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

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4
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2answers
993 views

Why did Moses raise the brass serpent in the wilderness?

I would like to know the meaning for God's command to Moses to lift a serpent of brass and set it on a pole in the desert, so that all those who had been bitten by serpents would look at the brass ...
4
votes
1answer
66 views

Shiurim on Approaches of Meforshim

Does anyone know of any good shiurim that I could find online going through the approaches of the various meforshim on Torah?
4
votes
1answer
90 views

Was Binyamin aware of Tzofnas Paaneach (aka Yosef)'s true identity?

While Yosef recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. I heard a Rosh Yeshiva suggest that Binyamin, who wasn't so absorbed in the soap opera, was able to recognize Yosef, but played ...
11
votes
6answers
274 views

Why Didn't Yosef tell Yaakov He was Still Alive?

What do the meforshim say on why Yosef didn't tell Yaakov he was still alive? Do any critique him?
6
votes
2answers
688 views

What was the name of Rachel and Leah's mother?

What was the name of Lavan's wife, the mother of Rachel and Leah?
4
votes
4answers
348 views

What's the Meaning of Shiloh in the Last Blessing of Yaakov on his Children?

According to Genesis 49:10, when Yaakov was at his deathbed, he called in his sons and desired to bless them. At Judah's turn, his father said that the scepter should not depart from Judah, nor a ...
13
votes
3answers
322 views

Let there be light! But from where?

According to Genesis 1:3, "And G-d said, Let there be light; and there was light." What light is the Torah referring to if the sun which produces light by day was created only on the 4th day of ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

Menashe & Ephraim: Twins?

Were Menashe and Ephraim, sons of Yosef Hatzadik, twins?
7
votes
6answers
322 views

Chanukah and Miketz

What is the connection between Chanukah and Miketz — as, in most years, Chanukah falls out in this Parsha?
3
votes
2answers
138 views

Black Magic by Pharaoh's Magicians

What are the various opinions regarding the efficacy of the magician's in the Exodus story?
10
votes
2answers
152 views

Esav was coming with 400 men: why then

Why was Esav going toward Yaakov (Gen. 33:1, 32:7) if he had (27:41) planned to wait to kill him until Yitzchak was dead? (Please cite your source, if any.)
13
votes
10answers
436 views

Yaakov Marrying Two Sisters

According to those that say the Avos kept the Torah beforehand (here), how was Yaakov allowed to marry two sisters? (Yes, I'm aware that there are many answers)
11
votes
7answers
649 views

Avot keeping Mitzvot

How are we to understand the tradition that the patriarchs kept all of the mitzvot in the Torah (see for example the last mishna in Kidushin, Rashi Bereshit 32:5, etc.) in light of the many obvious ...
3
votes
3answers
106 views

Why did Efron have such an extreme change of heart?

When Avram wanted to buy the field that belonged to Efron, Efron said I want to give it to you for free, then after Avram said that I wanted to pay for it Efron charged him a ridiculous price for it. ...
1
vote
2answers
76 views

Why was Esav still angry

Why was Esav so angry at yaakov for stealing the bracha even though it was over 20 years since he saw him?
12
votes
6answers
661 views

does one have to take a Midrash/Aggadah literally?

Does one have to take a Midrash/Aggadah literally?
5
votes
2answers
252 views

What Mikraos Gedolos has the most meforshim?

What sefer (prob Mikraos Gedolos) has the most meforshim in it?
1
vote
0answers
54 views

Toldos Noach vs Toldos Yitzchok [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why are parshat Noach and parshat Toldot named that way? Was wondering. Why is Parshas Toldos not called Parshas Yitzchok just like Parshas Noach. In addition why is ...
13
votes
7answers
312 views

“I never saw a tzaddik be abandoned…” - how do we understand this?

At the end of bentching we say that "I was young, and I also became old, and I never saw a righteous person be abandoned, and his children asking for bread". How do we reconcile that with the ...
10
votes
6answers
267 views

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 ...
6
votes
5answers
249 views

Why didn't Avraham tell Eliezer to go get Rivka?

In Parshas Chayei Sara, Avraham tells Eliezer to go find a wife for Yitzchok from his family, כִּי אֶל אַרְצִי וְאֶל מוֹלַדְתִּי תֵּלֵךְ וְלָקַחְתָּ אִשָּׁה לִבְנִי לְיִצְחָק:‏ and not from the ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Was Lot's Wife transformation into a Salt Pillar a miracle?

We tend to envision Lot's wife becoming a salt pillar as a (lehavdil) medusa-like sudden freezing from a normal human-organic state to a stone-cold hard mineral state. Was this incident a miracle?
5
votes
2answers
64 views

Primacy of Rash"i

How did Rash"i's commentary on the Torah become the primary (phrasing intentionally vague) commentary among the hundreds of others that have been written?
2
votes
2answers
60 views

What would Avraham have done if Lot didn't choose to go to Sdom?

So Avraham tells Lot, "we need to separate; if you go right I'll go left, and vice-versa." Lot chose to go to Sdom, which was wicked. Had Lot chosen otherwise, would Avraham have gone to Sdom?
3
votes
5answers
176 views

Why is the test (Nisayon) of Kivshan Haish not mentioned in the Torah?

One of the difficult tests Avraham Avinu faced was when Nimrod threw him into the (Kivshan Haish) fire. It is not mentioned in the Torah at all. Why?
2
votes
1answer
96 views

First Barren Woman to Bear Children [closed]

Who was the first akarah (barren woman) in the Torah to bear children?
12
votes
2answers
168 views

Why did Hashem not tell Avraham to have a Bris earlier?

