Questions about the Chumash (the Five Books of Moses).

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22
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6answers
782 views

After chumashim with notes and Rashi, what's the next torah commentary I should acquire and study?

When I read the torah text (parsha or otherwise) I currently use a couple of chumashim with notes, and Rashi. I know some Hebrew but am not fluent. I'm ready to stretch beyond what I'm reading now ...
15
votes
2answers
636 views

Translation to Greek

I just read in parashat ki tavo that the torah was translated into 70 languages and written on giant stones, yet the talmud says the translation of the torah to Greek many years later was considered a ...
14
votes
2answers
39k views

Difference between Torah and the first five books in Christian bible [closed]

I know that basically, the first 6 5 books in Christian's Bible forms the Torah. However are there any subtle difference between torah and those books?
14
votes
2answers
827 views

Which mitzvah is repeated the most times in the Chumash?

I have learned that not mixing milk and meat is mentioned 3 times in the chumash, and because of this we learn 3 different laws. I also found out today that the law "not to follow the ways of the ...
12
votes
3answers
942 views

What is the “book of the law” mentioned in Joshua 1?

Specifically, Joshua 1:8: Joshua 1:8 (JPS) 8  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do ...
12
votes
3answers
257 views

What does the aramaic “pon” mean?

Once in a while, Onkelos will throw in the word pon (פּוֹן) that doesn't directly translate from the Hebrew. Avimelech to Yitzchak: k'z'eir pon shachiv d'm'yached b'ama (Toldos 26:10) Lavan to ...
11
votes
3answers
72 views

What is the difference between curses that would require changing lashon?

In parshat Lech Lecha, (Bereishit 12:3) Hashem promises Avram that וַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ, אָאֹר, And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. Why ...
10
votes
8answers
893 views

Why is there no description of Olam Haba in the Torah?

According to the beginning of the Mesilas Yesharim, the entire purpose of creation is for man to merit Olam Haba (the bliss of the next world). If so, why is there no mention nor description of Olam ...
10
votes
1answer
326 views

Why don't we name children Yitro?

Yitro appears to be an overall positive character in the Torah. At least as much as Noah or Saul, yet I do not know of contemporary (or even ancient) Jews named Yitro. Why is that?
10
votes
2answers
141 views

How is the story of the Torah being given told in the Torah itself?

I'm sure this question has been asked before since it very obvious and I've heard it before. Nonetheless I've never heard a good answer and an internet search brought up nothing. The question is, how ...
9
votes
7answers
483 views

Are there unnecessary words in torah?

I've been taught, often enough that I thought it was universal, that there are no unnecessary words in torah (chumash) — every word is there to teach us something. I've seen plenty of discussions in ...
9
votes
2answers
378 views

What were the Nephilim?

Inspired by this question on Biblical Hermeneutics. What were the Nephilim mentioned in Bereishis and in Bamidbar? Bereishis 6:1-4 The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after ...
9
votes
2answers
162 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
292 views

Moshe Rabbeinu's knowledge of future events

If Moshe Rabbeinu was taught the entire Torah on Mt. Sinai (Rashi on Vayikra 25:1, Rambam), how do we explain events such as the incident involving the Bnos Tzelafchad (Bamidbar 27:1-11), or the tamei ...
8
votes
1answer
92 views

How come Metzudat Tzion never did a perush of difficult words in the chumash?

Why did the author of Metzudat Tzion never write an explanation of difficult words in the chumash, as he did for most of the Nach? There are hard words in the chumash that require explanation even for ...
8
votes
1answer
163 views

Who invented the Mikraot Gedolot?

Whose idea was the Mikraot Gedolot and when was it first published? Mikraot Gedolot is a Humash with a collection of commentaries very popular in Jewish circles today.
8
votes
1answer
379 views

What are the rules for ain mukdam umeuchar?

Sometimes we say that things in the Torah are not in chronological order. What are the parameters for this? do you need to have a mesorah (particular tradition) for this? Is there a list of all ...
8
votes
2answers
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
585 views

Is there a mention of the Oral Torah in the Written Torah?

