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

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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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91 views

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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131 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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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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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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39 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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63 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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51 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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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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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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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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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 ...
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Was Naaman tamei from tzaraas?

In Melachim Bet 5:10 we read: וַיִּשְׁלַח אֵלָיו אֱלִישָׁע, מַלְאָךְ לֵאמֹר: הָלוֹךְ, וְרָחַצְתָּ שֶׁבַע-פְּעָמִים בַּיַּרְדֵּן, וְיָשֹׁב בְּשָׂרְךָ לְךָ וּטְהָר.‏ And Elisha sent a ...
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What happened to the “notar” (left-over) of the 1st Pesach lamb?

Exodus 12:8: וְאָכְל֥וּ אֶת־הַבָּשָׂ֖ר בַּלַּ֣יְלָה הַזֶּ֑ה And they shall eat the flesh in that night. Exodus 12:10: וְלֹא־תוֹתִ֥ירוּ מִמֶּ֖נּוּ עַד־בֹּ֑קֶר וְהַנֹּתָ֥ר מִמֶּ֛נּוּ עַד־בֹּ֖קֶר ...
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140 views

Could Yonah's “whale” have been a whale?

Just prior to the start of Yom Kippur this year, a young child corrected me when I mentioned Yonah's whale and said that, "it wasn't a whale; it was a Dag Gadol." I had to admit, this was good ...
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What does the word “אש” in Vayikra 1:7 refer to?

אש is generally translated as "fire." However, consider Vayikra 1:7: וְנָתְנוּ בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן אֵשׁ עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְעָרְכוּ עֵצִים עַל הָאֵשׁ The sons of Aharon the Kohen shall ...
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How did G-d make animals and how did they became living beings?

I read a couple of questions and answers that are related to mine, but I could not find any answer to my specific question. The first human being was formed from the dust of the ground; this became ...
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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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Which parts of the mishkan design did Ahali'av participate?

Exodus 35:34-35: וּלְהוֹרֹ֖ת נָתַ֣ן בְּלִבּ֑וֹ ה֕וּא וְאָֽהֳלִיאָ֥ב בֶּן־אֲחִיסָמָ֖ךְ לְמַטֵּה־דָֽן׃ מִלֵּ֨א אֹתָ֜ם חָכְמַת־לֵ֗ב לַעֲשׂוֹת֮ כָּל־מְלֶ֣אכֶת חָרָ֣שׁ ׀ וְחֹשֵׁב֒ וְרֹקֵ֞ם ...
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33 views

Was there a lack of communication or supply management when collecting the mishkan items?

Exodus 36:3-4: וַיִּקְח֞וּ מִלִּפְנֵ֣י מֹשֶׁ֗ה אֵ֤ת כָּל־הַתְּרוּמָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֨ר הֵבִ֜יאוּ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל לִמְלֶ֛אכֶת עֲבֹדַ֥ת הַקֹּ֖דֶשׁ לַעֲשֹׂ֣ת אֹתָ֑הּ וְ֠הֵם הֵבִ֨יאוּ אֵלָ֥יו ע֛וֹד ...
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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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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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Was Vashti Evil?

Is there any basis within the text of the Megillah itself to lend credence to the common Midrashic theme that Vasti was evil?
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Why would Haman “restrain himself”?

In Esther (5:9), when Haman leaves the king's palace after Queen Esther's first party, all happy and feeling on top of the world, gets very upset when he sees Mordechai sitting there, and not bowing ...
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51 views

Connection of Gog and Yavan/Greece

I saw somewhere that "Gog" mentioned in the Torah is Greece. Does anyone know a source for this?
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144 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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מחני נא — Moshe's real name isn't mentioned

In Shemot 32:32, Moshe tells Hashem: וְעַתָּה אִם תִּשָּׂא חַטָּאתָם וְאִם אַיִן מְחֵנִי נָא מִסִּפְרְךָ אֲשֶׁר כָּתָבְתָּ: And now, if You forgive their sin But if not, erase me now from ...
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How did the sons of Haman die? (Chronology of Esther chapter 9)

The 10 sons of Haman were hanged as we read in the Megillah. (Esther 9:14) But it appears they were killed by the sword. Is this a correct chronology of the story / facts? Haman was hanged on or ...
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104 views

Hur in Ki Tisa - You only live twice?

Rashi on sheni in this weeks parsha has two consecutive comments that, taken together, seem rather strange. In 32:5, he says: He saw his sister’s son Hur, who had reproved them [the Israelites], ...
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Ages in Genesis 5 [duplicate]

Are the life spans in Genesis 5 meant to be taken literally? Wasn't the life span of ancient people drastically shorter back then? I have read that the numbers are spiritual numbers that are used to ...
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Why is Sarah the only woman that has her years lived mentioned?

Breishit 23:1 mentions that Sarah was 127 years old when she died. Ohr Hachaim's commentary seems to glance upon some issues regarding why Sarah's age was mentioned, and he seems to focus on the fact ...
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Why is Aharon the only person in Tanac"h who's death date is specifically mentioned? [duplicate]

AFAIK, Aharon is the only person in Tana"ch whose death date I specifically mentioned. See Bamidbar 33:38, I know that Aharon was a Chashuver Yid, but was makes him so special that only he of all ...
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119 views

What is the relationship between the Tzitz and Tzitzit?

My friend and I were pondering the connections between the kohen gadol's tzitz and the tzitzit fringes of the average Yid. Aside from the obvious linguistic relationship (that we don't understand) ...
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2answers
76 views

Is an Eishet Yefat Toar beautiful physically or spiritually?

Devarim 21:10-14 explains the law of an Eishet Yefat Toar. The standard commentaries there indicate that she is desirable because of physical beauty. This also seems to be what the pshat is. ...
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209 views

Song of the 5 Kings?

In Joshua 12:9-24 there is Joshua's famous song of triumph over the 31 Kings of the Land of Canaan which he conquered. The song (and it is a song per the Talmud Megillah 16b) is structured in two ...
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162 views

Was Pharoah Necho telling the truth about being sent from God?

Did God really tell Pharoah Necho to conquer Assyria? Necho tells Josiah that he was commanded to fight Assyria. Was he: Lying? Mistaken? Truthful? 2 Chronicles (Divrei Hayamim II) 35:20-22 ...
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Where does the Zohar mention challenges?

The Artscroll Stone Chumash on page 80, note 11, says the following: באים בימים - Coming with [their] days. The Zohar says, "Each day in a person's life carries with it it's own challenge and ...
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In the Book Of Judges(Shoftim) Why was Judah unable to conquer the inhabitants in the valley?

It says in Judges 1:19: And the Lord was with Judah, and they drove out the inhabitants of the mountains; but they could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, for they had iron chariots. ...
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4k views

Why are women unclean longer after giving birth to a girl?

I read that women are unclean for two weeks after giving birth to a girl and seven days after giving birth to a boy. What does it tell us?
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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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52 views

When the terms “sasson” and “simcha” are mentioned together, is there meaning or reason to the order?

Compare two verses: Yirmiyahu (Jer.) 33:11 - "sasson" is mentioned before "simcha" Esther 8:16-17 - "simcha" is mentioned before "sasson" There are other such verses, as well, that we can compare, ...
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49 views

Sefas Emes on Aharon lighting the Menorah

According to this article on Parshas Beha'aloscha on the Aish website, the Sefas Emes says that: Aaron lit the menorah, day in and day out, with the same degree of fresh enthusiasm. The same task ...
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237 views

The chachamim on peace

Our chachamim teach that when there is peace and harmony between a man and his wife, the Divine Presence dwells with them. Does anyone know where the chachamim says this?
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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 ...