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

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What do we learn from the huge cluster of grapes?

The spies brought back a huge cluster of grapes, on a pole carried by lifting it at both ends. Presumably that sample was typical of the produce. Was the land equally fertile 40 years later when we ...
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Immediately after the sin of the spies, did B'nai Israel travel or did they stay in Kadesh?

There appear to be contradictory verses / explanations. Numbers 14:25: וְהָֽעֲמָלֵקִ֥י וְהַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֖י יוֹשֵׁ֣ב בָּעֵ֑מֶק מָחָ֗ר פְּנ֨וּ וּסְע֥וּ לָכֶ֛ם הַמִּדְבָּ֖ר דֶּ֥רֶךְ יַם־סֽוּף׃ ...
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What is the difference in definition for 3 terms used regarding “leavened” (chametz)?

The Torah uses 3 terms that all appear to mean "leavened food" (from English definitions that I could find): חמץ and שאור are mentioned in Exodus 12:15: שִׁבְעַ֤ת יָמִים֙ מַצּ֣וֹת תֹּאכֵ֔לוּ אַ֚ךְ ...
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31 views

Punishment of people who believed in the spies' report. How was it determined how long they should live?

Except for Kalev and Yehoshua, everyone over age 20 was destined to die within the 40 years wandering in the desert. Was there any criteria used as to how many more years a specific person was to ...
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Sidra question. Why did the spies in sh'lach become r'shoim and why then did Joshua send spies

The m'raglim were the greatest of the yidden. Even Joshua and Caleb had to be 'prayed' for or pray themselves they shouldnt join them. What was so difficult to bring about the 'correct' result. And ...
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How would worshiping G-d at Mt. Sinai be proof that G-d sent Moshe as a messenger?

In Shmot 3:12 G-d says that the proof that G-d sent Moses as a messenger to B'nai Yisra'el is that when he takes them out of Egypt, they will worship G-d at the very mountain that G-d is speaking to ...
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36 views

What does it mean “and they were prophesying”?

in Shmuel I chapter 19 Posuk 20. And Saul sent messengers to take David, and he saw the company of prophets prophesying and Samuel was standing as head over them; and a spirit from God was upon ...
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139 views

Did Reuven find out what had happened to Yosef?

In Bereishis 37:29: And Reuven returned to the pit and look! Yosef wasn't in the pit. But neither the verse nor Rashi, for that matter, explain if he ever found out what the brothers had done. ...
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41 views

Where was Moses when the Ten Commandments were given?

I am trying to picture in my mind the events here. Reading from Exodus 19-20: Ex 19:24 Then the LORD said to him, “Go down and come up again, you and Aaron with you; but do not let the priests and ...
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31 views

what is rah good for? [duplicate]

Question 1: Yeshayahu 45:7 describes the fact that Adonai created rah. Bereshit 1:31 tells us that Adonai did watch all that he had made and saw that it was tov me'od. If something like rah is created ...
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Can someone kindly explain the Malachi 3. 23 -24?

In Malachi 3:23 -24 it says 23. Lo, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord, 24. that he may turn the heart of the fathers back through ...
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144 views

Why all the talk about colored sheep and goats?

In the VaYetze weekly reading (Parasha) there is a long description of the colors of the sheep and goat: Akudim, Nekutim... What is the reason behind all of this descriptions? If the text wanted to ...
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95 views

Why specify the wind as the force for Hashem's miracles?

There seems to be a consistent phenomenon where the Torah relays a miracle or sign of Hashem, but only when He carries the act out through wind is the process specified. Why is this? See parshas Bo ...
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209 views

Could the destroyer in Egypt discriminate?

In Rashi's comment to Shemos 12:22 we read ואתם לא תצאו וגו': מגיד שמאחר שנתנה רשות למשחית לחבל אינו מבחין בין צדיק לרשע …once permission has been given to the משחית (destroyer) to ...
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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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What was Mordechai's excuse for checking on Ester?

When Ester was in the harem, and presumably after she became queen, Mordechai was constantly around to see how she was doing. וּבְכָל־י֣וֹם וָי֔וֹם מָרְדֳּכַי֙ מִתְהַלֵּ֔ךְ לִפְנֵ֖י חֲצַ֣ר ...
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Why did Yaakov give Yosef Shechem 'one more than his brothers' specifically?

וַאֲנִי נָתַתִּי לְךָ שְׁכֶם אַחַד עַל אַחֶיךָ - bereshis 48:22. Yaakov previously gave Yosef an additional article of clothing, which spurred the brother's hatred of him (Yosef). Why would Yaakov go ...
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78 views

If a woman's voice is considered nakedness, why would he ask to hear it?

