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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

3
votes
2answers
238 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

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. ...
7
votes
1answer
83 views

Wasn't Yishmael already sent away from Avraham's house?

In Bereshit 22:3, Rashi tells us that when Avraham went to sacrifice Yitzchok, the two lads he took with him were Yishmael and Eliezer. Wasn't Yishmael already gone from Avraham's house? In Bereshit ...
7
votes
4answers
311 views

Why was Yishmael saved?

In bereshis 21:17 it says And God heard the lad's voice, and an angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, "What is troubling you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the lad's ...
11
votes
2answers
561 views

Why a burning bush?

When G-d wanted to speak to Moshe for the first time, He grabbed Moshe's attention by showing him a burning bush that wasn't being consumed by the fire. But why this? From all the possible things to ...
9
votes
6answers
611 views

Drawing my own conclusions from the Torah

I've always made my own inferences and interpretations from the Torah. Whether it's from a story, a Perashah or something from the Tanach. But I don't know how good/permissible that is. A problem ...
5
votes
1answer
56 views

What sort of “food” did the midwives provide for the children (Rashi on Shemos 1 (17))?

Rashi on Shemos 1 (17) comments on the expression “... but they enabled the boys to live” and says “They provided water and food for them.” If these were new-borns what sort of food could they have ...
5
votes
3answers
64 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
102 views

Questions on Breshit 50:8 - Who went to Ya'akov's funeral?

Breishit 50:8 lists regarding who went to Ya'akov's funeral and all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father's house; only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they ...
6
votes
9answers
741 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Must every sidrah begin at the start of a parsha? (Rashi on Breishit 47:28)

Rashi on Genesis 47:28 (excerpt) ויחי יעקב לָמָּה פָּרָשָׁה זוֹ סְתוּמָה? ויחי יעקב AND JACOB LIVED — Why is this section (weekly reading) totally closed? Explanation for novices: The Torah ...
6
votes
2answers
97 views

Joseph's interpretation of 7 years of famine - was his prediction false?

There appear to be a few conflicting verses and commentaries on this topic. When Joseph intreprest Pharaoh's dreams he says, Genesis 41:28: ה֣וּא הַדָּבָ֔ר אֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבַּ֖רְתִּי אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֑ה ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

The Shevatim's desire to check on Yosef

We all know that Yosef Hatzaddik was thrown into a pit by his brothers and then sold . My question is , the pasuk says (37:20) that the brothers said they would see what would become of Yosef's dreams ...
3
votes
2answers
59 views

Is שמים (Shamayim) the spiritual world or just the sky?

When the Torah talks about the שמים, does it means the spiritual world or the sky? The most relatable example for my question would be the first Pasuk of the Torah, right at the beginning of Bereshit: ...
3
votes
2answers
72 views

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, ...
11
votes
3answers
193 views

Why did Yosef's brothers speak freely in the presence of the interpreter?

In Parashat Miketz, Yosef's brothers encounter him disguised as the viceroy of Egypt, and he accuses them of espionage, jails them for three days, and makes a demand that they know their father would ...
5
votes
0answers
84 views

Why does the Torah specify only that Le'ah's children were born in Paddan Aram?

Breishit 46:15 states that "These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore unto Jacob in Paddan-aram..." What is the significance of the Torah telling us where the children were born, and why does it ...
6
votes
5answers
240 views

God's Pair of Teffilin

How when moshe turns his head not to see God's face, he sees He's got on teffilin? I thought God had no physical form.
5
votes
1answer
121 views

How was Moses able to speak to G-d “face to face”?

I'm trying to resolve what seems to be a conflict with two verses: Exodus 33:20: וַיֹּ֕אמֶר לֹ֥א תוּכַ֖ל לִרְאֹ֣ת אֶת־פָּנָ֑י כִּ֛י לֹֽא־יִרְאַ֥נִי הָאָדָ֖ם וָחָֽי׃‏ And He said: ‘You can ...
8
votes
3answers
99 views

What did the brothers do in Gen. 42:20?