Is there an explicit mention mention of the Oral Torah in the Chumash? If not, why not?
7
votes
2answers
197 views

Metzudat Tzion on the Torah

Was there a Metzudat Tzion written on the Torah? If so, does anyone know if it is available online or for sale? I always loved this commentary as it explained the hard words on the Nach.
7
votes
3answers
207 views

Why is Techiyas HaMeisim not explicitly mentioned in the Torah?

Since believing that Techiyas HaMeisim is part of the Torah is a fundamental of Judaism (Mishna Sanhedrin Perek HaChelek, although the Rambam Hilchos Teshuva Chapter 3 doesn't emphasize the believing ...
7
votes
2answers
547 views

Why 1,000 generations of ungiven Torah, not X years?

The Mainz Anonymous reads, in part (in my own translation): He created the Torah 974 generations before the world was created, then twenty-six generations [passed] from the creation of the world ...
7
votes
2answers
224 views

Potential issue with Theory on Divine Origins of Judaism?

The core of a theory is that since Judaism is based on events witnessed by something like 3,000,000 Jews, it is true, while other religions rely on an individual or a few individuals who experienced a ...
7
votes
5answers
232 views

Onkelos, Anthropomorphism, and The Exodus

Onkelos the Convert is said by the Talmud to be the author of the official aramaic translation of the Pentateuch. Rashi and Maimonides understand Onkelos as having a tendency to interpret physical ...
6
votes
4answers
156 views

Is there a substantive difference in meaning when the Torah uses the Hebrew verb root דבר rather than אמר?

Is there a substantive difference in meaning when the Torah uses the Hebrew verb root דבר rather than אמר, or do they both pretty much mean "to say" or "to speak"? Do any sages see the choice of one ...
6
votes
2answers
387 views

Siddur & chumash — which gets stacked on top?

I've seen this one asked over and over again, and always heard different things. Do you stack a chumash on top of a siddur, or the other way around?
6
votes
3answers
539 views

Why is the birth of twins a Chidush for Rivka?

Background: In Parshat Toldot, Rivka conceives and is troubled by the discomfort. She goes to ask Hashem and it is explained to her that 2 nations are struggling within her, so she already knows that ...
6
votes
1answer
118 views

Locating a copy of Sifra (Torat Kohanim)

Now that we are starting Sefer Vayikra, this seems like an opportune time to ask a question that has been bugging me for years! Where can I find a good copy of Sifra (aka "Torat Kohanim")? A ...
6
votes
1answer
232 views

Who translated the original version of the Torah into each of the 70 languages?

In Devarim 27:8, the Torah says to "write all the words of the Torah explained well" (- "Ba'aer Hetev". Rash"i, citing Sotah 35b, says that this was translated into 70 languages. Sifsei Chachamim ...
6
votes
4answers
279 views

Are any of the pesukim in the Torah not meant to be understood derech p'shat?

There is a concept that pesukim can be understood derech p'shat, remez, drush and sod. I'm not sure if that means that EVERY pasuk contains this 4 ways but I was wondering if any pasuk does not ...
5
votes
3answers
237 views

Is there any Mikras Gedolos in English?

Is there any Mikras Gedolos in English? I am interested in learning Meforshim on Chumash, and I wanted to know if there were any online or in a store.
5
votes
3answers
249 views

Why aren't Job or Psalms 90 in the Pentateuch?

In the Tanakh, the Jewish Biblical Canon, there are three categories of works: the Torah of Moses, and what are know as the 'Prophets' and 'Writings'. This categorization is outlined and mentioned in ...
5
votes
2answers
339 views

What Mikraos Gedolos has the most meforshim?

What sefer (prob Mikraos Gedolos) has the most meforshim in it?
5
votes
2answers
177 views

Were Esav, Yishmael, and Nimrod Evildoers?

