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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

3
votes
6answers
219 views

What else was in the Ark (Teiva)?

I heard that there is a Medrash that says that besides Noach, his wife, 3 sons, 3 daughters-in-law, animals, birds, and garbage there were others in the Teiva. What else was in the Teiva?
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Where did the Plishtim (Philistines) come from?

Concerning the Plishtim (Philistines), Easton's Bible Dictionary (quoted here) says: They occupied the five cities of Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath, in the south-western corner of ...
5
votes
1answer
131 views

How could Yaakov name his children Gad and Dan?

Shabbos 67b says Gad was the name of an idol of the Amorites, and Dan was an idol of Samaria. If we're not supposed to even say the name of idols, how could Yaakov name his sons after them? (or is it ...
3
votes
2answers
164 views

Was there space in the Aron for two sets of Luchot?

The Holy Ark was 2 1/2 Cubits, by 1 1/2 Cubits, by 1 1/2 Cubits (Shemot 25:10). The Talmud discusses (Baba Basra 14A-B) how much space the Luchot occupied in the Ark. The Talmud says that each tablet ...
2
votes
3answers
132 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: ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

“Placing” oil, but “placing” frankincense

When discussing the מנחת חוטא (the mincha form of the קרבן עולה ויורד), the Torah (Vayikra 5:11) instructs that לֹא יָשִׂים עָלֶיהָ שֶׁמֶן וְלֹא יִתֵּן עָלֶיהָ לְבֹנָה he will not place on it ...
3
votes
3answers
114 views

Why did Efron have such an extreme change of heart?

When Avram wanted to buy the field that belonged to Efron, Efron said I want to give it to you for free, then after Avram said that I wanted to pay for it Efron charged him a ridiculous price for it. ...
10
votes
1answer
171 views

Selah ~ Does it mean 'forever' 'certainly' 'basket' 'pause', 'yahoo', a kabbalistic meditative device, or none of the above?

Does anyone know a Jewish interpretation of "selah" in the psalms? Literally it seems to mean something about basket or hanging, but I don't know how this works into psalms. Jewish sites say it may ...
5
votes
4answers
291 views

Why does there seem to be different standards for future sinners?

In Bereshit (21:17) Rashi tells us that the Angels wanted G-d to kill Yishmael, but G-d said that He wouldn't judge him according to his future deeds, but rather according to his present state: In ...
7
votes
1answer
197 views

On Deuteronomy 28:23, Rashi says copper is “mazi'a”. What does this mean?

I have this question on Rashi every year in Ki Savo. Deuteronomy 28:23 says: "And the heavens above your head will be like copper and the earth that is beneath you, iron." Rashi says that the heavens ...
7
votes
1answer
82 views

What does Rash"i add on B'midbar 2:20?

In describing the layout of B'nei Yisra'el's camp in the wilderness, the Torah records four groups (called d'galim) comprising 3 tribes each, and lists them in order, dictating a diagram of how they ...
6
votes
1answer
71 views

Why is there a “Good” Type of Tzaraas?

I understand there's the type that actually makes a person Tamei, because the person did bad things (e.g. spoke Lashon Hara). But assuming tzaraas stems from a spiritual affliction, what purpose does ...
4
votes
2answers
70 views

Shalom Zachar and "the rain of your land in its season”

Rashi on Devorim 11 (14), “I will give the rain of your land in its season” says this will be on Shabbos nights when everyone will be found in their houses. How does this fit with the institution of ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Does “ki” have four meanings or one?

There is a well-known statement by Resh Lakish in Gitin (90) that כי" משמש בד' לשונות: אי, דלמא, אלא, דהא" "ki" expresses four meanings... There has been discussion over the ages as to what ...
6
votes
1answer
52 views

Could B'nei M'nashe have been placed with R'uven and Gad as a remedy to their separatism?

