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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

1
vote
3answers
89 views

Where was Moshe? How did he become so great?

Just curious over here. Is there any known sources for where Moshe Rabbeinu was in the break between him leaving Bais Pharaoh to the incident of the Sneh (the burning bush)? I heard that there are ...
6
votes
1answer
134 views

Why are some parts of the second paragraph of the Shema in the singular and some in plural?

The second paragraph of the Shema is mainly worded in the plural. But there are some parts in the singular. Why is that? The parts in the singular are in bold text below. וְהָיָה אִם שָׁמעַ ...
5
votes
1answer
212 views

Why two lambs to make a meal for Isaac?

In parshat Toldot Rivka asks Yaakov to get 2 kids for her to cook for Isaac. What can we learn from using two kids? Was it in the time of year when kids are first born and they were tiny? Was a ...
3
votes
2answers
135 views

Why does the Torah say ואלה תולדת יצחק?

Parashat Toldot starts with the words ואלה תולדת יצחק בן אברהם; אברהם הוליד את יצחק These are the generations of Yitzhak the son of Avraham; Avraham gave birth to Yitzhak. Normally when the ...
3
votes
2answers
70 views

Covenant (Brit) with Adam?

Hosea 6:7 says: וְהֵמָּה, כְּאָדָם עָבְרוּ בְרִית; שָׁם, בָּגְדוּ בִי. Which could be (and is) translated either as "They, like Adam, have transgressed the covenant," or "They, like men, have ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Why doesn't Yitzchak chastise Avimelech about the wells the way his father did?

In parshat Toldot, we see a number of situations that occur to Yitzhak that are (almost) identical to those that occurred to his father, Avraham. Examples: There is a famine. Yitzchak seeks to go to ...
1
vote
2answers
61 views

Is Rivkah implying any responsibility to Ya'akov for having “stolen” Esav's blessing?

Genesis 27:45: עַד־שׁ֨וּב אַף־אָחִ֜יךָ מִמְּךָ֗ וְשָׁכַח֙ אֵ֣ת אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂ֣יתָ לּ֔וֹ וְשָׁלַחְתִּ֖י וּלְקַחְתִּ֣יךָ מִשָּׁ֑ם לָמָ֥ה אֶשְׁכַּ֛ל גַּם־שְׁנֵיכֶ֖ם י֥וֹם אֶחָֽד׃ My Modified ...
3
votes
2answers
118 views

Why does Rashi describe Mahalath as “Another unsuitable wife”?

At the end of Parshat Toldot, Eisav marries the daughter of Yishmael, as he "perceives" that the daughters of Heth have upset his parents. Whilst obviously Eisav had many flaws, this appears to be a ...
6
votes
3answers
546 views

Why is the birth of twins a Chidush for Rivka?

Background: In Parshat Toldot, Rivka conceives and is troubled by the discomfort. She goes to ask Hashem and it is explained to her that 2 nations are struggling within her, so she already knows that ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

Where do we see that Avraham explicitly asked Eliezer to go to Avraham's family?

Genesis 24:40 (from Sefaria - modified English by me): וַיֹּ֖אמֶר אֵלָ֑י יְהוָ֞ה אֲשֶׁר־הִתְהַלַּ֣כְתִּי לְפָנָ֗יו יִשְׁלַ֨ח מַלְאָכ֤וֹ אִתָּךְ֙ וְהִצְלִ֣יחַ דַּרְכֶּ֔ךָ וְלָקַחְתָּ֤ אִשָּׁה֙ ...
4
votes
1answer
46 views

In the story about Eliezer searching for a wife for Yitzchak, why does the Torah alternate terminology about him between “slave” and “man”?

In viewing the story in Breishit 24, regarding Eliezer searching for a wife for Yitzchak, we see that the Torah first calls him עבד - slave (starting from the point that Eliezer leaves Avraham's home) ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Eliezer did not know that he should praise Hashem first and then pray?

