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

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Sarah is Abraham's sister?

Genesis 20:12 has Abraham honestly saying that Sarah is indeed his sister when he is talking with Abimelek. Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and ...
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59 views

Help finding a Noam Elimelech

I recently finished Meseches Makkos and went through the Agadetahs (Summed up very quickly) of when Raban Gamliel, Rabbi Elazar Ben Azaria, Rabbi Yehoshua and Rabbi Akiva were together and Rabbi Akiva ...
4
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1answer
120 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 ...
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2answers
135 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 ...
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3answers
766 views

Why can't Ploni Almoni be a real name, in Ruth?

The verse states (Ruth 4:1): וּבֹעַז עָלָה הַשַּׁעַר, וַיֵּשֶׁב שָׁם, וְהִנֵּה הַגֹּאֵל עֹבֵר אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר-בֹּעַז, וַיֹּאמֶר סוּרָה שְׁבָה-פֹּה פְּלֹנִי אַלְמֹנִי; וַיָּסַר, וַיֵּשֵׁב Now Boaz ...
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57 views

How can something negative be a blessing?

Ya'akov calls out for his sons to come to him, in order to tell them what would happen in the acharit hayamim. From Bereshit 49 verse 28 we learn that Ya'akov gave the tribes a bracha (blessing). But ...
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20 views

Explain the “mechanics” of Bilam's blessings

I am trying to understand the actual "mechanics" of Bilam's blessing B'nai Israel, in view of these verses: Devarim (Deut.) 23:6 says that G-d "converted" Bilam's curses to a blessing. My ...
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23 views

What is the nuance expressed by Bilam in B'midbar 23:12?

When explaiing G-d's command to Balak, in B'midbar 22:38, Bilam says "what G-d places in my mouth is what I shall speak." In B'midbar 23:12, his phrasing is, "... Whatever G-d places in my mouth is ...
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36 views

Please explain anomalies in phrasing of Succot sacrifices (B'midbar 29:12-39)

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 changes: 1st day (...
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2answers
164 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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2answers
58 views

Why wasn't Zimri executed before Pinchas acted?

At the end of Parshat Balak we get the following sequence: The people, en masse it appears, go after Ba'al Peor. God tells Moshe to execute all the leaders in response. Moshe tells the judges to ...
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2answers
78 views

What were Moshe and Aharon supposed to say to the rock?

B'midbar 20:8 shows that G-d instructs Moshe and Aharon to speak to the rock, and it will bring forth water. Usually, when G-d instructs Moshe to speak to B'nai Yisra'el he indicates what Moshe ...
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1answer
32 views

Moshe doubts G-d in Numbers 20:8

In Numbers 20:8 G-d commands Moshe to speak to the inanimate rock for water. Was this really a reasonable command for G-d to make? Even Moshe seems to have thought this was an impossible ...
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2answers
50 views

Did God create all animals in pairs?

I can't find any proof about how many animals of every kind were created in the creation of the world. Is that information mentioned anywhere? Before this question, I mistakenly thought that the ...
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1answer
69 views

Why is there a difference regarding the water drinking request between Edom and Moav?

Regarding the request that B'nai Isra'el made to Edom, Numbers 20:19: וַיֹּאמְר֨וּ אֵלָ֥יו בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֘ל בַּֽמְסִלָּ֣ה נַעֲלֶה֒ וְאִם־מֵימֶ֤יךָ נִשְׁתֶּה֙ אֲנִ֣י וּמִקְנַ֔י וְנָתַתִּ֖י ...
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73 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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3answers
80 views

Why was Aharon punished at Mei Meriva?

In parshat Chukat, we see that it was Moshe who hit the rock instead of speaking to it, as G-d had commanded him. Yet, Aharon was punished with dying before entering the land of Israel, receiving the ...
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2answers
153 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 ...
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1answer
40 views

Why is the survival of the sons of Korach not mentioned in Parshat Korach?

In Parshat Korach we read about the deaths of Korach and Datan and Aviram, and that the families of Datan and Aviram descended with them as the earth swallowed them up. In Parshat Pinchas, when it is ...
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74 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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146 views

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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47 views

How do modern Jews observe commands that talk about putting people to death? [duplicate]

Leviticus 20:10 talks about putting adulterous peoples to death. Deuteronomy 21:18-21 talks about putting a rebellious son to death: ... his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring ...
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1answer
71 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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5answers
207 views

The Meaning of Aishdas

I have read that Aishdas (Deut. 33:2) means "fiery law" or something of the sort. However, doesn't the word das with the meaning of law/religion come from Persian (i.e. did not have the meaning of ...
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2answers
118 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
54 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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46 views

The blossoming of Ahron's staff a miracle not a trick?

For years I have read the pesukim of Korach 17:20 -25 which describes the episode of the blossoming of Ahron's staff amongnst the other tribe leader's staffs. However, if you notice Moshe Rabbeinu ...
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1answer
64 views

What's special about grasshoppers?