As previously cited1, the Talmud Bavli (Masekhet Berakhot 24A) refers to a woman's voice as her nakedness (based on Shir HaShirim 2:14). If a woman's voice is her nakedness, why would the man ...
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Eating meat on a regular basis

It says in Vayikra Perek 17 Pasuk 13 (Parshas Achrei-Mos): "וְאִישׁ אִישׁ מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמִן הַגֵּר הַגָּר בְּתוֹכָם אֲשֶׁר יָצוּד צֵיד חַיָּה אוֹ עוֹף אֲשֶׁר יֵאָכֵל וְשָׁפַךְ אֶת דָּמוֹ ...
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The mysteries of Gan Eden.

Bereshit 1:1 and 2:4 seems to indicate that both stories are about the creation of heaven and earth, but then suddenly in verse 2:8 it states that HaShem planted a gan (garden) in Eden. Is Gan Eden ...
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17 views

Why are the commandments for the holiday of Succot interrupted by commandments regarding sacrifices in general?

Vayikra 23:33-36 discuss the celebration of Succot. Then, verses 37-38 interrupt the discussion by saying a general statement that these are the holidays when you should offer sacrifices. Then, verses ...
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Ps. 144:1 “Etzbe'otai l'milchama”?

Every motzaei Shabbat before ma'ariv, I have the custom to sing Tehillim 144 and Tehillim 67. However, the first passuk (verse) always confounds me: לְדָוִד: בָּרוּךְ יְהוָה, צוּרִי-- ...
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What is the problem with dogs?

Deuteronomy 23:19: לֹא תָבִיא אֶתְנַן זוֹנָה וּמְחִיר כֶּלֶב בֵּית יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְכָל נֶדֶר כִּי תוֹעֲבַת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ גַּם שְׁנֵיהֶם Why does the Torah have a problem with using the ...
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Is there a reason or pattern as to when the Torah uses אֵת instead of אֶת?

I noticed a mix of the two forms of the Hebrew objective marker commonly pronounced אֶת. in the Torah. (There is no English translation of this word. It is used only to notify that an object follows ...
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Why did the son of the Egyptian and Jew have to convert?

Rashi on Vayikra 24:10 says that the son of the Egyptian man (that Moshe killed) and Shlomit bat Divri converted: בתוך בני ישראל: מלמד שנתגייר: However, since his mother was a Jew, why did he ...
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71 views

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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7+7 clean animals(Noach 7:2)

Why is the clean animals mentioned only once and the rest of animals(a pair) is mentioned numerous times with the omission of the clean .
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If the Torah says that Yaakov was blind, how could he see Yosef's sons?

Bereishit 48:10 begins: וְעֵינֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ כָּבְד֣וּ מִזֹּ֔קֶן לֹ֥א יוּכַ֖ל לִרְא֑וֹת Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. However, pasuk 8 says: ...
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Why separate verses for the camel, hare, and hyrax?

In vayikra 11, we're given an overview of the kosher and non kosher animals. Among mammals, it singles out four as explicitly non kosher: the pig for only having split hooves, and the camel, hare, and ...
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Are there any explanations and / or halachot gleaned from “Do not insult the deaf?”

Leviticus 19:14: לֹא־תְקַלֵּ֣ל חֵרֵ֔שׁ וְלִפְנֵ֣י עִוֵּ֔ר לֹ֥א תִתֵּ֖ן מִכְשֹׁ֑ל וְיָרֵ֥אתָ מֵּאֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ אֲנִ֥י יְהוָֽה׃ Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling-block before the ...
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Why is a “leper” allowed to sit with other “lepers”?

In Parshat Tazria (Vayikra 13:46) we are told: All the days the lesion is upon him, he shall remain unclean. He is unclean; he shall dwell isolated; his dwelling shall be outside the camp As ...
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How does Rash"i (among others) know the correct translation of the date in Samuel I 20:27?

I Samuel 20:27 says: וַיְהִ֗י מִֽמָּחֳרַ֤ת הַחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙ הַשֵּׁנִ֔י וַיִּפָּקֵ֖ד מְק֣וֹם דָּוִ֑ד (ס) וַיֹּ֤אמֶר שָׁאוּל֙ אֶל־יְהוֹנָתָ֣ן בְּנ֔וֹ מַדּ֜וּעַ לֹא־בָ֧א בֶן־יִשַׁ֛י גַּם־תְּמ֥וֹל ...
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Questions surrounding Bilam's death

In Parshas Matos (Bamidbar 31:8) it says וְאֵת בִּלְעָם בֶּן-בְּעוֹר הָרְגוּ בֶּחָרֶב. Did Bilam do anything to avoid getting killed? What did he do? And who actually killed him?
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Why does the tribe of Gad have an unusual population count in Bamidbar 1?

