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

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3
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Was there lightning during the plague of hail?

Shmot 9:23 uses the word "Kolot", which means "noises" or "voices". I'm assuming, therefore, that this means thunder as this is a "noise". Scientifically, there is no thunder without lightning, ...
6
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2answers
80 views

Why the hidden mussar?

The first few words of Sefer Devarim are understood to be Moshe Rabbeinu hinting at different mistakes the Jewish people made in the desert, and he is giving them disguised rebuke. Rashi to Devarim ...
2
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1answer
53 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 ...
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2answers
37 views

Had B'nai Yisra'el not sent the spies, would they have had to fight against Amalek?

Rashi on Devarim 1:8 says that if it weren't for the sin with the spies, we would have never needed armaments. Bamidbar 14:25 tells us that Amalek lived in the valleys, and Devarim 25:29 states that ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

The Tyrian Smith's Lineage

Kings I ch. 7 tells of Solomon enlisting a Tyrian smith named Hiram to fashion many implements that were used in the Temple. He is said to be the orphaned son of a Tyrian man and a woman from ...
2
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0answers
22 views

Why is there a parsha break in the middle of a verse?

In this week's parsha, we see a parsha (stumah) "break" in the middle of Devarim 2:8. There are several other places where there is a parsha break in the middle of the verse. Another example occurs ...
3
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1answer
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 ...
2
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1answer
23 views

Can the “Go'el Hadam” kill the inadvertent killer if he lives in any refuge city after the Cohen Gadol dies?

Bamidbar 35:25 - 27 state that a person who inadvertantly kills someone must reside in the city of refuge until the Kohen Gadol dies. If that person leaves the refuge city, the "Go'el Hadam" (loose ...
11
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2answers
4k views

Do religious Jews generally believe the serpent of Gan Eden was Satan?

Upon reading the recent CNN article, That Actually Isn't In The Bible, one not-really-in-the-Bible misconception they cite is the idea that serpent in the Garden of Eden was the Satan. The article ...
4
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11answers
274 views

Pinchas Ben Yair's Donkey

וַיָּבֹא הָאִישׁ הַבַּיְתָה וַיְפַתַּח הַגְּמַלִּים וַיִּתֵּן תֶּבֶן וּמִסְפּוֹא לַגְּמַלִּים וּמַיִם לִרְחֹץ רַגְלָיו וְרַגְלֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ. Breishis 24:32 Rashi on this Posuk ...
8
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3answers
181 views

Donkey Talked and an Angel Appeared - Who Knew?

Why is no mention made of the reaction, of Balak’s officers who were accompanying Bilaam, to the talking donkey or the revelation of the angel?
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2answers
34 views

Did the daughters of Tzlafhad make two separate requests to Moshe or just one?

In both Bamidbar 36:5 and Bamidbar 27:6, we find that G-d commands Moshe regarding 2 different requests from B'not (daughters of) Tzlafhad. Even though the Torah records these in separate places, and ...
0
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1answer
66 views

Is Leviticus 19:16 a negative commandment?

I heard that the posuk "You shall not stand over the blood of your friend – I am Hashem" (Vayikra 19:16) is a לאו (negative commandment). Is that true? לא תעמד על דם רעך אני יקוק
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2answers
43 views

Who or what was Gilaad?

In parshas pinchas ch 26 vs 29 we find Menasheh had a son Machir who had a son Gilaad (גלעד). In fact this family group was called "Gilaadi" (גלעדי). At the end of parshas Matos ch 32 vs 39 - 40 we ...
4
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1answer
54 views

Would Moshe have lived longer if he had delayed fighting Midyan?

Rashi to Bamidbar 31:3 says: וידבר משה וגו': אף על פי ששמע שמיתתו תלויה בדבר עשה בשמחה ולא איחר: Moses spoke: Although he heard that his death depended on the matter, he did it joyfully, ...
0
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1answer
31 views

The Priest-King's name

In Kings II ch. 15, עזריה, Azariah son of Amaziah is said to reign over Judah. During his reign he is stricken with leprosy and lives out his days in this state, while his son Jotham rules in his ...
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2answers
35 views

The Tyrian Smith's Name

Kings I ch. 7 tells of Solomon enlisting a Tyrian smith named חירם, Hiram to fashion many implements that were used in the Temple. Chronicles II ch. 2 speaks of the King of Tyre sending a smith named ...
6
votes
3answers
92 views

Moav or Midian - who seduced the Jews at Shitim?