In Genesis 42, Yosef's brothers, except Binyamin, come to him in Egypt. They don't recognize him, but he recognizes them — and accuses them of spying, and jails them. Then, in verses ...
3
votes
1answer
77 views

Was Pharaoh a Prophet?

Genesis 41 And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river. ב וְהִנֵּה מִן-הַיְאֹר, עֹלֹת שֶׁבַע פָּרוֹת, יְפוֹת מַרְאֶה, ...
4
votes
2answers
84 views

Why did Yosef cause so much anguish to his family?

While this question already seems to assume some answer or another (that of a 'deeper purpose'), I thought it strange that nobody has actually asked this question so far: Yosef recognized his ...
13
votes
9answers
453 views

Why Didn't Yosef tell Yaakov He was Still Alive?

What do the meforshim say on why Yosef didn't tell Yaakov he was still alive? Do any critique him?
-1
votes
2answers
39 views

Is נגב (Negev) the southern part of Israel or the south (cardinal direction)

In Bereshit 13:1, Negev is meant to mean the south of the Land of Israel (according to Rashi), because Abraham was going from Egypt to Israel and otherwise wouldn't make sense. וַיַּעַל אַבְרָם ...
8
votes
7answers
476 views

Why was Akeidas Yitzchok a bigger test (Nisayon) for Avraham than for Yitzchok?

Akeidas Yitzchok was the hardest test that Hashem gave to Avraham. Yet Yitzchok knew and also agreed to go along with it. Then why is it considered a bigger test for Avraham than for Yitzchok?
2
votes
1answer
157 views

Rashi says word is redundant

In Genesis 43:11 Rashi's commentary on אֵפוֹא is then: Heb. אֵפוֹא. This is a redundant word, used for stylistic purposes in the Hebrew I was under the impression that the Torah is concise to ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Which Abigail is this?

In Book 2 of Shmuel Chapter 17. Paragraph 25 it says: "And Amasa, had Absalom set in place of Joab over the host; and Amasa was the son of a man, whose name was Ithra the Israelite, who came to ...
3
votes
3answers
786 views

Yosef sold into prostitution

I remember hearing of a source that states that Yosef was sold into prostitution, or some other form of sexual slavery, by his brothers, and not just plain slavery as is commonly assumed. Does such a ...
-1
votes
1answer
36 views

If Yosef didn't recognize each individual brother, how did he know who Shim'on was?

Sforno on Genesis 42:7: ויכירם שהם אחיו לא שהכיר אחד לאחד: He recognized (collectively) that they were his brothers. But he couldn't distinguish one from the other (he didn't know who was whom.) If ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Grammar question in Vayikra 11:21

I was recently reading something in Vayikra (in Chabad.org) and I found a parenthesis in 11:21. I've never seen something like this before. אַךְ אֶת זֶה תֹּאכְלוּ מִכֹּל שֶׁרֶץ הָעוֹף הַהֹלֵךְ עַל ...
4
votes
2answers
61 views

source for Potiphar not believing his wife

I mentioned to someone a vort I once heard pointing out a difficulty in the story of Potiphar's wife. Why did Potiphar not have Yosef killed, which would be the expected punishment for attacking the ...
2
votes
2answers
74 views

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 ...
2
votes
0answers
13 views

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
2
votes
5answers
100 views

How was Yosef allowed to practice divination?

The Torah prohibits divination as stated in: Leviticus 19:26: לֹ֥א תֹאכְל֖וּ עַל־הַדָּ֑ם לֹ֥א תְנַחֲשׁ֖וּ וְלֹ֥א תְעוֹנֵֽנוּ׃ Do not eat with the blood; Do not practice divination or ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

“We will say 'A bad animal ate him'” - What happened about stating that?

