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

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Where were Yaakov's own animals when his wives' were divided into two camps?

At the beginning of Vayishlach, Yaakov divides his possessions into two camps. Chizkuni, seemingly bothered by Rashi's question about the gender of "המחנה האחת", explains that it means (not "the ...
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Tazria-Metsora Parsha Riddle [closed]

You might see me but i don't affect you yet, I come in all shapes and sizes, and i stopped the B'nai Yisroel in the desert for a week. ??????Who am I???????
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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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Are Esau/Edom and Yishmael included among the 70 nations?

We all know that all the people on the earth came actually of 70 nations (even though lots of them became mixed recently). And we all know that every one of these nations has an angel to guard it. ...
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Does Devarim 17:12 refer to a recalcitrant litigant or a rebellious local judge?

In an answer to this other question, someone asserted that rather than referring to a recalcitrant litigant, Devarim 17:12 refers, according to Jewish tradition, to a rebellious local judge. That ...
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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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142 views

hints from verses that 6 days of creation is not literal

Are there hints in the verses of Genesis that the 6 "days" of creation are not literal, i.e. not 24 hour periods but rather some kind of "era".
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Why was Aharon not liable for issuing a ruling around his teacher?

The Chumash (Shemini 10:16 and onwards) describe an argument between Moshe and Aharon. Aharon's two sons died by the hands of Hashem and he became an Onen who cannot eat sacrifices. Moshe gave him an ...
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What is “חכמת לב”?

In this week's Torah portion (Vayakhel) we read about the Jews helping out in the building of the Tabernacle. When referring to the talent (or mastery) in doing so, the Torah uses the term "חכמת לב". ...
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209 views

Adam masculine and feminine?

I've gotten the advice to ask this question apart from another question i asked (Elohim plural singular): so here it is Bereshit 5:1 reads according to my own words: 'In/On the day that Elohim ...
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Explain how the last word of Yosef's “oath” got into the verse in Shemot 13:19

In Shemot 13:19, the verse quotes the oath that Yosef made his brothers and descendants swear about carrying his bones when they leave Egypt. Compare these words in this verse with the actual oath ...
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How to reconcile a sod the conflicts with the peshat?

We have a tradition that the Torah can be learned with four methods: pshat, remez, derush and sod. It is also known that the pshat (simple meaning) holds true. If so, how then can it be reconciled ...
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Why does the posuk emphasise that Lavan was Ya’akov’s uncle?

It says in Bereishis 29:10: וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר רָאָה יַעֲקֹב אֶת-רָחֵל, בַּת-לָבָן אֲחִי אִמּוֹ, וְאֶת-צֹאן לָבָן, אֲחִי אִמּוֹ; וַיִּגַּשׁ יַעֲקֹב, וַיָּגֶל אֶת-הָאֶבֶן מֵעַל פִּי הַבְּאֵר, ...
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Why does Eliezer change facts in retelling what happened at the well?

There are 4 times in parshat Chayeii Sarah that the events at the well are related: The first is 24:14 (English from the chabad website) - what Eliezer prays for And it will be, [that] the maiden ...
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What is the significance of the gifts that Eliezer gave to Rivka?

The verse states (24:22): ויקח האיש נזם זהב בקע משקלו ושני צמידים על ידיה עשרה זהב משקלם the man took a golden nose ring, weighing half [a shekel], and two bracelets for her hands, weighing ...
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The earlier an idea in the Torah is presented, the more primary it is

I remember hearing or reading once that ideas/lessons taught early on in the Torah (she'biksav), say in Be'reishis, are more primary ideas than those that are presented later on. My question is, does ...
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Aaron Hakohen and his children

Why did Aaron get praised when he was silent upon hearing of the death of his children - wouldn't that seem to be very cold and unfeeling?
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What was the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal?

Judges 9:57 OJPS and all the wickedness of the men of Shechem did God requite upon their heads; and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal. My understanding on this book is ...
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What tree represents Jotham and/or Abimelek?

What tree represents Jotham and/or Abimelek? Or am I completely missing the point of this parable? Help would be appreciated. Judges 9:7-15 OJPS 7 And when they told it to Jotham, he went and ...
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150 views

Adom eating from tree of knowledge

Why didn't Adom eat from the tree of life first and then eat from the tree of knowledge so he can live forever? Do any Medorshim discuss this?
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Who is the Nasi in Ezekiel?

BS"D I was rereading Yehhezqei'l and was curious about the context of something towards the end. In pereq 46 from 1-18 it talks about a Nasi (prince), for example : "And the prince, when they go ...
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103 views

Og's bed made of iron

Devarim 3:11 desribes Og's bed as being made from iron. What does the the Torah add by describing Og's bed as being made from iron? The Ramban comments that it demonstrates how tall he was, that wood ...
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Kindness and truth

The Posuk says (Gen 47:29): וְעָשִׂיתָ עִמָּדִי חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת Translated as do with me Kindness and truth Rashi is bothered that Chesed and Emes are two different things so Rashi says: חסד ...
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89 views

Why the name Beer Sheva

The Posuk says: וַיִּקְרָא אֹתָהּ שִׁבְעָה עַל כֵּן שֵׁם הָעִיר בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה Translated as: And he named it Shibah; therefore, the city is named Beer sheba until this very day ...
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443 views

What does the term “sons of G-d” mean?

