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

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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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Their altars…and *his* asheirah?

Shemot 34:13: כִּי אֶת מִזְבְּחֹתָם תִּתֹּצוּן וְאֶת מַצֵּבֹתָם תְּשַׁבֵּרוּן וְאֶת אֲשֵׁרָיו תִּכְרֹתוּן For you shall dismantle their altars, break their monuments, and cut down his ...
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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 ...
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Why weren't the spies afflicted with tzara'at (leprosy)?

Refer to Avot D'Rebbi Natan ch. 9 (ver. א. In summary, he comments on Numbers 14:22: surely all those men that have seen My glory, and My signs, which I wrought in Egypt and in the wilderness, ...
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54 views

Why do we bring a sin offering on rosh chodesh

We bring a sin offering as a 'kapara' for hashem for decreasing the size of the moon. The story goes that the moon said we cant have two 'kings' the same size so I want to be bigger. Hashem says no ...
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105 views

Why does Scripture in parashat bereishit need to mention the four rivers?

In Bereishit 2:10, scripture mentions the following: 10: And a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it separated and became four heads. 11: The name of one is Pishon; ...
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64 views

Is there a difference in meaning between קָדֹֽשׁ and קֹֽדֶשׁ?

I am helping my son lain parshat Emor. He's having a hard time seeing the difference between קֹֽדֶשׁ and קָדֹ֥שׁ esp. when they are written the same. Usually, when I train students to lain, I try to ...
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In Devarim 5:5 why does Moshe connect the people's fear with not going up Mt. Sinai?

In Devarim 5:5 Moshe says: "Because you were afraid of the fire and you didn't go up the mountain..." It seems that Moshe is saying that the fear of the fire coming from the mountain was why B'nai ...
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52 views

Whats Up With Ascending Sinai: Repeated Warning

Hashem commands Moshe to warn the people not to touch the mountain (Exodus 19:12). Although the Torah doesn't mention it, Moshe's words in v. 23 imply that he indeed warned the people not to touch ...
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72 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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66 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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51 views

Is Exodus 20:4 a command about icons or idols?

When The Lord says, "Do not make for yourself an image," does he mean an image for the purpose of worship, that is an idol, or any image whatsoever, such as the depiction of a narrative or a ...
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36 views

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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78 views

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 aren't Aharon's sons or B'nei Yisra'el mentioned in Vayikra 21:17?

Compare Leviticus 21:17-24: דַּבֵּ֥ר אֶֽל־אַהֲרֹ֖ן לֵאמֹ֑ר אִ֣ישׁ מִֽזַּרְעֲךָ֞ לְדֹרֹתָ֗ם אֲשֶׁ֨ר יִהְיֶ֥ה בוֹ֙ מ֔וּם לֹ֣א יִקְרַ֔ב לְהַקְרִ֖יב לֶ֥חֶם אֱלֹהָֽיו׃ Speak unto Aaron, ...
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Man and woman bringing out unity in the service of Hashem

In the Artscroll Stone Chumash it says on page 15 the following: לבשר אחד - One flesh. ... The Tur says, “Man and wife are in reality one flesh, as they were at the beginning of Creation." Where ...
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Who is דישון? Contradiction in 2 verses

Breishit 36:21 list דישון as the son of Se'ir, but verse 25 lists him as the son of Ana, which would make him a grandson of Se'ir. Which is it? Why the contradiction?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Is there a pattern to Yonasan Ben Uziel's introduction to mitzvos?

Starting with the dibros, YbU introduces some mitzvos with the words 'Ami bnei Yisrael" and I don't see the pattern as to when he does and when he doesn't. Anyone have an idea which ones deserve this ...
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87 views

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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How many censuses happened in the desert?

Rashi (Bamidbar 1:1), says: The Lord spoke... in the Sinai Desert... on the first of the month : Because they were dear to Him, He counted them often. When they left Egypt, He counted them (Exod. ...
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68 views

What is the purpose of the genealogy of Genesis 4:17-22?

What is the purpose of the genealogy of Genesis 4:17–22?
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Were korbanos olah prohibited?

Abarbanel on Joshua 13:14 explains the verse: official translation from chabad.org: Only to the tribe of Levi he gave no inheritance; the sacrifices of the Lord God of Israel made by fire are ...
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345 views

What happened to Canaan during the famine after Yaakov et al went down to Egypt?

During the famine Yosef collected all the money in both Egypt and Canaan. In the following year Yosef acquired ownership of all the land in Egypt (except the priests') for Paro, but it says nothing ...
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Leaving the King's road?

We say in Bemidbar 20:17 to Edom: Let us now pass through your land: We won't pass through the fields and vineyards and we won't drink well-water; on the road of the king we will go, we won't ...
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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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47 views

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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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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Why did many people make the onyx stones but only Betzalel placed them on the ephod?

Exodus 39:6-7: וַֽיַּעֲשׂוּ֙ אֶת־אַבְנֵ֣י הַשֹּׁ֔הַם וַיָּ֣שֶׂם אֹתָ֗ם עַ֚ל כִּתְפֹ֣ת הָאֵפֹ֔ד And they wrought the onyx stones, And he put them on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod. This seems ...
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25 views

Human v.s. Animal: spiritual v.s the most fine physical entitie kind of soul?

If animals don't have spirits (Does anyone have a proof text that animals *don't* have spirits?), than what is the meaning of nishmat ruach chayim in Bereshit 7:22? And in what way does it differ ...
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39 views

What does Rashi mean by salvation does not come?

In Devarim (28:65) it says, "...Hashem will give you a trembling heart, longing of eyes and suffering of soul." Rashi explains longing of eyes to mean "He looks forward to salvation, but it does not ...
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Bereshit 15:13 question

Regarding the foretold 400 years in Bereshit 15:13-14 and Shemot 12:40 i read that the 430 years of exile began when Avraham joined the covenant with HaShem when he made the covenant between the parts ...
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55 views

What is the opinion of Chofetz Haim on speech of Joseph about his brothers

Can you please quote how Chofetz Haim defined "diba ra" that Joseph said about his brothers.Since it was not true, was it real "motzi shem ra"? If not, why? Joseph thought that he was saying the ...