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

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Tree of Life in the midst of the garden?

How should the following phrase be interpreted? וְעֵץ הַחַיִּים בְּתוֹךְ הַגָּן (Genesis 2:9) Does this mean The [Tree of Life] (which is) in the garden or does it mean The Tree of ...
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What's the difference between אניה and ספינה in Jonah?

In יונה‎ 1:2–5, the boat Yona is on is referred to generally as an אניה. But in verse 5, Yona goes down to a side room of the ספינה. The commentaries seem to treat the words as synonymous: ...
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Ezekiel 16:4: לֹא הֻמְלַחַתְּ — what practice does this describe?

Ezekiel 16:4 seems to be describing practices performed on an infant or young child. But, what practice does לֹא הֻמְלַחַתְּ refer to? Do any rabbis explain the meaning?
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63 views

Ba'al Shem Tov online

Hebrew books does not have Ba'al Shem Tov on the Torah. Does anyone know where I can find the Ba'al Shem Tov on the Torah online?
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241 views

What is the Significance of Ten Generations in the Torah when it comes to Genealogy

No Ammonite or Moabite shall be admitted into the congregation of the Lord; none of their descendants, even in the tenth generation-Deuteronomy 23:4 What is the significance of the ten-generation ...
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What does, 'A wandering Aramean was my father' mean in Dt 26:5?

What does, 'A wandering Aramean was my father' mean in Dt 26:5? Why was this response required to be made before the LORD?
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20 years for Sin, 7 years for beauty

In the first pasuk of Parshat Chayai Sarah (Genesis 23:1), the Torah says: א. וַיִּהְיוּ חַיֵּי שָׂרָה מֵאָה שָׁנָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וְשֶׁבַע שָׁנִים שְׁנֵי חַיֵּי שָׂרָה: And the life ...
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Why is the return to Egypt on boats?

The Posuk says (Devarim 28:68): וֶהֱשִׁיבְךָ יְ־הֹוָ־ה מִצְרַיִם בָּאֳנִיּוֹת בַּדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר אָמַרְתִּי לְךָ לֹא תֹסִיף עוֹד לִרְאֹתָהּ And the LORD shall bring thee back into Egypt in ...
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Do we care or do we not care about beauty?

Rashi Breishis 23:1 says that when Sarah was 20 she was beautiful as when she was 7. Mishlei 31:30 says שקר החן והבל היפי אשה יראת ה' היא תתהלל. Why is Rashi saying that Sarah was beautiful if it is ...
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83 views

Two types of forgetting?

Bereishis 41:51 כי נשני אלהים את כל עמלי ואת כל בית אבי God has caused me to forget all my toil and all my father's house Devarim 25:19 תמחה את זכר עמלק מתחת השמים לא תשכח Erase ...
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Is there something shocking about the location of Mount Gerizim and Eval?

In Devarim 11:30, after describing the blessings and curses to be delivered on Har Gerizim and Eval, Moshe says the following: הלא המה בעבר הירדן אחרי דרך מבוא השמש בארץ הכנעני הישב בערבה מול ...
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Which nation in this prophecy of Haggai will shake nations and will be given peace(שָׁלוֹם) [closed]

The following verse in the Torah prophesizes about a nation which will be given "peace" and coming of a praised being: and I will shake all nations, and the choicest(חֶמְדַּת ) things of all ...
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Compare Devarim 14:11 and Devarim 14:20- Is there a difference in meaning between “tzipor” and “of”?

The two verses Devarim 14:11 and 14:20 appear to say the same thing except that v 11 uses the word "tzipor" and v 20 uses the word "of". Aren't they the same thing? If yes, what is the second verse ...
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What constitutes an “Enemy of God”?

(I'm not referring here to Tenokim Shenishbu.) Devarim 7: "And he repays his enemies in his lifetime to make him perish, he shall noy delay for his enemy, in his lifetime shall he pay him". Who are ...
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Hashem to Moshe - *your* nation?

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלַי, קוּם רֵד מַהֵר מִזֶּה--כִּי שִׁחֵת עַמְּךָ, אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתָ מִמִּצְרָיִם: סָרוּ מַהֵר, מִן-הַדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִם--עָשׂוּ לָהֶם, מַסֵּכָה. (דברים ט:יב)‏ Why is ...
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Wasn't Korach the star of the show?