Rav Simloi in the Gem Brochos 32a says לעולם יסדר אדם שבחו של הקב"ה ואחר כך יתפלל A person should always praise Hashem first and then pray. We learn it from Moshe Rabeinu. Why did not ...
2
votes
1answer
24 views

How is not asking about the welfare of a guest an indication of lack of fear of G-d? (Rashi on Br. 20:11)

Rashi on Genesis 20:11:1: רק אין יראת אלהים. אכסנאי שבא לעיר, על עסקי אכילה ושתיה שואלין אותו או על עסקי אשתו שואלין אותו אשתך היא או אחותך היא: My (loose) translation: When a a guest comes ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Why did God change His method of judgement towards people after the generation of Noach? (Rash"i on Br. 18:25)

Rashi on Genesis 18:25 (excerpt): חלילה לך יאמרו כך הוא אמנתו, שוטף הכל, צדיקים ורשעים, כך עשית לדור המבול ולדור הפלגה: My translation: People will say that this is your method (of ...
9
votes
2answers
145 views

Why is Sarah rebuked for laughing whereas Avraham is not?

In parshat Lech Lecha Avraham laughs when he hears that he'll have a son. God even tells Avraham to call his son Yitzchak which means "he will laugh" straight after that. In parshat Vayera however, ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Noah and Clean Animals

Why did God command Noah to take seven each of the "clean" animals on the ark? Is this evidence that the sacrificial system was in play? Why did God make a distinction between clean and unclean to ...
1
vote
2answers
84 views

For a righteous man can fall seven times and rise - why seven?

Shelomo HaMelekh (King Solomon) famously wrote in Mishle'i 24:16 (Proverbs): כִּי שֶׁבַע יִפּוֹל צַדִּיק וָקָם וּרְשָׁעִים יִכָּשְׁלוּ בְרָעָה For a righteous man can fall seven times and ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

In Breishit 15:16, is G-d implying to Avram about the sin of the spies?

Genesis 15:16: וְד֥וֹר רְבִיעִ֖י יָשׁ֣וּבוּ הֵ֑נָּה כִּ֧י לֹא־שָׁלֵ֛ם עֲוֺ֥ן הָאֱמֹרִ֖י עַד־הֵֽנָּה׃ (Modified Sefria.org translation) 'And in the fourth generation they shall come back here; ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Where did the Assyrian language originate from according to Chazzal?

Rashi in parshas Noach 10 11, seen here quotes the Medrash Rabba: From that land: Since Asshur saw his sons obeying Nimrod and rebelling against the Omnipresent by building the tower, he departed ...
3
votes
2answers
96 views

Pharaoh should have asked for his presents back when he found out that Soroi was Abram's wife?

Pharaoh took Soroi and benefited Abram for her sake 12 (16). He did this on the understanding that Soroi was Abram's sister. He asked 12 (18) “Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?” ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Language before and after the Tower of Bavel [duplicate]

Genesis 11:1: (Sefaria English translation) וַֽיְהִ֥י כָל־הָאָ֖רֶץ שָׂפָ֣ה אֶחָ֑ת וּדְבָרִ֖ים אֲחָדִֽים׃ And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. After they built the ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

The choice to eat the forbidden [duplicate]

I wonder about the fact that both Adam and Chava chose to eat the forbidden, and although I read many answers to different kind of questions about this moment in history on this and other websites, I ...
5
votes
0answers
58 views

Which Rishonim viewed maaseh bereishit as an allegory?

I have often heard that many rishonim were comfortable with the idea that at least the first week of creation could be read allegorically, not literally. What are the specific sources that support ...
4
votes
4answers
200 views

Doesn't Zeresh know Mordechai was Jewish?

In Esther 6:13 Zeresh says 'If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him.' Wasn't it already well-...
5
votes
1answer
44 views

Wording at the beginning of Nitzavim

Parshas Nitzavim begins (Devarim 29:9-11): אתם נצבים היום כלכם... ראשיכם שבטיכם זקניכם ושטריכם כל איש ישראל. טפכם נשיכם וגרך אשר בקרב מחניך מחטב עציך עד שאב מימיך. לעברך The first verse-and-a-...
4
votes
0answers
35 views

What do the different terms for “judges” indicate?

In a few places in the chumash, the word "elohim" is translated as "judges". Rashi does this on Bereishit 6:2 and many meforshim do this on the uses in Shemot (such as in 22:7 and 8) saying that the ...
2
votes
0answers
69 views

Is it generally accepted by Jewish scholars that Judaism was at one stage henotheist and/or monolatrist? [duplicate]

It is widely believed, among scholars of the history of Judaism and the Jewish scriptures, that the earliest books of the Tanakh display a gradual shift from a position of henotheism, to a form of ...
4
votes
2answers
49 views

In Psalm 27, David appears to request more than one thing. Why does he say the word “One”?