Why do the spies compare themselves to grasshoppers Bamidbor 13 (33) we saw the Nephilim there—the Anakites are part of the Nephilim—and we looked like grasshoppers to ourselves, and so we must ...
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1answer
43 views

How did Saul deliver Israel from the Philistines

1 Samuel 9:15 says that Saul was chosen to deliver Israel from the Philistines. How is this compatible with how in 1 Samuel 31:6 and 7 is demonstrates that he killed himself due to a military defeat ...
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1answer
54 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 אֶת־...
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1answer
78 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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2answers
33 views

Why was the punishment for the sin of the spies so severe?

Avot Derabbi Natan 9:2, commenting on Bamidbar 14:22, enumerates the 10 times that B'nai Israel tested G-d in the desert. The Mishnah states that G-d did not punish them until they spoke lashon hara ...
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1answer
103 views

Calling the name of God

Chapter 3 in Joel: א וְהָיָה אַחֲרֵי-כֵן, אֶשְׁפּוֹךְ אֶת-רוּחִי עַל-כָּל-בָּשָׂר, וְנִבְּאוּ, בְּנֵיכֶם וּבְנוֹתֵיכֶם; זִקְנֵיכֶם, חֲלֹמוֹת יַחֲלֹמוּן--בַּחוּרֵיכֶם, חֶזְיֹנוֹת יִרְאוּ. 1 ב ...
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1answer
76 views

Why is Aaron's account of the Golden Calf incident different from the narrative account?

Before Moses asks Aaron what he did, the narrative account of the Golden Calf's creation is that Aaron asked for gold, received the gold, "and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made it a molten ...
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Was the Jubilee in mind in Isaiah 49:8-9 and 61:1-2?

Did the prophet Isaiah have the Jubilee in mind in Isaiah 49:8 and 61:1-2? I notice the term "proclaim freedom" appears in Leviticus as well as Isaiah. Is the similarity superficial?
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How did Moshe know he was Jewish?

Shemot 2:11 says how Moshe went out to see the suffering of his people: וַיְהִ֣י ׀ בַּיָּמִ֣ים הָהֵ֗ם וַיִּגְדַּ֤ל מֹשֶׁה֙ וַיֵּצֵ֣א אֶל־אֶחָ֔יו וַיַּ֖רְא בְּסִבְלֹתָ֑ם וַיַּרְא֙ אִ֣ישׁ מִצְרִ֔י ...
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2answers
54 views

Is G-d near to us in times of trouble?

In Psalm 46:2, it is said that "G-d is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." How is this compatible with Psalm 10:1 which reads "Why standest Thou afar off, O LORD? Why hidest ...
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21 views

To what degree and under what conditions can the righteous influence God's judgement of a population?

When Noah was told of the flood's coming, he did not pray for mercy on behalf of the world. When God told Abraham that he was about to assess S'dom and Amorrah, Abraham continually questioned God ...
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39 views

Who is “the Desire of all Nations” in Haggai 2:7?

Haggai 2:7 mentions "the Desire of all Nations", according to modern day Judaism, is this a reference to the Messiah or to God Himself?
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3answers
70 views

Why are the commandments for the holiday of Succot interrupted by commandments regarding sacrifices in general?

Vayikra 23:33-36 discuss the celebration of Succot. Then, verses 37-38 interrupt the discussion by saying a general statement that these are the holidays when you should offer sacrifices. Then, verses ...
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4answers
362 views

Was Malbim an innovator?

Malbim (Meir Leibush ben Yechiel Michel) wrote a commentary on most of Tanach. In his introduction (to Yeshayahu) he writes the assumptions with which he operates in his commentary: :עמודי התוך ...
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2answers
46 views

How can Nefesh mean a dead person?

In Vayikra 21:1 it's stated that one should not defile himself for any (dead) 'nefesh' person... How can a word like Nefesh which seems to be the force that animated the body and gave it it's life, ...
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27 views

Was G-d “overcomplaining” in Shemot (Exodus) 16:28?

Exodus 16:4 (Somewhat modified English translation from Sefaria): וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה הִנְנִ֨י מַמְטִ֥יר לָכֶ֛ם לֶ֖חֶם מִן־הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם וְיָצָ֨א הָעָ֤ם וְלָֽקְטוּ֙ דְּבַר־י֣וֹם ...
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29 views

Would Jobs daughters sons have been sons of Job?

In Job's testing, Jobs sons all died. When God restored him, he had seven sons and three daughters. He gave the daughters an inheritance among their brothers. Would Job's grand sons (The daughter's ...
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2answers
130 views

What is the Jewish understanding of Micah 5:1

I listened to a debate between a Rabbi and Christian scholar. The Rabbi quoted the end of the verse (2 in the Christian's English Translation) pointing out that Christians often quote this verse to ...
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2answers
59 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 אֲשֶׁר־...
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2answers
182 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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8answers
399 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" (Tehillim 37:25). How do we reconcile that ...