In Parshas Eikev (Devarim 11:6), Moshe recounts the results of the dispute between Korach and Moshe, namely the ground opening its mouth and swallowing them up. There is one significant person ...
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Why strong wind when splitting the sea?

The verses describing the splitting of the Yam Suf (Reed Sea) say a strong wind blew overnight before the sea split. To me, this implies a gradual process of moving a great deal of water. On the ...
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Why can't Hashem chase the people out of Canaan quickly?

Exodus 23:29 says that Hashem promised not to drive out the indigenous peoples of Canaan too quickly lest the wild animals become too plentiful. This is repeated in Deuteronomy 7:22. However the ...
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Referencing Iron before the Iron Age

A guest brought up this question at the shabbos table, and no one had an answer. In D'Varim 8:9 it says "...a land whose stones are iron...". The question this guest asked was: How is it that the ...
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Unusual pronunciation of “Mol” in Devarim 1:1

Devarim 1:1 uses the phrase "Mol Suf". The word is pronounced "Mol" vs. "Mul". I assume that the literal definition of the word is "against" or "near". In other locations in the Torah, the word is ...
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Was there lightning during the plague of hail?

Shmot 9:23 uses the word "Kolot", which means "noises" or "voices". I'm assuming, therefore, that this means thunder as this is a "noise". Scientifically, there is no thunder without lightning, ...
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Why the hidden mussar?

The first few words of Sefer Devarim are understood to be Moshe Rabbeinu hinting at different mistakes the Jewish people made in the desert, and he is giving them disguised rebuke. Rashi to Devarim ...
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38 years or 40 years in the desert?

I'm confused regarding several apparently contradictory verses: Bamidbar 14:33 says that B;nai Yisra'el will wander the desert for 40 years. In Devarim 1:19 - 22, Moshe says that they arrived at ...
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Had B'nai Yisra'el not sent the spies, would they have had to fight against Amalek?

Rashi on Devarim 1:8 says that if it weren't for the sin with the spies, we would have never needed armaments. Bamidbar 14:25 tells us that Amalek lived in the valleys, and Devarim 25:29 states that ...
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The Tyrian Smith's Lineage

Kings I ch. 7 tells of Solomon enlisting a Tyrian smith named Hiram to fashion many implements that were used in the Temple. He is said to be the orphaned son of a Tyrian man and a woman from ...
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Why is there a paragraph break in the middle of the list of travels?

In (Bamidbar Ch. 33) the Torah lists all the stops the Israelites made in the desert. Between verses 39 and 40, there is a parsha-break, represented by the ס in the linked text, which is the Torah's ...
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Can the “Go'el Hadam” kill the inadvertent killer if he lives in any refuge city after the Cohen Gadol dies?

Bamidbar 35:25 - 27 state that a person who inadvertantly kills someone must reside in the city of refuge until the Kohen Gadol dies. If that person leaves the refuge city, the "Go'el Hadam" (loose ...
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Do religious Jews generally believe the serpent of Gan 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 ...
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Pinchas Ben Yair's Donkey

וַיָּבֹא הָאִישׁ הַבַּיְתָה וַיְפַתַּח הַגְּמַלִּים וַיִּתֵּן תֶּבֶן וּמִסְפּוֹא לַגְּמַלִּים וּמַיִם לִרְחֹץ רַגְלָיו וְרַגְלֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ. Breishis 24:32 Rashi on this Posuk ...
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Donkey Talked and an Angel Appeared - Who Knew?

Why is no mention made of the reaction, of Balak’s officers who were accompanying Bilaam, to the talking donkey or the revelation of the angel?
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Did the daughters of Tzlafhad make two separate requests to Moshe or just one?

In both Bamidbar 36:5 and Bamidbar 27:6, we find that G-d commands Moshe regarding 2 different requests from B'not (daughters of) Tzlafhad. Even though the Torah records these in separate places, and ...
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Who or what was Gilaad?

In parshas pinchas ch 26 vs 29 we find Menasheh had a son Machir who had a son Gilaad (גלעד). In fact this family group was called "Gilaadi" (גלעדי). At the end of parshas Matos ch 32 vs 39 - 40 we ...
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Would Moshe have lived longer if he had delayed fighting Midyan?

