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

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“bechor hashifcha” and “bechor hashvi” — why the change? (Shemos 11:5, 12:29)

During leining today, I noticed that the Torah changes its wording, when describing the breadth of Makkas Bechoros -- when Pharaoh is warned, in Shemot 11:5, we have: וּמֵת כָּל בְּכוֹר בְּאֶרֶץ ...
3
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1answer
43 views

What didn't Ya'akov believe when his sons told him that Yosef was alive?

Bresihit 45:26 says that when Ya'akov's sons returned from Egypt (the 2nd time) they say, "Yoseph is alive and he is ruling over Egypt"; the end of the verse says that Ya'akov didn't believe them. ...
3
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49 views

Why is Yaakov calling Esau “Master”?

It is stated in this weeks Parsha, Parshas Vayishlach 32:5: That he commanded them, saying, "This is what you should say to my master to Esau, 'this is what is what your servant Yaakov said, "I ...
3
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29 views

Why is there a paragraph break in the middle of the list of travels?

In (Bamidbar Ch. 33) the Torah lists all the stops the Israelites made in the desert. Between verses 39 and 40, there is a parsha-break, represented by the ס in the linked text, which is the Torah's ...
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90 views

When did Moshe warn Bnei Yisrael not to go up Har Sinai?

Shemos 19:23 ויאמר משה אל יהוה לא יוכל העם לעלת אל הר סיני כי אתה העדתה בנו לאמר הגבל את ההר וקדשתו Moshe said "the nation can't come up, because you warned us to set boundaries around the ...
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40 views

How to understand the use of גֹאֵל in Rus

I'm really perplexed by what is going on in megillas Rus. In chapter 3 Rus and Boaz keep talking about Boaz being a גֹאֵל, but גֹאֵל of what? Boaz is the uncle of Machlon and Kilyon and as such he ...
3
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126 views

What were Naomi's sins?

According to the commentary at the bottom of the Artscroll TaNa"Ch, in the beginning of the book of Ruth, Na'omi attempted to dissuade her daughters-in-law from following and staying connected to her ...
3
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169 views

Noah's Ark Submarine

Are there any meforshim (commentators) who believe that Noah's ark was a submarine that went under water? I remember seeing a Seforno on this but don't remember more; it could even be on this site ...
3
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60 views

Why do we get “so did they do” for the commandment of expelling tamei people in Parashat Naso?

Parashat Naso, in Numbers 5:1-3, presents a commandment to "send from the camp" anyone who is tamei due to either tzara'at or a zav-type discharage. After that, we have Verse 4, affirming that the ...
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134 views

Who is speaking in Ex. 3:17?

Sh'mos 3:15–18 reads: ‏15 וַיֹּאמֶר עוֹד אֱלֹהִים אֶל מֹשֶׁה…. 16 לֵךְ וְאָסַפְתָּ אֶת זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם יהוה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵיכֶם נִרְאָה אֵלַי… לֵאמֹר פָּקֹד ...
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166 views

Why use an active verb with no subject?

In parshat Noach, perek 7, pasuk 23, The opening word "וַיִּמַח" is presented as an active verb, attested to by the presence of the word אֶת (I am summarizing the discussion of rashi and the ...
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22 views

Whats Up With Ascending Sinai: Kohanim

What is the role of the Kohanim in the ascent of Sinai? They are listed second in Exodus (19:22) as being prohibited from ascending, but are listed first in v. 24. Why single them out? why switch ...
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13 views

Whats up with Ascending Har Sinai: prohibition

What is the significance of the ascent onto Har Sinai and its prohibition? Why is the prohibition introduced in Exodus (19:12) not with the more traditional expression of "don't" but with the less ...
3
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35 views

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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Why does the Torah specify only that Lea'h's children were born in Padan Aram?

Breishit 46:15 states that "These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore unto Jacob in Paddan-aram..." What is the significance of the Torah telling us where the children were born, and why does it ...
3
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100 views

Re-explaining parshanut when the explanation is given

Over Shabbos, I heard the same dvar Torah twice - basically, that which the Talmud says Yaakov went back for his small vessels that he had forgotten (Bereishis 32:25) was because he understood that ...
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How good was Yaakov's trickery?

