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

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14
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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
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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 ...
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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
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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
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4answers
145 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
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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
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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
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1answer
68 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
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10answers
619 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)
12
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4answers
426 views

Why did Rivka consult Shem, and not Avraham or Yitzchok?

The Posuk says (Gen. 25:22) regarding Rivka: וַיִּתְרֹצֲצוּ הַבָּנִים בְּקִרְבָּהּ וַתֹּאמֶר אִם כֵּן לָמָּה זֶּה אָנֹכִי וַתֵּלֶךְ לִדְרֹשׁ אֶת יְ־הֹוָ־ה Translated as: And the children ...
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2answers
65 views

Why didn't Esav try to kill Ya'akov while Ya'akov was in Lavan's home?

I'm trying to reconcile a verse with the actual event timeline. Genesis 27:41: וַיִּשְׂטֹ֤ם עֵשָׂו֙ אֶֽת־יַעֲקֹ֔ב עַל־הַ֨בְּרָכָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר בֵּרֲכ֖וֹ אָבִ֑יו וַיֹּ֨אמֶר עֵשָׂ֜ו בְּלִבּ֗וֹ ...
5
votes
3answers
123 views

How could Yaakov have relations with a wife (Leah) whom he hated?

The Gemoro Nedorim 20b is critical of children born to a wife who is hated. וברותי מכם המורדים והפושעים בי אמר רבי לוי אלו בני תשע מדות בני אסנ"ת משגע"ח בני אימה בני אנוסה בני שנואה And I ...
6
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1answer
128 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
64 views

Why didn't Rivka summon Yaakov?

Rivka told Yaakov to remain at the home of Lavan until she summoned him (Bereishis 27:45). However, we never find that Rivka sent for him, and Yaakov ended up leaving at Hashem's instruction ...
5
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1answer
210 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
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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 ...
5
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6answers
228 views

Why is the test (Nisayon) of Kivshan Haish not mentioned in the Torah?

One of the difficult tests Avraham Avinu faced was when Nimrod threw him into the (Kivshan Haish) fire. It is not mentioned in the Torah at all. Why?
3
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2answers
4k views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
138 views

Is Ber. 26 in the proper chronological place?

In Bereishit 25 twins are born and they grow up. Though I don't know how old they are by the end of the perek, they are at least 13. Then in perek 26, there is a famine and Yitzchak must go to Gerar. ...
6
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3answers
541 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 ...
3
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1answer
102 views

ReEh in singular (Deut. 11:26)

The Ba'al HaTurim to Deut. 11:26 cites Bab. Megillah 31b in saying that all the blessings and curses in "Mishneh Torah" (usually this means Sefer Devarim - Deuteronomy) are written in singular, and ...
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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
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1answer
45 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) ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Were there more than just 2 or 7 pairs of animals on Noach's ark?

Noach was told to take a pair (male & female) of all non-clean animals, and 7 pairs of clean animals into the ark. However, Breishit 6:21 says: And take thou unto thee of all food that is ...
2
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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 ...
3
votes
2answers
109 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 ...
5
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1answer
118 views

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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1answer
38 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 ...
2
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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
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1answer
42 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
79 views

Punctuation of Genesis 22:14

The verse in Genesis (22:14) states: "And Abraham called the name of the site 'Hashem Yir'eh' as it is said to this day, on the mountain Hashem will be seen." וַיִּקְרָ֧א אַבְרָהָ֛ם ...
1
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1answer
63 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; ...
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2answers
82 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
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1answer
33 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 ...
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20 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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
53 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 ...
11
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6answers
276 views

Justification for Killing all of Shechem

What was the justification for Shimon and Levi's killing all the males of Shechem in parshas Vayishlach? I assume some people there were not in a position to prevent what happened or that their ...
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 ...
0
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1answer
43 views

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, ...
17
votes
6answers
6k 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?
2
votes
1answer
874 views

What was the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal?

Judges 9:57 OJPS and all the wickedness of the men of Shechem did God requite upon their heads; and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal. My understanding on this book is ...
2
votes
2answers
99 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 ...
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
68 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
47 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 ...
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
3answers
221 views

Was Rachav A Harlot (Prostitute)?

It specifically says several times in Yehoshua chapter 2 and chapter 6 that Rachav was a Harlot " וְאֶת רָחָב הַזּוֹנָה" why is it that it is accepted that she wasn't a harlot but an innkeeper and ...