Avraham Avinu was told to have a Bris at 99 years of age. Why didn't Hashem have him do a Bris earlier?
3
votes
6answers
204 views

What else was in the Ark (Teiva)?

I heard that there is a Medrash that says that besides Noach, his wife, 3 sons, 3 daughters-in-law, animals, birds, and garbage there were others in the Teiva. What else was in the Teiva?
0
votes
2answers
96 views

Both with the same name [closed]

Who is the only person in Tanach whose father and father-in-law are two different people and have the exact same name?
6
votes
5answers
218 views

(Neis) Miracle of Sarah giving birth at 90

We all know how in Parshas Vayeira the miracle of Sarah giving birth @ 90 takes place. In Mitzrayim Yocheved gave birth @ 130 yet there is no mention of this. Was it not a bigger miracle? Then why is ...
1
vote
4answers
112 views

Why was the letter “Hai” added to Avraham's name?

Avarham Avinu was originally Avram - and Hashem added the letter Hai to his name and changed it to Avraham. Why from all letters was the letter Hai added?
7
votes
2answers
400 views

Is there a good children's parsha book that's focused on pshat, not midrash?

Is there a good children's parsha book that's focused on pshat, not midrash? Something like a Little Midrash Says, but based on just the psukim (simple verses), not all the medrish?
5
votes
1answer
158 views

Description of the Yetzer HaRa in Parshat Bereshit

In Parshat Bereshit, the yetzer hara's relationship to man is described in very similar langauge to the woman's relationship to man. Regarding the woman, it says (Gen. 3:16) וְאֶל-אִישֵׁךְ ...
2
votes
3answers
429 views

How many Kosher animals were in Noach's Ark?

How many animals total of each Kosher species were in the teivah during the flood?
2
votes
2answers
111 views

Riddle: Another name for Noach [closed]

What was Noach's other name?
4
votes
3answers
224 views

How old were Avraham and Sarah when they got married?

How old were Avraham Avinu and Sarah Imeinu when they got married?
9
votes
3answers
238 views

How do scientists such as Natan Aviezer and Gerald Schroeder understand the fourth day of creation?

If I understand correctly, scientists such as Natan Aviezer and Gerald Schroeder have readings of Genesis Chapter 1 that fit with the current scientific understanding of how the universe/planet/life ...
1
vote
2answers
91 views

Riddle: 3 generations all have name that can be read backwards and forwards [closed]

Where in Tanach do you have 3 generations - father, son, grandson, - all have names that can be read backwards and forwards?
4
votes
1answer
102 views

Riddle: 3 people with the same name [closed]

In the Torah - 3 people with the same name - One is Jewish - One is a Ger - One is a Non-Jew?
5
votes
1answer
88 views

Who initially populated Chanoch City?

The Torah tells us (Genesis 4:17) that Kayin built a city and named it after his son, Chanoch. If Chanoch was only of the third generation of humans, how was the total human population at the time ...
7
votes
2answers
105 views

Why are several Biblical characters called “man of the Lord” (Ish HaElokim), but no one in the Bible is ever “man of God” (Ish Hashem)?

Ramban makes this observation (Deut. 33:1), and says "anyone with a good intellect" can figure out the reason. Okay I'm stumped ... help me out here please?
11
votes
3answers
160 views

In the Bible, why did robbers bother tunneling into houses to rob them?

Exodus 22:1 speaks about the robber who was found "tunnelling in" to someone's house (vis-a-vis self-defense). Is that just a figure of speech, or did they actually go to that much trouble? (What ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

Shabbos Breishis

Why is only Shabbos Breishis known as Shabbos Breishis. (As opposed to any other week - we do not call Shabbos Noach etc.)
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Panim ba Panim?

How is it that Gd said to (moses) that "no man shall see me face to face and live". yet in bereshit-32;31 (Jacob) said "I had seen Gd face to face and my soul was saved", thus naming the place peniel. ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Becoming aware of the sight of Holiness

When Avrohom and yitschok came before har hamoriah for the akaida they both recognized that it would take place top of the mount for they saw from afar the divine presence radiating atop thus they ...
2
votes
3answers
87 views

Returning 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 ships, by ...
4
votes
2answers
58 views

כְלִי גֶבֶר Versus שִׂמְלַת אִשָּׁה

Why does the Torah switch the word for men from כְלִי to שִׂמְלַת for women?
9
votes
2answers
131 views

verb + its infinitive

Many, many times in Tanach, including Chumash, a verb has its infinitive nearby. Examples include B'reshis 2:16 מִכֹּל עֵץ הַגָּן אָכֹל תֹּאכֵל (I think that's the first example in Chumash) and ...
1
vote
3answers
49 views

Lesson in Proper Chinuch

The Posuk(יא,יט) Starts off: וְלִמַּדְתֶּם אֹתָם : "Teach THEM" plural,The Posuk ends: וּבְשָׁכְבְּךָ וּבְקוּמֶךָ: When YOU lay down and get up singular, Why The change?
1
vote
4answers
88 views

Why the Heel of the foot? (Parshas Ekev)

Parshas Ekev starts off וְהָיָה עֵקֶב תִּשְׁמְעוּן אֵת הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים Rashi says on this: אם המצות הקלות שאדם דש בעקביו תשמעון: What is the significance of the so called lite Mitzvos ...