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

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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־...
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20 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 ...
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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 ...
3
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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....
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47 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 ...
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136 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
288 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 ...
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1answer
97 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 ...
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120 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 ...
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1answer
80 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....
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3answers
92 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 ...
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3answers
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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57 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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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377 views

Saadia Gaon on the Torah Original Arabic

Is the commentary of the Torah (not the translation) of Saadia Gaon in the original Arabic available online?
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4answers
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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540 views

Does God's forgiveness in Bamidbar (Num.) 14:20 contradict the fact that punishment was meted, nonetheless?

In this week's parsha, Shlach, we see in Bamidbar (Num.) 14:20, God says, "I have forgiven ..." Yet, beginning in the next verse and continuing until verse 35, God mentions punishing the people. Is ...
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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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34 views

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׃ ...
3
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1answer
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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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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78 views

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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2answers
94 views

How would worshiping G-d at Mt. Sinai be proof that G-d sent Moshe as a messenger?

In Shmot 3:12 G-d says that the proof that G-d sent Moses as a messenger to B'nai Yisra'el is that when he takes them out of Egypt, they will worship G-d at the very mountain that G-d is speaking to ...
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46 views

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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4answers
151 views

Did Reuven find out what had happened to Yosef?

In Bereishis 37:29: And Reuven returned to the pit and look! Yosef wasn't in the pit. But neither the verse nor Rashi, for that matter, explain if he ever found out what the brothers had done. ...
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1answer
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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1answer
41 views

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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154 views

Why all the talk about colored sheep and goats?

In the VaYetze weekly reading (Parasha) there is a long description of the colors of the sheep and goat: Akudim, Nekutim... What is the reason behind all of this descriptions? If the text wanted to ...
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2answers
105 views

Why specify the wind as the force for Hashem's miracles?

There seems to be a consistent phenomenon where the Torah relays a miracle or sign of Hashem, but only when He carries the act out through wind is the process specified. Why is this? See parshas Bo ...
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216 views

Could the destroyer in Egypt discriminate?

In Rashi's comment to Shemos 12:22 we read ואתם לא תצאו וגו': מגיד שמאחר שנתנה רשות למשחית לחבל אינו מבחין בין צדיק לרשע …once permission has been given to the משחית (destroyer) to damage,...
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2answers
79 views

Why does Yaakov mention the two camps to Hashem?

When Yaakov was praying to Hashem in chapter 32, he points out in verse 11 how much Hashem has done for him by saying כי במקלי עברתי את הירדן הזה ועתה הייתי לשני מחנות, 'for with my stick I crossed ...
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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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102 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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305 views

Eating meat on a regular basis

It says in Vayikra Perek 17 Pasuk 13 (Parshas Achrei-Mos): "וְאִישׁ אִישׁ מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמִן הַגֵּר הַגָּר בְּתוֹכָם אֲשֶׁר יָצוּד צֵיד חַיָּה אוֹ עוֹף אֲשֶׁר יֵאָכֵל וְשָׁפַךְ אֶת דָּמוֹ ...
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1answer
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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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111 views

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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1answer
76 views

Where were Yaakov's own animals when his wives' were divided into two camps?

At the beginning of Vayishlach, Yaakov divides his possessions into two camps. Chizkuni, seemingly bothered by Rashi's question about the gender of "המחנה האחת", explains that it means (not "the one&...
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7+7 clean animals(Noach 7:2)

Why is the clean animals mentioned only once and the rest of animals(a pair) is mentioned numerous times with the omission of the clean .
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4answers
130 views

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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2answers
55 views

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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3answers
385 views

Why is a “leper” allowed to sit with other “lepers”?

In Parshat Tazria (Vayikra 13:46) we are told: All the days the lesion is upon him, he shall remain unclean. He is unclean; he shall dwell isolated; his dwelling shall be outside the camp As ...
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1answer
56 views

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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1answer
119 views

Questions surrounding Bilam's death

In Parshas Matos (Bamidbar 31:8) it says וְאֵת בִּלְעָם בֶּן-בְּעוֹר הָרְגוּ בֶּחָרֶב. Did Bilam do anything to avoid getting killed? What did he do? And who actually killed him?
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173 views

Why does the tribe of Gad have an unusual population count in Bamidbar 1?

When listing the census of the tribes in Bamidbar 1, only the tribe of Gad has the count 45,650 - I.e. - the count is not exactly on the hundreds as it is with all the other tribes. As the count was ...
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2answers
145 views

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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2answers
93 views

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 ...