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

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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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55 views

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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48 views

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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70 views

How to reconcile a sod the conflicts with the peshat?

We have a tradition that the Torah can be learned with four methods: pshat, remez, derush and sod. It is also known that the pshat (simple meaning) holds true. If so, how then can it be reconciled ...
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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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29 views

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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166 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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91 views

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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107 views

Was Naaman tamei from tzaraas?

In Melachim Bet 5:10 we read: וַיִּשְׁלַח אֵלָיו אֱלִישָׁע, מַלְאָךְ לֵאמֹר: הָלוֹךְ, וְרָחַצְתָּ שֶׁבַע-פְּעָמִים בַּיַּרְדֵּן, וְיָשֹׁב בְּשָׂרְךָ לְךָ וּטְהָר.‏ And Elisha sent a ...
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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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156 views

Could Yonah's “whale” have been a whale?

Just prior to the start of Yom Kippur this year, a young child corrected me when I mentioned Yonah's whale and said that, "it wasn't a whale; it was a Dag Gadol." I had to admit, this was good ...
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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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109 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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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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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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148 views

Was Vashti Evil?

Is there any basis within the text of the Megillah itself to lend credence to the common Midrashic theme that Vasti was evil?
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75 views

Connection of Gog and Yavan/Greece

I saw somewhere that "Gog" mentioned in the Torah is Greece. Does anyone know a source for this?
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227 views

Adam masculine and feminine?

I've gotten the advice to ask this question apart from another question i asked (Elohim plural singular): so here it is Bereshit 5:1 reads according to my own words: 'In/On the day that Elohim ...
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135 views

How did the sons of Haman die? (Chronology of Esther chapter 9)

The 10 sons of Haman were hanged as we read in the Megillah. (Esther 9:14) But it appears they were killed by the sword. Is this a correct chronology of the story / facts? Haman was hanged on or ...
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121 views

Hur in Ki Tisa - You only live twice?

Rashi on sheni in this weeks parsha has two consecutive comments that, taken together, seem rather strange. In 32:5, he says: He saw his sister’s son Hur, who had reproved them [the Israelites], ...
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Ages in Genesis 5 [duplicate]

Are the life spans in Genesis 5 meant to be taken literally? Wasn't the life span of ancient people drastically shorter back then? I have read that the numbers are spiritual numbers that are used to ...
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Why is Aharon the only person in Tanac"h who's death date is specifically mentioned? [duplicate]

AFAIK, Aharon is the only person in Tana"ch whose death date I specifically mentioned. See Bamidbar 33:38, I know that Aharon was a Chashuver Yid, but was makes him so special that only he of all ...
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153 views

What is the relationship between the Tzitz and Tzitzit?

My friend and I were pondering the connections between the kohen gadol's tzitz and the tzitzit fringes of the average Yid. Aside from the obvious linguistic relationship (that we don't understand) ...
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93 views

Is an Eishet Yefat Toar beautiful physically or spiritually?

Devarim 21:10-14 explains the law of an Eishet Yefat Toar. The standard commentaries there indicate that she is desirable because of physical beauty. This also seems to be what the pshat is. However,...
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227 views

Song of the 5 Kings?

In Joshua 12:9-24 there is Joshua's famous song of triumph over the 31 Kings of the Land of Canaan which he conquered. The song (and it is a song per the Talmud Megillah 16b) is structured in two ...
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176 views

Was Pharoah Necho telling the truth about being sent from God?

Did God really tell Pharoah Necho to conquer Assyria? Necho tells Josiah that he was commanded to fight Assyria. Was he: Lying? Mistaken? Truthful? 2 Chronicles (Divrei Hayamim II) 35:20-22 ...
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99 views

When the terms “sasson” and “simcha” are mentioned together, is there meaning or reason to the order?

Compare two verses: Yirmiyahu (Jer.) 33:11 - "sasson" is mentioned before "simcha" Esther 8:16-17 - "simcha" is mentioned before "sasson" There are other such verses, as well, that we can compare, ...
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56 views

Sefas Emes on Aharon lighting the Menorah

According to this article on Parshas Beha'aloscha on the Aish website, the Sefas Emes says that: Aaron lit the menorah, day in and day out, with the same degree of fresh enthusiasm. The same task ...
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The chachamim on peace

Our chachamim teach that when there is peace and harmony between a man and his wife, the Divine Presence dwells with them. Does anyone know where the chachamim says this?
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What actually happened to Jacob's and Laban's sheeps and goats?