Yaakov told Rachel that " וַיַּגֵּד יַעֲקֹב לְרָחֵל כִּי אֲחִי אָבִיהָ הוּא וְכִי בֶן רִבְקָה הוּא וַתָּרָץ וַתַּגֵּד לְאָבִיהָ:" And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's kinsman and that he ...
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30 views

Sukkot--Object or place name?

Does anyone translate "סֻכּוֹת" in Vayikra 23:43 as a place name rather than an object (see Shmot 12:37 and 13:20, where it's a place name)? Might the Toarah mean "celebrate Sukkot because that's the ...
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61 views

Why did God send Dovid to Hebron specifically?

In Shmuel Bet 2:1, Dovid asks God which city he should go to and God tells him to go to Hebron. What is the reason he is told to go to that city specifically? I have seen commentaries explain that it ...
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22 views

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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37 views

Did all the tribes listen to their leaders in the sin of the spies?

Why did the tribes of Ephraim and Yehuda not listen to their respective leaders, Yehoshua bin Nun and Kalev ben Yefuneh in the sin on the spies? (See Numbers 13:2, which says they were leaders.) It ...
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30 views

Timing of the Princes' Appointment

Parshas Bamidbar begins with the apparent appointing of 12 nesiim (princes) who would help Moshe with the counting (and presumably have some other administrative or authoritative role). Parshas Naso ...
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28 views

Numbers in Numbers - always round [duplicate]

Why is it that the numbers in the censuses taken in the desert always contain round numbers? Generally speaking, with the only exception being Gad, all the numbers seem to be rounded to the hundreds, ...
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153 views

Saadia Gaon on the Torah Original Arabic

Is the commentary of the Torah (not the translation) of Saadia Gaon in the original Arabic available online?
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72 views

From which tribe were the Mapilim of Num 14:40?

A number of Jews tried to enter eretz yisroel after the incident of the spies (see Bamidbar 14:40-45). I would like to know from which tribe they came. I know that at least one person may have been ...
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53 views

How many languages were used by Shem's descendants?

Parshat Noach, 10:31: These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their languages, in their lands, after their nations. אֵלֶּה בְנֵי-שֵׁם, לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לִלְשֹׁנֹתָם, ...
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36 views

What does Koheles 9:1 have to do with the surrounding verses?

The last part of chapter 8 of קהלת and the first part of chapter 9 discuss the fact that good things happen to bad people and bad things to good people. It notes that this is a shame, since it leads ...
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104 views

Could Yonah's “whale” have been a whale?

Just prior to the start of Yom Kippur this year, a young child corrected me when I mentioned Yonah's whale and said that, "it wasn't a whale; it was a Dag Gadol." I had to admit, this was good ...
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59 views

Are there discussions of the difference in what Lavan says and what Hashem actually did?

I apologize in advance if this is obvious but I simply haven't stumbled on anything which answers this yet. In Bereishit 31, Hashem gives a message directly to Lavan. Apparently (as reported in the ...
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63 views

Commentaries concerning the meaning of Breishit 1:1

What do the Rabbis say about the meaning of the beginning of the Tanach – specifically, do they read the first verse as a kind of overview of creation (since Shamayim and Aretz did not exist before ...
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188 views

Magicians' Inability to Interpet Pharaoh's Dreams

The Posuk says (Genesis 41:3): וְהִנֵּה שֶׁבַע פָּרוֹת אֲחֵרוֹת עֹלוֹת אַחֲרֵיהֶן מִן הַיְאֹר רָעוֹת מַרְאֶה וְדַקּוֹת בָּשָׂר וַתַּעֲמֹדְנָה אֵצֶל הַפָּרוֹת עַל שְׂפַת הַיְאֹר Translated as: ...
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108 views

Why is the return to Egypt on boats?

The Posuk says (Devarim 28:68): וֶהֱשִׁיבְךָ יְ־הֹוָ־ה מִצְרַיִם בָּאֳנִיּוֹת בַּדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר אָמַרְתִּי לְךָ לֹא תֹסִיף עוֹד לִרְאֹתָהּ And the LORD shall bring thee back into Egypt in ...
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4answers
227 views

Why G-d had to confuse people's languages in the land of Shinar?

Why G-d had to confuse people's languages in the land of Shinar and scatter them across the Earth with diverse languages? What moral does Genesis 11:5–8 coveny to mankind execept the fact that "in ...
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4answers
121 views

Why Bless Eisav and not Yackov

Why was that Yizhak originally chose to Bless Eisav and not Yackov, at least he should have Blessed both equaly what was his thinking?
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113 views

Yitzchok falls for Eisav's tricks?