Rashi to Bamidbar 31:3 says: וידבר משה וגו': אף על פי ששמע שמיתתו תלויה בדבר עשה בשמחה ולא איחר: Moses spoke: Although he heard that his death depended on the matter, he did it joyfully, ...
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The Priest-King's name

In Kings II ch. 15, עזריה, Azariah son of Amaziah is said to reign over Judah. During his reign he is stricken with leprosy and lives out his days in this state, while his son Jotham rules in his ...
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The Tyrian Smith's Name

Kings I ch. 7 tells of Solomon enlisting a Tyrian smith named חירם, Hiram to fashion many implements that were used in the Temple. Chronicles II ch. 2 speaks of the King of Tyre sending a smith named ...
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Moav or Midian - who seduced the Jews at Shitim?

Who were the women seducers in Shitim who caused the Jewish people to stray after their gods (Baal Peor), discussed in Parshas Balak and Pinchas? On the one hand, it seems like the women came from ...
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Who is Tzippor?

Parashat Balaq indirectly references "Tzippor" five times (by introducing Balaq as "ben Tzippor"). I don't believe Rashi brings down any background regarding Tzippor. If the Torah refers to Balaq as ...
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Understanding Naomi selling a field

In Rus 4:3 Boaz says And he said to the near kinsman, "Naomi, who has returned from the field of Moab, is selling the portion of the field that belonged to our brother, to Elimelech. How does ...
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What is the plague being referred to in Parshas Korach?

Bamidbar 17:11 ויאמר משה אל אהרן קח את המחתה ותן עליה אש מעל המזבח ושים קטרת והולך מהרה אל העדה וכפר עליהם כי יצא הקצף מלפני יהוה החל הנגף And Moses said unto Aaron: 'Take thy fire-pan, and ...
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Why is Bil'am not surprised that his mule is talking to him?

During the scene in parshat Balak, it says that "God opened the mule's mouth" and it asked Bil'am why he hit him. Bil'am answers the donkey. It seems that he is not surprised at all that the donkey is ...
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What's the meaning of Daniel 9:26

Daniel 9:26: And after the threescore and two weeks shall an anointed one be cut off, and be no more; and the people of a prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; but his ...
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165 views

Why did Moshe need to go up Har Sinai to be told to go down?

Exodus 19:20-21 וַיֵּ֧רֶד יְהוָ֛ה עַל־ הַ֥ר סִינַ֖י אֶל־ רֹ֣אשׁ הָהָ֑ר וַיִּקְרָ֨א יְהוָ֧ה לְמֹשֶׁ֛ה אֶל־ רֹ֥אשׁ הָהָ֖ר וַיַּ֥עַל מֹשֶֽׁה׃ וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־ מֹשֶׁ֔ה ...
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Why does the Torah sometimes refer to Shabbat as a masculine noun and other times as a feminine noun?

There are times when the Torah refers to Shabat in feminine as in Shmot (Ex.) 31:13 "...But you shall observe my Shabbats, for SHE is a sign". Other times the masculine voice is used as in Shmot (Ex.) ...
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On the gender of the implied “פַּעַם שֵׁנִי” in Esther 2:14

Ester 2:14 speaks of each candidate for the title of queen consort: בָּעֶרֶב הִיא בָאָה וּבַבֹּקֶר הִיא שָׁבָה אֶל בֵּית הַנָּשִׁים שֵׁנִי In the evening she would arrive and in the morning ...
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When Tana“ch uses the phrase ”until today" what does it mean?

There are numerous places where Tana"ch uses the phrase "עד היום" or "עד היום הזה" ("until\to this day"). Usually, this phrase is used regarding the names of cities, towns, etc. - occasionally, such ...
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115 views

The status of Eliezer as a slave

I am going to piece together a variety of bits of information, so please bear with me. Eliezer was in charge of Avraham's house already before Avraham had his name changed (Bereishit 15:2) Eliezer ...
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188 views

Post-Korach altar cover: how was it made and used?

Numbers 17:2-5 describes the covering that was made for the altar from the fire-pans of Korach's rebels: [...] 4 And Eleazar the priest took the brazen fire-pans, which they that were burnt had ...
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105 views

Do primary sources unequivocally record coming of the Moshiach and establishing world order

Do the primary sources like Torah , tanach record the elaborate and supernatural propheises concerning the Moshiach? Rambam and talmud has described the qualities of Moshiach but do the primary ...
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Why were the Jews punished for 40 years if the spies were the ones who were there for 40 days?

Rashi (Bemidbar 13:25) implies that the Jews were in the Sinai Desert for 40 years in response to the spies being in the Land of Israel for 40 days. While the spies had 40 days worth of planning to ...