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

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Bemidbar 9:2 - Why is the word pronounced “Posach”, with a kamatz?

During this morning's (4th day Hol Hamo'ed Pesach outside Israel) I noticed that in Numbers 9:2: וְיַעֲשׂ֧וּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל אֶת־הַפָּ֖סַח בְּמוֹעֲדֽוֹ׃ ’Let the children of Israel keep the ...
8
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188 views

(Ki) Ani Hashem Elokeihem

Twenty-seven times (by my count) in Torah and in Ezekiel, we find the phrase אני ה׳ אלקיכם or אני ה׳ אלקיהם at the end of a pasuk (for example, Lev 25:55). In eight of these cases, the phrase is ...
4
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1answer
106 views

Where does the Zohar mention each day's challenges?

The Artscroll Stone Chumash on page 80, note 11, says the following: באים בימים - Coming with [their] days. The Zohar says, "Each day in a person's life carries with it it's own challenge and ...
2
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1answer
97 views

Why does the Torah say ואלה תולדת יצחק?

Parashat Toldot starts with the words ואלה תולדת יצחק בן אברהם; אברהם הוליד את יצחק These are the generations of Yitzhak the son of Avraham; Avraham gave birth to Yitzhak. Normally when the ...
3
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2answers
96 views

Pharaoh should have asked for his presents back when he found out that Soroi was Abram's wife?

Pharaoh took Soroi and benefited Abram for her sake 12 (16). He did this on the understanding that Soroi was Abram's sister. He asked 12 (18) “Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?” ...
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143 views

Why the use of “King of Egypt” at the beginning of Shemot 14::5?

The beginning of Shemot 14:5 says, "It was told to the King of Egypt...". Why use this term instead of the more common term "Pharoah"?
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19 views

Age of Avram (Avraham) when he left for Kena'an out of the Ur Kasdim?

Nechemyah 9:7-8 teaches that it was HaShem who brought (or called?) Avram forth out of the Ur Kasdim Bereshit 11:31 teaches that Terach took his whole household in which included Avram and they went ...
2
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2answers
45 views

Explain how the last word of Yosef's “oath” got into the verse in Shemot 13:19

In Shemot 13:19, the verse quotes the oath that Yosef made his brothers and descendants swear about carrying his bones when they leave Egypt. Compare these words in this verse with the actual oath ...
3
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1answer
48 views

Why the person switches in Shemos 14:2-4?

Shemos 14:2-4: דבר, אל-בני ישראל, וישובו ויחנו לפני פי החירות, בין מגדול ובין הים: לפני בעל צפון, נכחו תחנו על-הים.‏ ואמר פרעה לבני ישראל, נבוכים הם בארץ; סגר עליהם, המדבר.‏ ...
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2answers
58 views

How did Ya'akov keep his vow regarding tithing?

With permission, I ask this question with honor and respect to a 92 year old man who paid attention to my laining this morning. May he live a long life! Genesis 28:22: וְהָאֶ֣בֶן הַזֹּ֗את ...
2
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2answers
97 views

Why did Esther have to become queen and be forced into adultery?

Presumably God could save the Jewish people without Esther, a married woman, becoming the wife of Achashverosh. So why did He choose to bring the salvation in this fashion? (although she was ...
2
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2answers
164 views

Where can I get the full set of Shadal's commentary on the Torah?

I'm a big fan of Shadal's commentary on the Torah, but I can't find anyone selling the full set. There's an english translation of Breishis only and the full hebrew version is available online, but I ...
3
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1answer
62 views

What did Nadav and Avihu do wrong?

Leviticus 10 tells about the death of Aharon's sons: And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took each of them his censer, and put fire therein, and laid incense thereon, and offered strange fire ...
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2answers
161 views

What happened with Nadav and Avihu?

Regarding the death of Nadav and Avihu, the Torah says it happened when they brought a foreign / unauthorized fire into the Mishkan. Concerning their death, Rashi brings up Rabbi Eliezer's opinion ...
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39 views

No mention of Simcha for Pesach

Devarim (Deut.) ch. 16).. lists the 3 pilgrimage holidays, Pesach, Shavuot and Succot. Of the 3 holidays, Pesach has no explicit mention of "simcha" (joy). Why is that? Is simcha not required on ...
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56 views

Human v.s. Animal: spiritual v.s the most fine physical entity kind of soul?

If animals don't have spirits (Does anyone have a proof text that animals *don't* have spirits?), then what is the meaning of nishmat ruach chayim in Bereshit 7:22? And in what way does it differ ...
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2answers
50 views

Why does Megilas Esther describe Achashveirosh's sleepless night as “on that night”?

What was so special about the night that Achashveirosh couldn't sleep that it was referred to in the Megila (6:1) as "that night", i.e. בלילה ההוא נדדה שנת המלך It could have said something more ...
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1answer
50 views

Why did nachshon jump first?

