order of the stones ...
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Bereishit 3 :22 Angels or Hashem

Bereishit 3 22 And the LORD God said: 'Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree Here is a major question I have,...
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Is G-d chasing out the Cananite nations or does B'nai Yisra'el have to do this?

There appears to be a conflict of ideas regarding who should rid the land of Cana'an from its inhabitants: Exodus 23:28-29 (Sefaria): וְשָׁלַחְתִּ֥י אֶת־הַצִּרְעָ֖ה לְפָנֶ֑יךָ וְגֵרְשָׁ֗ה אֶת־...
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What was the “tzir'a”?

Exodus 23:28: וְשָׁלַחְתִּ֥י אֶת־הַצִּרְעָ֖ה לְפָנֶ֑יךָ וְגֵרְשָׁ֗ה אֶת־הַחִוִּ֧י אֶת־הַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֛י וְאֶת־הַחִתִּ֖י מִלְּפָנֶֽיךָ׃ And I will send the hornet before thee, which shall drive ...
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Understanding G-d's description as a “doctor” or “healer”

I am trying to understand the concept of describing G-d's role as a רופא- loosely translated as "healer" and how it relates to His connection with sickness or ailments. Compare: Exodus 15:26: ...
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64 views

Where was Joshua waiting while Moses was on Mt. Sinai receiving the 1st tablets?

In the "Ten Commandments" movie, they depict Joshua waiting for Moses somewhere just below the top of the mountain. I know that Hollywood tends to embellish the facts, but I'm curious if Joshua ...
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Exodus 19:16- “that were in the camp”

Regarding Exodus 19, verse 16: Why is it necessary to state that all the people “that were in the camp” had trembled? In other words, is not the phrase “in the camp” superfluous here?
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Explain usage of diffrent verbs in Shemot 18:20

Exodus 18:20: וְהִזְהַרְתָּ֣ה אֶתְהֶ֔ם אֶת־הַחֻקִּ֖ים וְאֶת־הַתּוֹרֹ֑ת וְהוֹדַעְתָּ֣ לָהֶ֗ם אֶת־הַדֶּ֙רֶךְ֙ יֵ֣לְכוּ בָ֔הּ וְאֶת־הַֽמַּעֲשֶׂ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר יַעֲשֽׂוּן׃ My translation - ...
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60 views

Did Moses divorce Tziporah? [duplicate]

Exodus 18:2: וַיִּקַּ֗ח יִתְרוֹ֙ חֹתֵ֣ן מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֶת־צִפֹּרָ֖ה אֵ֣שֶׁת מֹשֶׁ֑ה אַחַ֖ר שִׁלּוּחֶֽיהָ׃ And Jethro, Moses’father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses’wife, after he had sent her away ...
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Why is there a change in wording between “great” and “hard” in Shemot 18:22 and Shemot 19:26?

Exodus 18:22: וְשָׁפְט֣וּ אֶת־הָעָם֮ בְּכָל־עֵת֒ וְהָיָ֞ה כָּל־הַדָּבָ֤ר הַגָּדֹל֙ יָבִ֣יאוּ אֵלֶ֔יךָ וְכָל־הַדָּבָ֥ר הַקָּטֹ֖ן יִשְׁפְּטוּ־הֵ֑ם וְהָקֵל֙ מֵֽעָלֶ֔יךָ וְנָשְׂא֖וּ אִתָּֽךְ׃ ...
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54 views

Assist with understanding Shada"l regarding grammatic usage in Shemot 18:26

Exodus 18:26 (minor modif. to Sefaria English): וְשָׁפְט֥וּ אֶת־הָעָ֖ם בְּכָל־עֵ֑ת אֶת־הַדָּבָ֤ר הַקָּשֶׁה֙ יְבִיא֣וּן אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה וְכָל־הַדָּבָ֥ר הַקָּטֹ֖ן יִשְׁפּוּט֥וּ הֵֽם׃ And they ...
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55 views

How many days was B'nei Yisra'el given to prepare for receiving the Torah?

I am trying to resolve what appears to be a conflict in several sources. Avot D'rav Natan 2:3 (excerpt) איזו סייג שעשה משה לדבריו? הרי הוא אומר: (שמות יט) "ויאמר ה' אל משה, לך אל העם וקדשתם ...
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Shemot (Exodus) 17:4 - Why does Moses think that the people will stone him?

Exodus 17:4: וַיִּצְעַ֤ק מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶל־יְהוָ֣ה לֵאמֹ֔ר מָ֥ה אֶעֱשֶׂ֖ה לָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֑ה ע֥וֹד מְעַ֖ט וּסְקָלֻֽנִי׃ My translation: And Moses cried to G-d, saying: ‘What shall I do to this ...
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164 views

Where is the source for assigning a pasuk to each year since creation?

I remember having been told that there are those who assign each of the 5845 pesukim in the Torah to each year since creation. This is from memory as I have not found the reference yet. Would anyone ...
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“ויחזק” Vs “ויכבד”

Throughout Parshat Vaeira, Bo, and Beshalach, these two phrases are interchangeably employed. Either Pharoah's heart is "strengthened"- "החזיק", or "heavy"- "כבד" (obviously these are loose ...
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What type of reason was G-d giving Moshe to go to Pharaoh (Shemot 10:1)?

Exodus 10:1: וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה בֹּ֖א אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֑ה כִּֽי־אֲנִ֞י הִכְבַּ֤דְתִּי אֶת־לִבּוֹ֙ וְאֶת־לֵ֣ב עֲבָדָ֔יו לְמַ֗עַן שִׁתִ֛י אֹתֹתַ֥י אֵ֖לֶּה בְּקִרְבּֽוֹ׃ And the LORD ...
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1answer
37 views

What was wrong with Pharoah?

How מכה after מכה,‎ פרעה could just go and still deny בנ"י the right to leave is preposterous. And maybe you’ll say ה'‏ hardened his heart- but this is only after the last five מכות; the first ...
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Did B'nei Yisra'el do EXACTLY as Moshe had commanded them? [duplicate]

There appears to be a "conflict" in what two verses are stating regarding what B'nai Yisra'el asked from the Egyptians. The 2nd verse, which occurs just prior to their leaving Egypt says (Sefaria ...
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64 views

What is the 'plain meaning of the text'? [duplicate]

There are four general categories of explanation to the Torah based on the acronym of 'Pardes ' פרדס, פשט רמז דרוש סוד. This is like is found by the Vilna Gaon in his commentary on Mishlei 1:21, the ...