When listing the census of the tribes in Bamidbar 1, only the tribe of Gad has the count 45,650 - I.e. - the count is not exactly on the hundreds as it is with all the other tribes. As the count was ...
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What is a “tinshemet”?

The תִּנְשָֽׁמֶת is mentioned twice regarding non-kosher animals. In Leviticus 11:18, among the non-kosher birds: וְאֶת־הַתִּנְשֶׁ֥מֶת וְאֶת־הַקָּאָ֖ת וְאֶת־הָרָחָֽם׃ In Leviticus 11:30. among the ...
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Why were Nadav and Avihu punished?

בס"ד "Rabbi Ishmael says: [They died because] they had entered the sanctuary after having drunk wine. The proof is that after their death, [Scripture] admonished the survivors that they may not ...
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What does the ל of לבעבור mean?

Shemos 20:17: ויֹּאמֶר משֶׁה אֶל הָעָם אַל תִּירָאוּ כִּי לְבַעֲבוּר נַסּוֹת אֶתְכֶם בָּא הָאֱלֹהִים וּבַעֲבוּר תִּהְיֶה יִרְאָתוֹ עַל פְּנֵיכֶם לְבִלְתִּי תֶחֱטָאוּ What does the 8th word in ...
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127 views

“Praiseworthy is he who will clutch and dash your infants against the rock”?

I do not understand the last lines of psalm 137 ("By the rivers of Babylon"/"Al naharos bovel," the psalm recited before Birkat Ha-Mazon on weekdays. [It includes the famous lines "Im eshkachech ...
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2k views

In Genesis 22:8-14, is there a difference between a ram and a lamb?

Having taken a translation from this website, which I am told to have Orthodox Jewish credentials, I am referring to Genesis 22:8-14 'God will see to a lamb for an offering, my son,' replied ...
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61 views

Why was Lech Lecha a Nisayon?

The Rambam in his commentary to the Mishna list the 10 Nisayon's, challenges, which Avraham went through and passed. The first one is when G‑d tells him to leave his homeland to be a stranger in the ...
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Was the world created for the sake of Bikkurim or Torah?

I was reading Let There Be Rain and on page 8 it says the following: "The world was created for the sake of the mitzvah of bikkurim,..." (Shemos 34:26) Yet the Tikkunei Zohar [78b] and Bereishis ...
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51 views

Shabbos sustaining the world

I heard from someone that “G-d created the world to last for six days plus the Shabbos. Then the Shabbos gives the world the spiritual energy to exist for another week and the cycle goes on ...
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38 views

Why the necessity of watching the wheat from the time of its cutting?

Exodus 12:17: וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם֮ אֶת־הַמַּצּוֹת֒ You shall watch the matzot Ibn Ezra on Exodus 12:17:1: ושמרתם. הנה צוה להיות המצות שמורים מימות הקציר My translation, which I hope is ...
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1answer
60 views

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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49 views

Why does God have Moshe use a name the Israelites won't know?

When God sends Moshe back to Egypt from Midyan, he instructs Moshe to refer to God as "Hashem." (Shemot 3:15) When Moshe returns from the task, God reveals that the Israelites (or at least their ...
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Why are so many of the sacrificial procedures discussed twice?

There are two passages in the Torah which detail the laws of a korban chatas (sin offering), one in Parshas Vayikra and the other in Parshas Tzav. These two passages are very close to each other; why ...
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28 views

Why does the Torah say כחטאת כאשם and not האשם כחטאת in Vayikro 7 (7)

Vayikro 7 (7) has the expression כַּחַטָּאת כָּאָשָׁם to mean that the אשם is like the חַטָּאת. The wording האשם כחטאת would seem to express this too and is used by Ramban on Braishis 15 (9). Is ...
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30 views

Trying to understand Targum of סביב

It seems every instance we have the word סביב in the Torah, Targum translates it as סחור סחור, a doubling of the word which I would have assumed would suffice in single format. See for instance ...
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81 views

What technology did King Solomon have?

I'm looking for sourced statements of modern technology possessed by King Solomon. So far I have seen: An answer here quotes the idea that King Solomon had a flying carpet of sorts. The Ben ...
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1answer
81 views

Why didn't Joshua appoint a leader after him?

When Joshua dies, he doesn't (at least not explicitly in Joshua 24 or Judges 1) appoint a spiritual or military leader after him. Joshua was appointed by Moses (Numbers 27:15-23) and that appears to ...