This question asserts that Ishmael was an evildoer (rasha). However, based on a simple (p'shat) reading of the relevant texts (in Genesis), neither he nor Esau nor Nimrod appear to do anything ...
5
votes
2answers
105 views

Recommendation for a digital Torah codex for software developers

Could someone recommend a source for a machine-readable Hebrew with English Torah codex that may be used in software development projects? By "machine readable," I mean of a format that may be ...
5
votes
1answer
44 views

Why does the text become impersonal?

When Avraham goes to Kiryat Arba from Be'er Sheva (as per Rashi, Bereishit 23:2) or just goes from no where else (Rashbam) to eulogize and mourn Sarah's passing, the text names Sarah (twice, once ...
5
votes
1answer
188 views

Does p'shat explain everything?

Ways of reading Chumash are commonly divided into four headings: p'shat, simple readings; d'rash, exegeses; remez, hints; and sod, secrets. The g'mara and midr'she halacha are full of d'rash: they ...
5
votes
1answer
96 views

Why is the Torah written in third person?

I firmly believe that G-d made the Torah, but I wonder why He refers to himself in third person, while the Ten Commandments are in first person.
5
votes
0answers
79 views

Verses indicating that each person has an equal entitlement to a land-plot

In Numbers 26:53–54 (JPS), the Israelites are commanded: Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names. To the more thou shalt give the more ...
5
votes
1answer
132 views

Why is it common for the people in the chumash to name every place they pass?

It seems pretty arbitrary, but in many cases in the Chumash, we find our patriarchs, Moses, etc, name places they pass based on some action that took place there. Is there any additional meaning to ...
5
votes
1answer
73 views

Why are Masekhtot referred to by content while Humashim by their first word(s)?

Hamishah Humshe'i Torah (i.e. The Five Books of Moses) are most commonly referred to by the first word(s) in each (e.g. "Bereshit bara", "We'eleh HaDevarim"), though I'm aware of commentators (e.g. ...
4
votes
2answers
581 views

Why did God need to command the Jews not to kill?

There is a principle 'svara lamah li krah i.e. if a certain idea is logical and self evident to the average healthy mind, the Torah does not need to teach that idea. Additionally, what seems to be ...
4
votes
2answers
176 views

Rabbinic understandings of non-Divine origin of Onqelos

Shavua' tov all, A question from a friend that I thought I would post here regarding the origin of Onqelos. It seems fair to say that the classical rabbinic understanding is that the Aramaic ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

Where does Rashi say “Complaint” in his commentary on the Torah?

When I was in 4th grade, my rebbi taught us a Rashi in which he explains a Pasuk by simply saying "Complaint" (קומפליינט or some similar transliteration), meaning the voice in the Pasuk was ...
4
votes
2answers
95 views

How many factors did Esav need to prompt him to marry Machalas?

At the end of parashas Toldos (28:6-8), the pesukim indicate factors in Esav's decision to add Machalas, who was not a Canaanite, as a spouse: א וַיִּקְרָא יִצְחָק אֶל-יַעֲקֹב, וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתוֹ; ...
4
votes
2answers
169 views

Last Posukim in the Torah

Who wrote the last eight Pesukim of the Torah?
4
votes
1answer
170 views

Haman in the Torah

Similar to Alex's question, Why did the Gemara say "From where is the source of Homon in the Torah? Homin Hoetz." when it could have used "Vechaltem es Homon"? Anyways, what is the purpose of ...
4
votes
1answer
172 views

Is there a place for the documentary-hypothesis in observant Judaism?

The documentary-hypothesis implies that Moses wasn't the writer of the Torah verbatim, but he could have transmitted it before it was written down. Evidence in the text shows several sources and that ...
4
votes
2answers
151 views

Why does Rashi say that a hey at the end = a lamed at the beginning so many times?

Over and over again, Rashi on Chumash points out that a hey at the end of the word means the same as a lamed at the beginning. He doesn't just clarify that that is the usage, he states the rule itself ...
4
votes
0answers
33 views

What do the different terms for “judges” indicate?

In a few places in the chumash, the word "elohim" is translated as "judges". Rashi does this on Bereishit 6:2 and many meforshim do this on the uses in Shemot (such as in 22:7 and 8) saying that the ...