Does the following idea have any validity? Is it brought down anywhere? When members of the tribes of R'uven and Gad approached Moshe to unwaveringly request settlement on the east bank of the ...
7
votes
3answers
270 views

Question about the actions of Pinchas when he killed Zimri

The Gemara (Sanhedrin 82A), while relating the story of Pinchas killing Zimri, tells us the following: "And Phineas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it." (Bamidbar 25:7) Now, ...
3
votes
3answers
131 views

why isn't moshe considered a “forefather”

if moshe led us out of egypt, into israel, and is a great man why isn't he considered a forefather.
1
vote
1answer
334 views

Why does Pinchas come to the Bris? [closed]

Why does Pinchas who is Eliyahu Hanavi (Elijah the Prophet) come to Brissim and what does it have to do with this Parshas Pinchas?
3
votes
5answers
190 views

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?
6
votes
5answers
256 views

(Neis) Miracle of Sarah giving birth at 90

We all know how in Parshas Vayeira the miracle of Sarah giving birth @ 90 takes place. In Mitzrayim Yocheved gave birth @ 130 yet there is no mention of this. Was it not a bigger miracle? Then why is ...
12
votes
3answers
188 views

In the Bible, why did robbers bother tunneling into houses to rob them?

Exodus 22:1 speaks about the robber who was found "tunnelling in" to someone's house (vis-a-vis self-defense). Is that just a figure of speech, or did they actually go to that much trouble? (What ...
4
votes
3answers
119 views

Rachav's home in the wall

Rachav's home was built into the wall of Y'richo, with an outward-facing window (Y'hoshua 2:15, M'tzudas David). This window had to be recognizable when the Jews destroyed the city, so they'd know to ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

“The Romans' Book” in Ramba"n

The commentary of Ramba"n on Vayikra 26:16 explains a large swath of parashas B'chukosai as an allegory to the two batei Mikdash and the corresponding exiles. Included therein, he elaborates on the ...
1
vote
3answers
109 views

Egel- Why EILEH is Plural

Why when the Jews made the egel, a single bull, they use the words Eilah Elohecha Yisroel which is plural?
2
votes
2answers
96 views

connection between the mishkan and the egel hazahav

do you guys know of any sources that connect the physical construction of the egal with the construction of the mishkan - both are made of gold and the beginning of parshat terumah starts by talking ...
6
votes
2answers
215 views

riddle about who 2 people in the torah are [closed]

Name 2 figures in the Torah that their mother is their sister, their aunts and uncles are dead, and their father is their grandfather.
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Becoming aware of the sight of Holiness

When Avrohom and yitschok came before har hamoriah for the akaida they both recognized that it would take place top of the mount for they saw from afar the divine presence radiating atop thus they ...
2
votes
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?
4
votes
2answers
93 views

“The drinking was according to doctrine, no forcing.” — Forcing to drink, or forcing to stop drinking?

The party is described at the beginning of the book of Esther as having drinking with "ein oness" -- "there was none forcing." I'd always heard (assumed?) that meant no one would force you to drink ...
5
votes
3answers
140 views

In the book of Esther, was Haman plotting to kill/overthrow Ahasueros?

At first reading, Haman is very powerful and wants to use that power to kill the Jews, but he's not actually interested in harming his boss, King Ahasueros ("Achashveirosh" to most of us), in any way. ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Ma'ase avos siman l'banim - prescriptive or descriptive?

The concept of the actions of the forebears being an indication of their descendants' actions is referred to by many commentators and midrashim, including the famous Ramba"n on B'reshis 12. What is ...
2
votes
2answers
66 views

Took you out of Egypt and the house of slaves

אָנֹכִי יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים Why does it say both מִצְרַיִם then בֵּית עֲבָדִים seems to be the same thing to me?
1
vote
1answer
80 views

400 Years in Egypt (?)

I know that Samuel David Luzzatto (1800-1865) said that we served all 400 years in Egypt as opposed to just 210. Are then any other "famous" commentators that say this?
2
votes
1answer
42 views

Moshe Judges דָּבָר הַגָּדֹל or דָּבָר הַקָּשֶׁה

In the first Posuk it says: וְשָׁפְטוּ אֶת הָעָם בְּכָל עֵת וְהָיָה כָּל הַדָּבָר הַגָּדֹל יָבִיאוּ אֵלֶיךָ Then in the later Posuk it says: אֶת הַדָּבָר הַקָּשֶׁה יְבִיאוּן אֶל מֹשֶׁה The ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Number then Names