Who were the women seducers in Shitim who caused the Jewish people to stray after their gods (Baal Peor), discussed in Parshas Balak and Pinchas? On the one hand, it seems like the women came from ...
5
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3answers
175 views

Who is Tzippor?

Parashat Balaq indirectly references "Tzippor" five times (by introducing Balaq as "ben Tzippor"). I don't believe Rashi brings down any background regarding Tzippor. If the Torah refers to Balaq as ...
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3answers
71 views

Understanding Naomi selling a field

In Rus 4:3 Boaz says And he said to the near kinsman, "Naomi, who has returned from the field of Moab, is selling the portion of the field that belonged to our brother, to Elimelech. How does ...
3
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2answers
52 views

What is the plague being referred to in Parshas Korach?

Bamidbar 17:11 ויאמר משה אל אהרן קח את המחתה ותן עליה אש מעל המזבח ושים קטרת והולך מהרה אל העדה וכפר עליהם כי יצא הקצף מלפני יהוה החל הנגף And Moses said unto Aaron: 'Take thy fire-pan, and ...
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3answers
584 views

Why is Bil'am not surprised that his mule is talking to him?

During the scene in parshat Balak, it says that "God opened the mule's mouth" and it asked Bil'am why he hit him. Bil'am answers the donkey. It seems that he is not surprised at all that the donkey is ...
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1answer
28 views

What's the meaning of Daniel 9:26

Daniel 9:26: And after the threescore and two weeks shall an anointed one be cut off, and be no more; and the people of a prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; but his ...
6
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2answers
142 views

Why did Moshe need to go up Har Sinai to be told to go down?

Exodus 19:20-21 וַיֵּ֧רֶד יְהוָ֛ה עַל־ הַ֥ר סִינַ֖י אֶל־ רֹ֣אשׁ הָהָ֑ר וַיִּקְרָ֨א יְהוָ֧ה לְמֹשֶׁ֛ה אֶל־ רֹ֥אשׁ הָהָ֖ר וַיַּ֥עַל מֹשֶֽׁה׃ וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־ מֹשֶׁ֔ה ...
4
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1answer
74 views

Why does the Torah sometimes refer to Shabbat as a masculine noun and other times as a feminine noun?

There are times when the Torah refers to Shabat in feminine as in Shmot (Ex.) 31:13 "...But you shall observe my Shabbats, for SHE is a sign". Other times the masculine voice is used as in Shmot (Ex.) ...
6
votes
1answer
66 views

On the gender of the implied “פַּעַם שֵׁנִי” in Esther 2:14

Ester 2:14 speaks of each candidate for the title of queen consort: בָּעֶרֶב הִיא בָאָה וּבַבֹּקֶר הִיא שָׁבָה אֶל בֵּית הַנָּשִׁים שֵׁנִי In the evening she would arrive and in the morning ...
9
votes
3answers
119 views

When Tana“ch uses the phrase ”until today" what does it mean?

There are numerous places where Tana"ch uses the phrase "עד היום" or "עד היום הזה" ("until\to this day"). Usually, this phrase is used regarding the names of cities, towns, etc. - occasionally, such ...
4
votes
1answer
92 views

The status of Eliezer as a slave

I am going to piece together a variety of bits of information, so please bear with me. Eliezer was in charge of Avraham's house already before Avraham had his name changed (Bereishit 15:2) Eliezer ...
7
votes
1answer
150 views

Post-Korach altar cover: how was it made and used?

Numbers 17:2-5 describes the covering that was made for the altar from the fire-pans of Korach's rebels: [...] 4 And Eleazar the priest took the brazen fire-pans, which they that were burnt had ...
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1answer
93 views

Do primary sources unequivocally record coming of the Moshiach and establishing world order

Do the primary sources like Torah , tanach record the elaborate and supernatural propheises concerning the Moshiach? Rambam and talmud has described the qualities of Moshiach but do the primary ...
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4answers
2k views

What actually happened to Jacob's and Laban's sheeps and goats?

Genesis 30 (JPS): 34 And Laban said: 'Behold, would it might be according to thy word.' 35 And he removed that day the he-goats that were streaked and spotted, and all the she-goats that were ...
6
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3answers
113 views

Why were the Jews punished for 40 years if the spies were the ones who were there for 40 days?

Rashi (Bemidbar 13:25) implies that the Jews were in the Sinai Desert for 40 years in response to the spies being in the Land of Israel for 40 days. While the spies had 40 days worth of planning to ...
2
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2answers
83 views

What is the difference in meaning between לתור and לחפר with regards to spying the land?