Psalms 27:4: אַחַ֤ת ׀ שָׁאַ֣לְתִּי מֵֽאֵת־יְהוָה֮ אוֹתָ֪הּ אֲבַ֫קֵּ֥שׁ שִׁבְתִּ֣י בְּבֵית־יְ֭הוָה כָּל־יְמֵ֣י חַיַּ֑י לַחֲז֥וֹת בְּנֹֽעַם־יְ֝הוָ֗ה וּלְבַקֵּ֥ר בְּהֵיכָלֽוֹ׃ Modified Sefria....
3
votes
1answer
51 views

L'David - Psalm 27 - What does “ L'vakair” mean?

in Psalm 27, we say achat sh'alti . . .l'vakair b'haichalo. What is l'vakair?' I know it means 'to visit' as in bikur chilim'. But is there more than that p'shat?
3
votes
2answers
74 views

In Devarim 17:6, why does the Torah uses the term שְׁנַ֣יִם עֵדִ֗ים instead of שני עדים?

Deuteronomy 17:6: עַל־פִּ֣י ׀ שְׁנַ֣יִם עֵדִ֗ים א֛וֹ שְׁלֹשָׁ֥ה עֵדִ֖ים יוּמַ֣ת הַמֵּ֑ת לֹ֣א יוּמַ֔ת עַל־פִּ֖י עֵ֥ד אֶחָֽד׃ At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall the dead ...
4
votes
1answer
62 views

What does the word “Shem” mean in Genesis 11:4?

I know that "Shem" literally means "name" in Hebrew. But what did the people of the earth mean by "let us make ourselves a name/shem, lest we be scattered upon the face of the earth" (Genesis 11:4)? ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

What is the purpose of the word וְהָיָ֗ה in Devarim 11:13?

Deuteronomy 11:13 says: וְהָיָ֗ה אִם־שָׁמֹ֤עַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ֙ אֶל־מִצְוֺתַ֔י אֲשֶׁ֧ר אָנֹכִ֛י מְצַוֶּ֥ה אֶתְכֶ֖ם הַיּ֑וֹם לְאַהֲבָ֞ה אֶת־יְהוָ֤ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶם֙ וּלְעָבְד֔וֹ בְּכָל־לְבַבְכֶ֖ם ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Why is the word “ger” translated as both convert and stranger in one sentence?

What is the basis for translating the word "Ger" in Devarim 10:19? The verse is often translated "You shall love the convert because you were strangers in the land of Egypt." Why not, "Love the ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Why does the Chumash have to explain what “thirst” means?

In Parshat Eikev, Moshe recounts all the challenges of the time in the desert. In Devarim 8:15 we read, 15.Who led you through that great and awesome desert, [in which were] snakes, vipers and ...
5
votes
1answer
182 views

Persia will completely annihilate Edom which will cause moshiach to come

I heard that in a passage in the Talmud it says Persia will completely annihilate Edom and the rest of the world which will then spur about moshiach' arrival, the Yalkut Shimoni (Yeshaya 60:499), ...
3
votes
1answer
81 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. ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Was B'nai Yisra'el really rebellious the entire 40 years (Devarim 9:7)?

Deuteronomy 9:7 says: זְכֹר֙ אַל־תִּשְׁכַּ֔ח אֵ֧ת אֲשֶׁר־הִקְצַ֛פְתָּ אֶת־יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ בַּמִּדְבָּ֑ר לְמִן־הַיּ֞וֹם אֲשֶׁר־יָצָ֣אתָ ׀ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֗יִם עַד־בֹּֽאֲכֶם֙ עַד־הַמָּק֣וֹם ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Are there any sources that translate the term “a land flowing with milk and honey”, as being literal rather than a metaphor?

The first usage that I can find that refers to Israel as a "land flowing with milk and honey" in Exodus 3:8: וָאֵרֵ֞ד לְהַצִּיל֣וֹ ׀ מִיַּ֣ד מִצְרַ֗יִם וּֽלְהַעֲלֹתוֹ֮ מִן־הָאָ֣רֶץ הַהִוא֒ אֶל־...
5
votes
1answer
46 views

Did the Israelites walk bare foot in the desert, or did they have shoes (comment on Deut. 8:4)?

Deuteronomy 8:4 says שִׂמְלָ֨תְךָ֜ לֹ֤א בָֽלְתָה֙ מֵֽעָלֶ֔יךָ וְרַגְלְךָ֖ לֹ֣א בָצֵ֑קָה זֶ֖ה אַרְבָּעִ֥ים שָׁנָֽה׃ Your clothes did not get old upon you, neither did your feet swell, ...
4
votes
0answers
84 views

Why ever rely on a vav hahipuch?