וְאֵת שְׁנֵי בָנֶיהָ אֲשֶׁר שֵׁם הָאֶחָד גֵּרְשֹׁם כִּי אָמַר גֵּר הָיִיתִי בְּאֶרֶץ נָכְרִיָּה וְשֵׁם הָאֶחָד אֱלִיעֶזֶר כִּי אֱלֹהֵי אָבִי בְּעֶזְרִי וַיַּצִּלֵנִי מֵחֶרֶב פַּרְעֹה Why tell us how ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

To Fear or not to Fear that is the question

The Posuk starts off: וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל-הָעָם אַל-תִּירָאוּ Then it goes on too say: וּבַעֲבוּר תִּהְיֶה יִרְאָתוֹ עַל-פְּנֵיכֶם לְבִלְתִּי תֶחֱטָאוּ The question is she we fear or not?
1
vote
2answers
75 views

Daughters First

כֹּה תֹאמַר לְבֵית יַעֲקֹב וְתַגֵּיד לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל Rashi say that בֵית יַעֲקֹב refers to the women He has an answer to this question but I know there are other good ones Why the Women first?
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Why does the Torah repeat the prohibition against touching Har Sinai?

First it says כָּל הַנֹּגֵעַ בָּהָר מוֹת יוּמָת Then a Posuk later: אִם בְּהֵמָה אִם אִישׁ לֹא יִחְיֶה Why is there a double death warning?
5
votes
1answer
183 views

Why does the Torah list animals before converts?

אַתָּה וּבִנְךָ וּבִתֶּךָ עַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתְךָ וּבְהֶמְתֶּךָ וְגֵרְךָ אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ Why would the Torah List animal before the Geirim?
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Why did Moshe want to go into Eretz Yisroel

The famous question of the Gemara (סוטה יד, א)is why did Moshe want to go into Eretz Yisroel did he want to eat of its fruit? The answer would seem to be simple he wanted to do the Mitzva of living in ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

Pesukim seemingly out of order in Parshas Bo

יד וְהָיָה כִּי-יִשְׁאָלְךָ בִנְךָ, מָחָר--לֵאמֹר מַה-זֹּאת: וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו--בְּחֹזֶק יָד הוֹצִיאָנוּ יְהוָה מִמִּצְרַיִם, מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים. טו וַיְהִי, כִּי-הִקְשָׁה פַרְעֹה לְשַׁלְּחֵנוּ, ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

And all the Army of Hashem Left

What does the Posuk mean when it says all of the Army of Hashem Left when did Bnei Yisroel turn into an Army or is it referring to Bnei Yisroel? יָצְאוּ כָּל צִבְאוֹת יְ־הֹוָ־ה מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם
3
votes
2answers
49 views

תֹּאכַל Versus יֵאָכֵל

Why does the Posuk from one posuk to the Next change the word for eating they could have both said יֵאָכֵל? Also why in one Posuk is it spelled מַצֹּת and the next posuk מַצּוֹת? Posuk Vov: ...
6
votes
5answers
158 views

The Meaning of Aishdas

I have read that Aishdas (Deut. 33:2) means "fiery law" or something of the sort. However, doesn't the word das with the meaning of law/religion come from Persian (i.e. did not have the meaning of ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

Yocheved giving birth so late [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: (Neis) Miracle of Sarah giving birth at 90 I think the RambaN ask the question that if Yocheved was born when Yaakov came down, then why doesn't the Torah mention the ...
5
votes
1answer
117 views

Order of birth of Ya'akov's children

The back of my Feldheim Tanakh has a timeline which gives the birth and death years of various Tanakh characters. The birth years of the sons of Ya'akov are not listed in the order given in Parashat ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

Why was Esav still angry

Why was Esav so angry at yaakov for stealing the bracha even though it was over 20 years since he saw him?
4
votes
1answer
102 views

Was Binyamin aware of Tzofnas Paaneach (aka Yosef)'s true identity?

While Yosef recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. I heard a Rosh Yeshiva suggest that Binyamin, who wasn't so absorbed in the soap opera, was able to recognize Yosef, but played ...
10
votes
2answers
397 views

Different types of Nevuah

What are the differences between the "typical" navi's prophecy, Moshe Rabbeinu's prophecy, and Bil'am HaRasha's prophecy? (Answers with sources [and preferably links to sources] only please!)