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

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What do we learn from the huge cluster of grapes?

The spies brought back a huge cluster of grapes, on a pole carried by lifting it at both ends. Presumably that sample was typical of the produce. Was the land equally fertile 40 years later when we ...
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Immediately after the sin of the spies, did B'nai Israel travel or did they stay in Kadesh?

There appear to be contradictory verses / explanations. Numbers 14:25: וְהָֽעֲמָלֵקִ֥י וְהַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֖י יוֹשֵׁ֣ב בָּעֵ֑מֶק מָחָ֗ר פְּנ֨וּ וּסְע֥וּ לָכֶ֛ם הַמִּדְבָּ֖ר דֶּ֥רֶךְ יַם־סֽוּף׃ ...
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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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36 views

Punishment of people who believed in the spies' report. How was it determined how long they should live?

Except for Kalev and Yehoshua, everyone over age 20 was destined to die within the 40 years wandering in the desert. Was there any criteria used as to how many more years a specific person was to ...
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Sidra question. Why did the spies in sh'lach become r'shoim and why then did Joshua send spies

The m'raglim were the greatest of the yidden. Even Joshua and Caleb had to be 'prayed' for or pray themselves they shouldnt join them. What was so difficult to bring about the 'correct' result. And ...
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120 views

The mahn (mannah) was compared to בדולח . What is it?

Numbers 11:7 says: וְהַמָּ֕ן כִּזְרַע־גַּ֖ד ה֑וּא וְעֵינ֖וֹ כְּעֵ֥ין הַבְּדֹֽלַח׃ Now the manna was like coriander seed, and the appearance thereof as the appearance of bdellium. Rada"k ...
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What does it mean “and they were prophesying”?

in Shmuel I chapter 19 Posuk 20. And Saul sent messengers to take David, and he saw the company of prophets prophesying and Samuel was standing as head over them; and a spirit from God was upon Saul'...
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59 views

Where was Moses when the Ten Commandments were given?

I am trying to picture in my mind the events here. Reading from Exodus 19-20: Ex 19:24 Then the LORD said to him, “Go down and come up again, you and Aaron with you; but do not let the priests and ...
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64 views

Why was it forbidden to take knowledge of rah?

Why was it forbidden to take knowledge of rah if HaShem created rah, or created the tree of knowledge tov v'rah? Why wouldn't HaShem allow the first human beings to take knowledge of rah, because ...
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53 views

What was Mordechai's excuse for checking on Ester?

When Ester was in the harem, and presumably after she became queen, Mordechai was constantly around to see how she was doing. וּבְכָל־י֣וֹם וָי֔וֹם מָרְדֳּכַי֙ מִתְהַלֵּ֔ךְ לִפְנֵ֖י חֲצַ֣ר בֵּית־...
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what is rah good for? [duplicate]

Question 1: Yeshayahu 45:7 describes the fact that Adonai created rah. Bereshit 1:31 tells us that Adonai did watch all that he had made and saw that it was tov me'od. If something like rah is created ...
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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 ...
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52 views

Explain the anomaly in the placement of the tribe of Gad in Bamidbar chapter 1

In Bamidbar 1:14, when listing the heads of the tribes, Gad comes between Asher and Naftali and is in the 11th position. However, when citing the tribal census, Gad appears after Shim'on and is in ...
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100 views

If a woman's voice is considered nakedness, why would he ask to hear it?

As previously cited1, the Talmud Bavli (Masekhet Berakhot 24A) refers to a woman's voice as her nakedness (based on Shir HaShirim 2:14). If a woman's voice is her nakedness, why would the man ...
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144 views

hints from verses that 6 days of creation is not literal

Are there hints in the verses of Genesis that the 6 "days" of creation are not literal, i.e. not 24 hour periods but rather some kind of "era".
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Why are the commandments for the holiday of Succot interrupted by commandments regarding sacrifices in general?

Vayikra 23:33-36 discuss the celebration of Succot. Then, verses 37-38 interrupt the discussion by saying a general statement that these are the holidays when you should offer sacrifices. Then, verses ...
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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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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, saying:...
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Ps. 144:1 “Etzbe'otai l'milchama”?

Every motzaei Shabbat before ma'ariv, I have the custom to sing Tehillim 144 and Tehillim 67. However, the first passuk (verse) always confounds me: לְדָוִד: בָּרוּךְ יְהוָה, צוּרִי-- ...
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Is there a reason or pattern as to when the Torah uses אֵת instead of אֶת?

I noticed a mix of the two forms of the Hebrew objective marker commonly pronounced אֶת. in the Torah. (There is no English translation of this word. It is used only to notify that an object follows ...
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Why did the son of the Egyptian and Jew have to convert?

Rashi on Vayikra 24:10 says that the son of the Egyptian man (that Moshe killed) and Shlomit bat Divri converted: בתוך בני ישראל: מלמד שנתגייר: However, since his mother was a Jew, why did he ...
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Are there any explanations and / or halachot gleaned from “Do not insult the deaf?”

Leviticus 19:14: לֹא־תְקַלֵּ֣ל חֵרֵ֔שׁ וְלִפְנֵ֣י עִוֵּ֔ר לֹ֥א תִתֵּ֖ן מִכְשֹׁ֑ל וְיָרֵ֥אתָ מֵּאֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ אֲנִ֥י יְהוָֽה׃ Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling-block before the ...
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How does Rash"i (among others) know the correct translation of the date in Samuel I 20:27?

I Samuel 20:27 says: וַיְהִ֗י מִֽמָּחֳרַ֤ת הַחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙ הַשֵּׁנִ֔י וַיִּפָּקֵ֖ד מְק֣וֹם דָּוִ֑ד (ס) וַיֹּ֤אמֶר שָׁאוּל֙ אֶל־יְהוֹנָתָ֣ן בְּנ֔וֹ מַדּ֜וּעַ לֹא־בָ֧א בֶן־יִשַׁ֛י גַּם־תְּמ֥וֹל גַּם־...
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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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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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What happened with Nadav and Avihu?

Regarding the death of Nadav and Avihu, the Torah says it happened when they brought a foreign / unauthorized fire into the Mishkan. Concerning their death, Rashi brings up Rabbi Eliezer's opinion ...
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Why separate verses for the camel, hare, and hyrax?

In vayikra 11, we're given an overview of the kosher and non kosher animals. Among mammals, it singles out four as explicitly non kosher: the pig for only having split hooves, and the camel, hare, and ...
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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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“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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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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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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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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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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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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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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165 views

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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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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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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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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164 views

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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94 views

What is the difference in definition for 3 terms used regarding “leavened” (chametz)?

The Torah uses 3 terms that all appear to mean "leavened food" (from English definitions that I could find): חמץ and שאור are mentioned in Exodus 12:15: שִׁבְעַ֤ת יָמִים֙ מַצּ֣וֹת תֹּאכֵ֔לוּ אַ֚ךְ ...
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38 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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50 views

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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108 views

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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71 views

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

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

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 ...