In sota 37a and michilta beshalach 14,22 and bamidber raba 13,7 it says that nachshon ben aminodov jumped in first in the yam suf and his name is nachshon says the midrash because he jumped into ...
8
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1answer
200 views

Is there a difference in meaning between קָדֹֽשׁ and קֹֽדֶשׁ?

I am helping my son lain parshat Emor. He's having a hard time seeing the difference between קֹֽדֶשׁ and קָדֹ֥שׁ esp. when they are written the same. Usually, when I train students to lain, I try to ...
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1answer
49 views

Why doesn't Yitzchak chastise Avimelech about the wells the way his father did?

In parshat Toldot, we see a number of situations that occur to Yitzhak that are (almost) identical to those that occurred to his father, Avraham. Examples: There is a famine. Yitzchak seeks to go to ...
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88 views

Why does Rashi describe Mahalath as “Another unsuitable wife”?

At the end of Parshat Toldot, Eisav marries the daughter of Yishmael, as he "perceives" that the daughters of Heth have upset his parents. Whilst obviously Eisav had many flaws, this appears to be a ...
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1answer
85 views

Were Zimri and Cozbi inside or outside?

Bamidbar 25:6 says: וְהִנֵּה אִישׁ מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּא, וַיַּקְרֵב אֶל-אֶחָיו אֶת-הַמִּדְיָנִית, לְעֵינֵי מֹשֶׁה, וּלְעֵינֵי כָּל-עֲדַת בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל; וְהֵמָּה בֹכִים, פֶּתַח אֹהֶל ...
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1answer
38 views

Is G-d chasing out the Cananite nations or does B'nai Yisra'el have to do this?

There appears to be a conflict of ideas regarding who should rid the land of Cana'an from its inhabitants: Exodus 23:28-29 (Sefaria): וְשָׁלַחְתִּ֥י אֶת־הַצִּרְעָ֖ה לְפָנֶ֑יךָ וְגֵרְשָׁ֗ה ...
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3answers
171 views

Who is “thrusted through” in Zechariah 12:10?

How do Jews generally view/regard this verse? And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they shall look unto Me ...
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1answer
57 views

Mi La'Hashem Eilai - Was this an appropriate response?

This question weaves together a couple different sources. The first nekudah comes from 32:32 where we have the phrase: וְאִם-אַיִן--מְחֵנִי נָא, מִסִּפְרְךָ אֲשֶׁר כָּתָבְתָּ - If you will not ...
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30 views

In Genesis, Did Pharaoh Give Joseph the Whole Land of Egypt?

1. Question: Did Pharaoh Give Joseph the Entire Land of Egypt? Or, Did Pharaoh Appoint Joseph to rule over all of the Land of Egypt? What is the difference between "All the People", (v.40) - and ...
8
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2answers
152 views

Is there a reason or pattern as to when the Torah uses אֵת instead of אֶת?

I noticed a mix of the two forms of the Hebrew objective marker commonly pronounced אֶת. in the Torah. (There is no English translation of this word. It is used only to notify that an object follows ...
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2answers
124 views

Why does Yosef bring his sons to Yaakov

Yaakov famously blesses Ephraim and Menashe but who tells Yosef to bring them to their grandfather? It doesn't seem that this would be a natural thing to do as they are not Yaakov's sons. Does ...
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1answer
22 views

Info on Levonah

Considering the current parshios mentioning of Levonah (Frankincense, Olibanum), I decided to look into it a bit. According to the wiki entry here there are therapeutic and medicinal properties ...
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3answers
691 views

Is Psalm 110 considered messianic?

How do Jews interpret Psalm 110? (Christians see it as a messianic reference.) I am specifically interested in verse 1 - "The Lord saith unto my lord." Jesus quotes this in Matthew 22:44, and ...
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43 views

Why does HaShem refer to Himself in the third “person”?

In Joshua 1:9, HaShem says to Joshua: Did I not command you, be strong and have courage, do not fear and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. My wife asked a ...
5
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1answer
87 views

Why would Haman “restrain himself”?

In Esther (5:9), when Haman leaves the king's palace after Queen Esther's first party, all happy and feeling on top of the world, gets very upset when he sees Mordechai sitting there, and not bowing ...
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1answer
118 views

מחני נא — Moshe's real name isn't mentioned

In Shemot 32:32, Moshe tells Hashem: וְעַתָּה אִם תִּשָּׂא חַטָּאתָם וְאִם אַיִן מְחֵנִי נָא מִסִּפְרְךָ אֲשֶׁר כָּתָבְתָּ: And now, if You forgive their sin But if not, erase me now from ...
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3answers
206 views

Why did Pharaoh try to kill Moshe?

Moshe Rabbeinu was raised in Pharaoh's house. Yet when Dasan and Aviram claimed that Moshe killed an Egyptian taskmaster, Pharaoh tried to kill him (Shemot 2:13-15). Why would an all powerful tyrant ...
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4answers
196 views

Doesn't Zeresh know Mordechai was Jewish?