Genesis 37:20: וְעַתָּ֣ה ׀ לְכ֣וּ וְנַֽהַרְגֵ֗הוּ וְנַשְׁלִכֵ֙הוּ֙ בְּאַחַ֣ד הַבֹּר֔וֹת וְאָמַ֕רְנוּ חַיָּ֥ה רָעָ֖ה אֲכָלָ֑תְהוּ וְנִרְאֶ֕ה מַה־יִּהְי֖וּ חֲלֹמֹתָֽיו׃ Now, let us go and kill ...
3
votes
3answers
76 views

“What shall become of his dreams?” - Q on Rash"i on Breishit 37:20

I'm having trouble understanding Rashi on Genesis 37:20 When Joseph came towards his brothers, they plotted to kill him. They said, (Gen. 37:20): וְעַתָּה | לְכוּ וְנַהַרְגֵהוּ וְנַשְׁלִכֵהוּ ...
5
votes
1answer
34 views

Are there any different implications from the three ways Achashverosh speaks to Esther?

In Megillat Esther, Achashverosh asks Esther what he can do for her three times (text and translation from chabad.org): 5:3 And the king said to her, "What concerns you, Queen Esther, and what is ...
3
votes
0answers
32 views

Sequences of Binyanim with Infinitive Construct

We find in Tanakh the grammatical construction: infinitive absolute + finite verb, where the two verbs are of the same root. For example, in Genesis 22:17, we have two occurences (text and ...
6
votes
1answer
147 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.) ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

When was this verse written?

When was this written: "And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel." (Genesis 36:31)? Are there any traditional commentators ...
14
votes
2answers
7k views

Do religious Jews generally believe the serpent of Garden of 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

Did Devorah get a tombstone / pillar, as Rachel did?

Genesis 35:20: וַיַּצֵּ֧ב יַעֲקֹ֛ב מַצֵּבָ֖ה עַל־קְבֻרָתָ֑הּ הִ֛וא מַצֶּ֥בֶת קְבֻֽרַת־רָחֵ֖ל עַד־הַיּֽוֹם׃ And Jacob set up a pillar upon her grave; it is the pillar of Rachel’s grave ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Did Moshe need to do all 3 signs for the Jewish people and if so why?

In Shemos 4:1 Moshe expresses his concern to God that the people will not believe that he was commanded by God to take them out. God then gives him 3 signs (4:2-9) stating that if they won't believe ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

The Three Jewish Tribes That Lived In Medina At The Time Of Mohammad

Is there any mention at all in the Talmud that backs the claim in the Quran that there were three Jewish tribes that lived in Medina at the time of Mohammad?
2
votes
4answers
143 views

Why Bless Eisav and not Yackov

Why was it that Yizhak originally chose to bless Eisav and not Yackov? I would have thought he would bless both of his sons equally. Why did he choose to only give the blessing to one of them?
3
votes
0answers
40 views

Why didn't Ya'akov contact Yitzchak prior to contacting Esav?

Follow up on this M.Y. question. Genesis 32:4: וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח יַעֲקֹ֤ב מַלְאָכִים֙ לְפָנָ֔יו אֶל־עֵשָׂ֖ו אָחִ֑יו אַ֥רְצָה שֵׂעִ֖יר שְׂדֵ֥ה אֱדֽוֹם׃ And Jacob sent messengers before him to ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

Why did King David tell Itai to go back or to wander somewhere else

In Shmuel 2 Chapter 15 Paragraph 20 Kind David singles out Itai and tells him to either go back or to leave him.. Was he scared that Itai would betray him? or did he fear for his and his brothers ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Did Rachel really die from Jacob's curse?

According to my interpretation of Rashi's commentary was that Rachel died because of Jacob's curse. But the Torah text says whomever "You find" as in whomever Laban finds the idols that person will ...
3
votes
3answers
62 views

Which אֶת is which in Gen. 17:21?

The word "אֶת" can mark the direct object (as in Gen. 1:1) or mean "with" (as in Gen. 35:14). I recently saw someone ask whether "וְאֶת", the first word of Gen. 17:21, means "and with", which struck ...
14
votes
10answers
618 views

Yaakov Marrying Two Sisters

According to those that say the Avos kept the Torah beforehand (here), how was Yaakov allowed to marry two sisters? (Yes, I'm aware that there are many answers)