Genesis 30 (JPS): 34 And Laban said: 'Behold, would it might be according to thy word.' 35 And he removed that day the he-goats that were streaked and spotted, and all the she-goats that were ...
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Man and woman bringing out unity in the service of Hashem

In the Artscroll Stone Chumash it says on page 15 the following: לבשר אחד - One flesh. ... The Tur says, “Man and wife are in reality one flesh, as they were at the beginning of Creation." Where ...
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Was Adam placed in Gan Eden to keep the service of HaShem?

Bereshit 2:15 reads: l'avdah uleshomrah, but it seems that this can't be refering to: 'to work the earth and keep it', because after the chet (the sin) it reads in Bereshit 3:23 that Adam was taken ...
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101 views

Is Leviticus 19:16 a negative commandment?

I heard that the posuk "You shall not stand over the blood of your friend – I am Hashem" (Vayikra 19:16) is a לאו (negative commandment). Is that true? לא תעמד על דם רעך אני יקוק
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Is belief in a G-d a commandment?

I am studying to convert to Judaism and one of the questions I was asked was about the Ten Commandments. I remember reading at that time that there was debate about the division of the statements ...
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Were the Avos “Regular People”?

Were the Avos in particular and other biblical protagonists (e.g. the Imahos) regular people? That is to say, do we generally ascribe deep holy explanations for their behaviors or just say they erred? ...
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The Ear That Heard “Don't Steal”

Rashi to Exodus (21:6) quotes the Mechilta which connects the drilling of the ear of the slave to hearing "don't steal" at Sinai. The obvious question asked by the Moshav Z'keinim (there) is that ...
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112 views

Whats up With Ascending Sinai: Moshe's Refusal

Hashem tells Moshe to descend Har Sinai and warn the Jews not to ascend (Exodus 19:21). He responds (v. 23) that they cant ascend because they have already been prohibited. Did Moshe argue with a ...
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Rashi to Devarim 11 (11). In what way is mountain land superior to the land of the plain?

Rashi on Devarim 11 (11) "But the land, to which you pass to possess, is a land of mountains and valleys and absorbs water from the rains of heaven” says The mountain land is superior to the land ...
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Moshe and Klal Yisroel Separate

כָּל אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה אֱ־לֹהִים לְמֹשֶׁה וּלְיִשְׂרָאֵל עַמּוֹ Why are they separate? Did something happen to one that did not happen to the other?
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Whats Up With Ascending Sinai: Kohanim

What is the role of the Kohanim in the ascent of Sinai? They are listed second in Exodus (19:22) as being prohibited from ascending, but are listed first in v. 24. Why single them out? why switch ...
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Whats up with Ascending Har Sinai: prohibition

What is the significance of the ascent onto Har Sinai and its prohibition? Why is the prohibition introduced in Exodus (19:12) not with the more traditional expression of "don't" but with the less ...
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440 views

Why does Rashi cite the Midrash of Pharaoh's daughter stretching out her arm?

There's a famous Midrash cited by Rashi (Shemoth 2:5), that says Pharaoh's daughter stretched out her arm and that it extended beyond its natural length to pull in the basket containing the baby from ...
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213 views

Who did Yehoshua weaken with the sword?

The verse says (Shemos 17:13): And Yehoshua weakened Amalek and his nation in accordance with the sword. Who did he weaken exactly - what's the difference between Amalek and his nation? Or is there a ...
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77 views

The earlier an idea in the Torah is presented, the more primary it is

I remember hearing or reading once that ideas/lessons taught early on in the Torah (she'biksav), say in Be'reishis, are more primary ideas than those that are presented later on. My question is, does ...
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143 views

Why does Rashi say תנין is a snake, not a croc?

Rashi on Shemot 7:10: ‏ "ויהי לתנין" - נחש The pasuk: וַיָּבֹ֨א מֹשֶׁ֤ה וְאַהֲרֹן֙ אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֔ה וַיַּ֣עַשׂוּ כֵ֔ן כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר צִוָּ֣ה יְהוָ֑ה וַיַּשְׁלֵ֨ךְ אַהֲרֹ֜ן אֶת־מַטֵּ֗הוּ ...
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112 views

When did Moshe warn Bnei Yisrael not to go up Har Sinai?

Shemos 19:23 ויאמר משה אל יהוה לא יוכל העם לעלת אל הר סיני כי אתה העדתה בנו לאמר הגבל את ההר וקדשתו Moshe said "the nation can't come up, because you warned us to set boundaries around the ...
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Science of the Rishonim on “celestial spheres”

In the writings of the Rishonim, it is not uncommon to see explanations of pesukim or of aggadic concepts using the "celestial spheres" model of the universe. The Rambam in particular uses the idea ...