The term "sons of G-d" בני האלהים is found 3 times in the Hebrew Bible, once in Genesis (6:2), and twice in Job (1:6 and 2:1). What does it mean? Does it have the same meaning in both instances? What ...
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Confusion in Yeshayahu's Propechies..?

I was looking through Isaiah and come across these weird passages: (2) And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians, and they shall war one man against his brother, and a man against his friend, ...
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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?
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In the Zchus (merit) of?

Which specific Zchus did Miriam have for the well,Moshe for the מן Mann, and Ahron for the Ananie Hakovod (clouds of glory)?
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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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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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How is it that no one spots Potiphar's wife's lie?

There appears to be something strange about Potiphar telling people in her home that she called out in a loud voice. Genesis 39:14: וַתִּקְרָ֞א לְאַנְשֵׁ֣י בֵיתָ֗הּ וַתֹּ֤אמֶר לָהֶם֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר ...
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162 views

Inner being: Soul or Spirit?

Bereshit (Genesis) 2:7 reads: 'vayipach beapav nishmat chayim vayehi ha'adam lenefesh chayah' Is my inner being a 'soul' or a 'spirit', or am I a 'soul' or am I a 'spirit'? Let me make myself clear: ...
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Ibn Ezra at the Yam Suf - Hashem saved them THAT day?

The Torah says in Sh'mos 14:30 . . .וַיּוֹשַׁע ה' בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיַּד מִצְרָיִם That day God saved Yisra'el from the hand of Mitzrayim. . . I wondered why in this context ...
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Linking Vatimalei ha'aretz

In the beginning of Sefer Shemot (1:7), the text describes the population of Beni Yisrael as growing at such a rate that "vatimalei ha'aretz otam" the land was full of them. This construction appears ...
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Why does Yaakov mention the two camps to Hashem?

When Yaakov was praying to Hashem in chapter 32, he points out in verse 11 how much Hashem has done for him by saying כי במקלי עברתי את הירדן הזה ועתה הייתי לשני מחנות, 'for with my stick I crossed ...
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How does the Rambam understand the end of Shir Hashirim?

The Rambam in Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah, 6:9, states: Every mention of the name "Shelomoh" in the Song of Songs is sacred, except [8:12]: "You, Shelomoh, may have the thousand." (trans. by ...
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אמר Divine Speech?

ב"ה I have heard this idea, but I could never find a source for it. The idea is that in certain circumstances when the Torah uses the word ואמר referring to Hashem speaking that it means that the ...
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In parshas Shemini why were Aharon and his sons not referred to by their title “the Kohanim”?

When the Torah mentions the Kohanim in connection with their priestly service, it usually describes them as 'the Kohanim'. For example, in Vayikra 1:8 it says “and the sons of Aharon the Kohanim shall ...
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Miswa of Lifne Iwer isn't what the words mean literally?

My fellow Jew (let's call him Bob) and I were discussing the Miswa of "You shall not place a stumbling block in front of a blind person (Wayikra 19)". Bob was saying that that verse was referring to ...
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60 views

Singular and plural language in Vaikra 10:1

In parashat shemini, chapter 10, verse 1 it is written: וַיִּקְחוּ בְנֵי אַהֲרֹן נָדָב וַאֲבִיהוּא אִישׁ מַחְתָּתוֹ וַיִּתְּנוּ בָהֵן אֵשׁ וַיָּשִׂימוּ עָלֶיהָ קְטֹרֶת וַיַּקְרִיבוּ לִפְנֵי ...
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Why not give tzeddakah before shmittah?

Devarim 15:7 cautions us not to withhold help to others because of the approach of the shmittah year. However, the help we would expect to give would be charity and thus would not be repaid. If ...
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Onkelos on Deut. 4:19

In Devarim 4:19, Onkelos translates ונדחת as ותטעי and והשתחוית as ותסגוד. First, what exactly is he trying to convey with ותטעי? I think of טעות as "whoops", and hopefully there's no serious damage, ...
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132 views

Why does Rashi comment on some verb-לו phrases and not others?

A feature of lashon hakodesh (Biblical Hebrew) is that a verb is sometimes followed by "לו", inflected for the person, number, and gender of the subject, without the "לו" indicating an object of the ...
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63 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 ...
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Why does the pasuk describing idols leave out “speaking?”

In Parshas Vaeschanan the Posuk says: עֲבַדְתֶּם שָׁם אֱ־לֹהִים מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵי אָדָם עֵץ וָאֶבֶן אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִרְאוּן וְלֹא יִשְׁמְעוּן וְלֹא יֹאכְלוּן וְלֹא יְרִיחֻן Translated as: And there ...
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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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109 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 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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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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Is nechoshet copper, brass or bronze [duplicate]

In the bible the word נחושת means what? I saw a few translations: copper, brass, bronze. What is the definition of the word