There is a grammatical form in the chumash of the vav [hahipuch]1 which turns words written in the past form into future tense and future tense constructs into past. I noted this, I think, pointed out ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

What is the reason that the Torah uses a ן (final “Nun”) at the end of 2nd person plural verbs?

Frequently, the Torah uses a final nun (ן) at the end of verbs. They seem to be 2nd person plural verbs. An example: Deuteronomy 5:30: בְּכָל־הַדֶּ֗רֶךְ אֲשֶׁ֨ר צִוָּ֜ה יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֛ם ...
3
votes
0answers
95 views

Is “tirtzach” 'murder'?

The way I was taught it (and confirmed by this answer and the comment on it), the Hebrew word "tirtzach" refers to murder, and is distinguished from the H-R-G and M-T roots which mean "kill." ...
3
votes
3answers
78 views

Did the half tribe of Menashe have the same conditions as the tribe of Re'uven and Gad?

Prior to giving Gad and Re'uven land on the East side of Jordan River, Moses makes them keep a condition: Numbers 32:20-22: וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם֙ מֹשֶׁ֔ה אִֽם־תַּעֲשׂ֖וּן אֶת־הַדָּבָ֣ר הַזֶּ֑ה ...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

Why did Moses add part of the tribe of Menashe to join Re'uvean and Gad on the east of the Jordan?

In response to Reuven and Gad's request to settle on the east side of Jordan, Moses includes part of the tribe of Menashe to join them, as it says: Numbers 32:33: וַיִּתֵּ֣ן לָהֶ֣ם ׀ מֹשֶׁ֡ה ...
1
vote
2answers
23 views

B'midbar 32:17 - Why did the tribes of Re'uven and Gad need to build fortified cities?

Numbers 32:17: וַאֲנַ֜חְנוּ נֵחָלֵ֣ץ חֻשִׁ֗ים לִפְנֵי֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל עַ֛ד אֲשֶׁ֥ר אִם־הֲבִֽיאֹנֻ֖ם אֶל־מְקוֹמָ֑ם וְיָשַׁ֤ב טַפֵּ֙נוּ֙ בְּעָרֵ֣י הַמִּבְצָ֔ר מִפְּנֵ֖י יֹשְׁבֵ֥י הָאָֽרֶץ׃ ...
3
votes
2answers
110 views

Order of כִּי נֵר מִצְוָה וְתוֹרָה אוֹר

Mishlei 6:23 says כִּי נֵר מִצְוָה וְתוֹרָה אוֹר. By the Mitzva it first says Ner and then Mitzva, however by the Torah it first says Torah and then Or. Why is there a change in the order, why not ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

Why is a female heiress allowed to marry out of the tribe?

In Bamidbar 27:7, Rashi says that the commandment in Bamidbar 36:7 (That daughters who inherit from their father must marry in that tribe) was only for the Generation that entered the land. The ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

Why does the Torah use the term עַשְׁתֵּֽי־עָשָׂ֥ר instead of אַחַ֨ד עָשָׂ֥ר for the number 11? [duplicate]

There are two places in the Torah that I can recall (if there are others, please inform me) where the term עַשְׁתֵּֽי־עָשָׂ֥ר is used for the number 11. Numbers 7:72: בְּיוֹם֙ עַשְׁתֵּ֣י עָשָׂ֣ר ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Yirmiyahu 8:14 - Why havayah instead of Elokim?

In the verse Yirmiyahu 8:14, the prophet describes a strong judgement: "For the Lord Our G-d has doomed us". However, when I study the hebrew text, i see the havayah name is used instead of Elokim. ...
2
votes
0answers
27 views

Assist with Rash“i's explanation of verb usage - ”N-CH-L" in describing the tribal heads who will inherit the land

Numbers 34:18: וְנָשִׂ֥יא אֶחָ֛ד נָשִׂ֥יא אֶחָ֖ד מִמַּטֶּ֑ה תִּקְח֖וּ לִנְחֹ֥ל אֶת־הָאָֽרֶץ׃ Numbers 34:29 אֵ֕לֶּה אֲשֶׁ֖ר צִוָּ֣ה יְהוָ֑ה לְנַחֵ֥ל אֶת־בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בְּאֶ֥רֶץ ...