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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

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 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
3answers
225 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
81 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־...
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
94 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
180 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), ...
7
votes
2answers
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
49 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
228 views

Why does the Torah list animals before converts?

אַתָּה וּבִנְךָ וּבִתֶּךָ עַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתְךָ וּבְהֶמְתֶּךָ וְגֵרְךָ אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ Why would the Torah List animal before the Geirim?
2
votes
2answers
111 views

Avraham's different approaches to kidnapping

I find something very strange. Lot gets kidnapped; Avraham goes to war to get him back. Sarah his wife gets kidnapped; he does and says nothing. What is with this very strange discrepancy?
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, ...
1
vote
1answer
102 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
80 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
73 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
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
0answers
94 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." ...
1
vote
2answers
45 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
71 views

Could B'nei M'nashe have been placed with R'uven and Gad as a remedy to their separatism?

Does the following idea have any validity? Is it brought down anywhere? When members of the tribes of R'uven and Gad approached Moshe to unwaveringly request settlement on the east bank of the Jordan,...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Did Moshe give 1/50 of the donkeys, sheep and cattle to the Levi'im?

Numbers 31:30 says: (Sefaria.org translation), describing G-d's command to Moshe: וּמִמַּחֲצִ֨ת בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל תִּקַּ֣ח ׀ אֶחָ֣ד ׀ אָחֻ֣ז מִן־הַחֲמִשִּׁ֗ים מִן־הָאָדָ֧ם מִן־הַבָּקָ֛ר מִן־...
2
votes
0answers
17 views

Please explain anomalies in phrasing of Succot sacrifices (B'midbar 29:17-39) - Part 3

The description of the Mincha and libations and the majority of wording (and trope) fof the Succot sacrifices described in B'midbar 29:12-29 are identical except for the following change occurring at ...
1
vote
0answers
19 views

Why the use of the plural form in describing the mincha for the 7th day of Succot?

In the description of the Succot sacrifices in B'midbar 29:12-39, when describing the mincha for days 2-6 the phrasing is in singular at the end of the verse as in: וּמִנְחָתָ֣ם וְנִסְכֵּיהֶ֡ם ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

Please explain anomalies in phrasing of Succot sacrifices (B'midbar 29:17-39) - Part 2

The description of the Mincha and libations and the majority of wording (and trope) fof the Succot sacrifices described in B'midbar 29:12-29 are identical except for the following changes: 2nd day, ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Whats Up With Ascending Sinai: Repeated Warning

Hashem commands Moshe to warn the people not to touch the mountain (Exodus 19:12). Although the Torah doesn't mention it, Moshe's words in v. 23 imply that he indeed warned the people not to touch it....
2
votes
0answers
12 views

Please explain anomalies in phrasing of Succot sacrifices (B'midbar 29:12-39)

The description of the Mincha and libations and the majority of wording (and trope) fof the Succot sacrifices described in B'midbar 29:12-29 are identical except for the following changes: 1st day (...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

Two types of kohanim; are there any practical differences between them?

Peninim on the Torah says: Thus, the Kehunah, which he (Pinchas) received as a reward, was a totally new Kehunah, not connected with that of Aharon HaKohen. Are there any practical differences ...
7
votes
2answers
125 views

Why was the man in Numbers 15 put to death?

Once, when the Israelites were in the wilderness, they came upon a man gathering wood on the Sabbath day. Those who found him as he was gathering wood brought him before Moses, Aaron, and the whole ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
28 views

Does Devarim 17:12 refer to a recalcitrant litigant or a rebellious local judge?

In an answer to this other question, someone asserted that rather than referring to a recalcitrant litigant, Devarim 17:12 refers, according to Jewish tradition, to a rebellious local judge. That ...
11
votes
1answer
280 views

Was Ankhmahor really Yosef?

I was reading an article today on circumcision a news website I frequent. It displayed a picture from the tomb of Ankhmahor, a high ranking Egyptian official that was, apparently, responsible for mass ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

What happened to Balak?

What ever happened to Balak after the Bil'am affair? Bil'am is referred to often as Bil'am HaRasha' (the wicked), and he is blamed for the entire encounter as well as the Ba'al Pe'or incident. But ...
1
vote
0answers
19 views

Why is there a difference regarding the water drinking request between Edom and Moav?

Regarding the request that B'nai Isra'el made to Edom, Numbers 20:19: וַיֹּאמְר֨וּ אֵלָ֥יו בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֘ל בַּֽמְסִלָּ֣ה נַעֲלֶה֒ וְאִם־מֵימֶ֤יךָ נִשְׁתֶּה֙ אֲנִ֣י וּמִקְנַ֔י וְנָתַתִּ֖י ...
5
votes
1answer
105 views

Parshas Chukas: Hitting the rock vs. Talking to the rock

Hashem is angered that Moshe hits the rock instead of following His specific instruction to speak to the rock. “Hashem said to Moshe and Aharon: Because you did not believe in me to sanctify me in the ...
-4
votes
1answer
78 views

Why was the law about Para Aduma given in Mara? [closed]

Why out of all the 613 mitvot was the para aduma chosen to be 'given' in Mara? 'Shom som lo 'chok' umishpat'. Chok refers to para aduma and why is it only mentioned so late in the torah after Korach....
8
votes
3answers
89 views

Why couldn't the Jews do Teshuva by the incident of the spies?

After Hashem chastised the Jews for not wanting to go into Eretz Yisrael, and told them that they will have to die in the desert, the Jews seemed to have had a change of heart. A few even were willing ...
0
votes
3answers
63 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
54 views

Understanding Wording in Bamidbar 16:6

Numbers 16:6 says: זאת עשו קחו לכם מחתות קרח וכל עדתו. This do: take you censers, Korah, and all his company; I'm struggling to understand the last three words which are in the third ...
1
vote
1answer
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

According to Bamidbar Rabba, why was Caleb so adamant about the fruit?

Bamidbar Rabba 16:14 has an interesting back-story for the giant fruits that Numbers 13:23 tells us the twelve spies retrieved from Canaan: ויבאו עד נחל אשכול - לא רצו ליטול מפירות א"י, אילולי כלב ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

If shepherds are taboo to Egyptians, what do we make of them having sheep themselves?

Yosef tells his family to say they're shepherds because that's taboo to Egypt: you must say, 'We and our fathers have dealt in livestock all our lives'. You will then be able to settle in the ...