The Posuk says: ויהי עשיו איש יודע ציד וגו' (בראשית כה, כז)‏ Translated as: ... and Eisav was a man who knew how to hunt ... Rashi comments: יודע ציד, לצוד ולרמות את אביו בפיו ...
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1answer
143 views

Is there an explanation for the seeming contradiction in Leviticus 27:9-10?

I'm looking at Leviticus 27:9-10, and it contains two commandments that are seemingly contradictory. Here's the text: And if it be a beast, whereof men bring an offering unto the LORD, all that ...
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3answers
161 views

Why did Pharaoh try to kill Moshe?

Moshe Rabbeinu was raised in Pharaoh's house. Yet when Dasan and Aviram claimed that Moshe killed an Egyptian taskmaster, Pharaoh tried to kill him (Shemot 2:13-15). Why would an all powerful tyrant ...
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2answers
579 views

How many Kosher animals were in Noach's Ark?

How many animals total of each Kosher species were in the teivah during the flood?
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3answers
74 views

What was the main job duty of Sar Hatabahim?

The word Tabah means to cook. In modern Hebrew, a Mitbah is a kitchen. In Arabic, Tabaha means "he cooked". And yet, from what I can find, nearly all Biblical commentators, Jewish and gentile, by the ...
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1answer
163 views

What is the traditional interpretation of Dt. 18:18?

The Torah contains a prophecy of a future Prophet who will be like Moses: I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee; and I will put My words in his mouth, and he ...
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105 views

Is the tree of the field a man?

Dvarim 20:19 reads: כִּי תָצוּר אֶל עִיר יָמִים רַבִּים לְהִלָּחֵם עָלֶיהָ לְתָפְשָׂהּ לֹא תַשְׁחִית אֶת עֵצָהּ לִנְדֹּחַ עָלָיו גַּרְזֶן כִּי מִמֶּנּוּ תֹאכֵל וְאֹתוֹ לֹא תִכְרֹת כִּי הָאָדָם ...
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156 views

Interpretations of the Akeidah

Our Torah class in school is studying the Akeidah. What different approaches do the meforshim take in interpreting it (e.g. Rashbam says it was a punishment, lehavdil Kierkegaard says it was about ...
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3answers
131 views

difference between תולעים and רמה

In Beshalach 16:20: וְלֹא שָׁמְעוּ אֶל מֹשֶׁה וַיּוֹתִרוּ אֲנָשִׁים מִמֶּנּוּ עַד בֹּקֶר וַיָּרֻם תּוֹלָעִים וַיִּבְאַשׁ וַיִּקְצֹף עֲלֵהֶם מֹשֶׁה:‏ A few Pesukim later in 16:24: ...
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2answers
67 views

What would Avraham have done if Lot didn't choose to go to Sdom?

So Avraham tells Lot, "we need to separate; if you go right I'll go left, and vice-versa." Lot chose to go to Sdom, which was wicked. Had Lot chosen otherwise, would Avraham have gone to Sdom?
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2answers
125 views

Riddle: Another name for Noach [closed]

What was Noach's other name?
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1answer
185 views

What is the proper translation of Samuel 1:17?

I have seen two translations of Samuel 1:17. Mechon Mamre says: Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant thy petition that thou hast asked of Him The Art Scroll Rosh Hashannah Machzor ...
2
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1answer
56 views

Is there something shocking about the location of Mount Gerizim and Eval?

In Devarim 11:30, after describing the blessings and curses to be delivered on Har Gerizim and Eval, Moshe says the following: הלא המה בעבר הירדן אחרי דרך מבוא השמש בארץ הכנעני הישב בערבה מול ...
2
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2answers
121 views

Yosef “stretched his height” to conceal Rachel?

Rashi on Bereshit 33:7 relates that, when Yaakov's family presented themselves to Eisav, the mothers drew near before the sons, but in Rachel’s case, Yosef preceded her . ...He said, “My mother ...
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1answer
100 views

First Barren Woman to Bear Children [closed]

Who was the first akarah (barren woman) in the Torah to bear children?
2
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1answer
93 views

38 years or 40 years in the desert?

I'm confused regarding several apparently contradictory verses: Bamidbar 14:33 says that B;nai Yisra'el will wander the desert for 40 years. In Devarim 1:19 - 22, Moshe says that they arrived at ...