I am combining concepts from this week's Torah and Haftarah: In the Torah portion, it says with the spies that they went לתור את הארץ (Bamidbar 13:16). With Yehoshu'a it says לחפר את הארץ (Yehoshu'a ...
3
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0answers
35 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 ...
7
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1answer
72 views

Please explain the “apparent omission” of not including the women as the ones going into Cana'an after the 40-year wandering in the desert

I saw the explanation of how we know women entered Cana'an as listed in the answer to this question. My question is regarding what seems to be an omission. The original complaint of the people in ...
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1answer
229 views

What is the Jewish interpretation of Jeremiah 8:8?

What is the real Jewish meaning of Jeremiah 8:8? Does it claim the Bible is corrupted?
2
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2answers
132 views

Was there a Pesach Sheni after the very first Pesach?

Bamidbar (Num.) 9:1, which begins the section related to Pesach Sheni says that the event occurred in the second year from leaving Egypt. Beginning in verse 9, we learn about the laws of Pesach Sheni. ...
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5answers
505 views

Does God's forgiveness in Bamidbar (Num.) 14:20 contradict the fact that punishment was meted, nonetheless?

In this week's parsha, Shlach, we see in Bamidbar (Num.) 14:20, God says, "I have forgiven ..." Yet, beginning in the next verse and continuing until verse 35, God mentions punishing the people. Is ...
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0answers
34 views

Does a father's rebuke cause seven days of humiliation in his child?

In Bamidbor 12:14, Rashi explains the verse to mean that if Miriam's father had turned to her with an angry face, she would have been humiliated for seven days. Are there other examples where we ...
2
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2answers
54 views

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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3answers
473 views

Certificate of Divorce by God to Israel

I find the following verse to be very harsh as it gives a pink slip of Divorce to Israel and Judah Jeremiah 3:8: וָאֵרֶא, כִּי עַל-כָּל-אֹדוֹת אֲשֶׁר נִאֲפָה מְשֻׁבָה יִשְׂרָאֵל, שִׁלַּחְתִּיהָ, ...
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0answers
40 views

What did Bnei Yisrael experience at Matan Torah?

I'm having trouble understanding what the Israelites actually experienced at the Revelation at Mt Sinai. Did they all see God? Did they all hear Him? Did they all understand Him? Did they hear all of ...
2
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0answers
16 views

Around what was the boundary set at Har Sinai?

Shemos 19:12 והגבלת את העם סביב לאמר השמרו לכם עלות בהר ונגע בקצהו כל הנגע בהר מות יומת And you shall set boundaries around the nation saying, "be careful not to go up the mountain..." ...
3
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2answers
112 views

Why did Sarah banish Hagar and Yishmael - Meaning of צחק

Genesis 21: ט וַתֵּרֶא שָׂרָה אֶת-בֶּן-הָגָר הַמִּצְרִית, אֲשֶׁר-יָלְדָה לְאַבְרָהָם--מְצַחֵק. 9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne unto Abraham, 'making ...
8
votes
1answer
136 views

Pardes… What actually happened?

Verses in the Bible traditionally have four different understandings: Pshat (simple meaning), Remez (derived meaning), Drash (investigative meaning), and Sod (esoteric meaning). It seems at times ...
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0answers
26 views

How did chaza"l derive the first two commandments if they are both combined in a single parsha (paragraph)?

Generally, each of the Ten Commandments is written in its own paragraph in the Torah, except for the 1st two. Shmot (Ex.) 20:2 is the 1st commandmnet - "I am G-d" and the 2nd commandment is from Shmot ...
3
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1answer
78 views

Bamidbar: What makes Shimon different?

During krias haTorah, I noticed that while during the counting, most tribes were counted like this (taking Yehuda as an example): לבני יהודה תולדתם למשפחתם לבית אבותם במספר שמות מבן עשרים שנה ...
10
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7answers
309 views

Why was Moshe buried alone?

Why did Hashem bury Moshe in an unknown place, and did not do so with other great Tzadikim like Avraham, Yitchak and Yaakov?
0
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1answer
127 views

Why are people called up to the torah also by their nickname

Aruch Hashulchan EH 129:116 says one should not be called up to the torah with either your own or your fathers nickname like Zalman of 'Shlomo Zalman'. A nickname is a name, which is nothing more than ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Why was the term “Ben Amram” considered derogatory?

In a few places, Rash"i quotes a midrash, usually associated with how Datan and Aviram addressed Moshe. They referred to him as "ben Amram' (Son of Amram). Rash"i implies that this term was considered ...