In Esther 6:13 Zeresh says 'If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him.' Wasn't it already ...
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2answers
77 views

Why is there a change in wording between “great” and “hard” in Shemot 18:22 and Shemot 19:26?

Exodus 18:22: וְשָׁפְט֣וּ אֶת־הָעָם֮ בְּכָל־עֵת֒ וְהָיָ֞ה כָּל־הַדָּבָ֤ר הַגָּדֹל֙ יָבִ֣יאוּ אֵלֶ֔יךָ וְכָל־הַדָּבָ֥ר הַקָּטֹ֖ן יִשְׁפְּטוּ־הֵ֑ם וְהָקֵל֙ מֵֽעָלֶ֔יךָ וְנָשְׂא֖וּ אִתָּֽךְ׃ ...
12
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5answers
3k views

Moses lived 120 years, and tradition says no one can live longer, so why do they?

Genesis 6:3: And the LORD said: 'My spirit shall not abide in man for ever, for that he also is flesh; therefore shall his days be a hundred and twenty years.' In Deut. 34:7 the age of Moses upon his ...
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2answers
540 views

What is the difference between the words “tzur” and “selah” (which both mean rock)?

Beshalach (Shmot 17:6): ... you shall strike the rock (tzur) and water will come forth from it ... Chukat (Bamidbar 20:8): ... speak to the rock (selah) before their eyes and it shall give ...
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1answer
45 views

Active vs. Passive regarding work during 6 days of the week

Exodus 31:15: שֵׁ֣שֶׁת יָמִים֮ יֵעָשֶׂ֣ה מְלָאכָה֒ וּבַיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֗י שַׁבַּ֧ת שַׁבָּת֛וֹן קֹ֖דֶשׁ לַיהוָ֑ה כָּל־הָעֹשֶׂ֧ה מְלָאכָ֛ה בְּי֥וֹם הַשַּׁבָּ֖ת מ֥וֹת יוּמָֽת׃ Six days ...
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3answers
165 views

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 ...
4
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0answers
39 views

Why the difference in כאשר צוה ה׳ between Vayakhel and Pekudei?

Why does the Torah consistently say כאשר צוה ה׳ את משה or some equivalent after describing the making of each step of the priestly garments (Exodus 39:1, 5, 7, 21, 26, 29 and 31) but not in the ...
2
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1answer
60 views

Parshas Terumah vs. Vayakhel - instruction vs action

Last night my chavrusa and I were comparing the language surrounding the command of the construction of the Tabernacle versus the language used to describe the fulfillment of that command. By the ...
3
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1answer
45 views

What was the purpose of the veil that Moses wore?

Sforno on Exodus 34:33 ויכל משה מדבר אתם אבל בעוד שהיה מדבר אתם היה בלי מסוה, כענין והיו עיניך רואות את מוריך וכאמרם ז''ל (פרק קמא דעירובין) ואי חזיתיה מקמיה, הוינא מחדד טפי (English ...
3
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1answer
63 views

To Fear or not to Fear that is the question

The Posuk (Exodus 20:17) starts off: וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל-הָעָם אַל-תִּירָאוּ (And Moses said unto the people: ‘Don't fear' ...) Then it goes on too say: וּבַעֲבוּר תִּהְיֶה יִרְאָתוֹ ...
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0answers
59 views

Leaving the King's road?

We say in Bemidbar 20:17 to Edom: Let us now pass through your land: We won't pass through the fields and vineyards and we won't drink well-water; on the road of the king we will go, we won't ...
2
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2answers
115 views

Onkelos on Deut. 4:19

In Devarim 4:19, Onkelos translates ונדחת as ותטעי and והשתחוית as ותסגוד. First, what exactly is he trying to convey with ותטעי? I think of טעות as "whoops", and hopefully there's no serious damage, ...
2
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3answers
172 views

Miswa of Lifne Iwer isn't what the words mean literally?

My fellow Jew (let's call him Bob) and I were discussing the Miswa of "You shall not place a stumbling block in front of a blind person (Wayikra 19)". Bob was saying that that verse was referring to ...
2
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0answers
60 views

Is there a pattern to Yonasan Ben Uziel's introduction to mitzvos?

Starting with the dibros, YbU introduces some mitzvos with the words 'Ami bnei Yisrael" and I don't see the pattern as to when he does and when he doesn't. Anyone have an idea which ones deserve this ...
3
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0answers
40 views

Trying to understand Targum of סביב

It seems every instance we have the word סביב in the Torah, Targum translates it as סחור סחור, a doubling of the word which I would have assumed would suffice in single format. See for instance ...
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2answers
36 views

Request in Kiddush Levanah about restoring the moon's original luminance

Near the end of Kiddush Levana, there is a request that says: וִיהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהַי וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתַי לְמַלּאֹת פְּגִימַת הַלְּבָנָה, וְלאֹ יִהְיֶה בָּהּ שׁוּם מִעוּט, וִיהִי אוֹר ...