Tagged Questions

The weekly Torah portion of Vayera (Genesis 18:1-22:24)

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Did anyone connect Sarah's laugh with Abraham's bris?

According to Rashi, the angels visited Abraham on the third day after his circumcision. This is the day he was in the most pain. (After having minor surgery, I agree that the third day is the worst.) ...
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232 views

How could Avraham feed his guests milk?

According to the gemarah (Sanhedrin 21 I think) milk was considered the limb of a living being - eiver min ha'chai - until matan torah. If so, how could Avraham serve it to his guests if a ben Noach ...
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Is there a connection between Hagar's distance and Yishmael's profession?

The Torah tells us that Hagar sat an archer's distance away from Yishmael as he lay crying, Genesis 21 verse 16. After he is miraculously saved he lives in the desert and is described as a רובה קשת, ...
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Regarding Avraham's responses to G-d's decisions

Are there any mefarshim who commented on why Avraham chose to advocate on behalf of Sdom when G-d tells him that the city will be destroyed, but chose to remain silent and just accept the decree when ...
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227 views

Who was the mother of Avraham's daughter?

According to one opinion in the Gemarah (Bava Basra 16b, also 141a), when it says Avraham was blessed with everything (Bereishit 24:1) it means that he had a daughter. Who was her mother?
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Would Avraham's tefillah have been necessary to save Sedom?

Let's say there actually would have been 50 (or 45, or 40...) righteous people in Sedom. Would Hashem have destroyed the city without Avraham's tefillah but saved it due to his tefillah? Was Avraham ...
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67 views

Can you do hachnasat orchim with angels?

Is it possible to fulfill the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim with angels?
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Questions regarding Sarah's denial in Breishit 18:15

Breishit 18:15 says (Mechon Mamre / JPS in English): Then Sarah denied, saying: 'I laughed not'; for she was afraid. And He said: 'Nay; but thou didst laugh. Apparently, Sarah laughed because ...
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Did Avraham invite the angels into his house?

Avraham sits at the entrance to his tent waiting for guests. When the three angels arrive he runs out to greet them and pleads that they stay. He then tells them (Bereishit 18:4): יֻקַּח-נָא ...
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לָשַׁע the place

The lands of the Cannanites are described in parashat Noach 10:19: And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon as you come to Gerar, until Gaza, as you come to Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah ...
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How did Pharaoh know that Sarai was Avram's wife?

When Avimelech took Sarah, Hashem came to him in a dream and told him to return Avraham's wife (Bereishis 20:3). When Pharaoh took her, no such event is recorded in the Torah. Pharaoh's household ...
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744 views

Why did Abraham treat his three visitors in this way?

I am new to this site. I'd like to ask some questions on the interpretation and cultural significance of the events in Genesis 18 in the Bible. First, why does Abraham have Sarah use 3 seahs of ...
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203 views

How could Avraham feed his guests tongue?

Avraham served his guests three tongues in mustard.1 However, Avraham kept all the mitzvot,2 one of which is to give the foreleg, jaw (including the tongue3), and maw of each slaughtered animal to the ...
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Why did Sarah banish Hagar and Yishmael - Meaning of צחק

Genesis 21: ט וַתֵּרֶא שָׂרָה אֶת-בֶּן-הָגָר הַמִּצְרִית, אֲשֶׁר-יָלְדָה לְאַבְרָהָם--מְצַחֵק. 9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne unto Abraham, 'making ...
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Interrupting Amida for a Mitzvah

Avraham leaves Hashem to deal with guests in Vayera - because welcoming guests is greater than Kabolas Pnei HaSh'china. Does that mean we can interrupt our Shmoneh Esrei to do mitzvahs? At least to ...
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Number of righteous necessary to save Sedom

Regarding the number of righteous necessary to save Sedom (Bereishis 18:23-33), Rashi and all the other commentaries I have seen (Kli Yakar, Seforno, Or Hachaim, others) explain the descending order ...
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Why did the angels not go straight to S'dom?

It says in Bereishis 18,16 “and the men arose from there and they looked upon S’dom, and Avraham went with them to escort them”. This is followed by several posukim dealing with the dialogue between ...
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Why doesn't Yitzchak mention the knife?

Bereishis 22:6 indicates that Avraham placed the wood for the sacrifice on Yitzchak, took something to start the fire, and the מַּאֲכֶלֶת which Rashi translates as knife. However, in the next pasuk ...
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339 views

If Jews don't eat cheeseburgers, why did Abraham serve a calf with milk?

Genesis 18:8 (JPS): And he took curd, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat. Looks like Abraham and 3 ...
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Doors and Doorways in Parshat Vayeira

In this weeks parsha of Vayeira, I counted 6 references to the words דלת and פתח, all in the story of Lot and Sodom. I don't believe this is a coincidence, since its all about standing in the door, ...
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Was Hagar from Shem, Cham, or Yefes?

Was Hagar from Shem, Cham, or Yefes? If we say she was from Cham, then how can this be understood in light of Avraham's going out of his way to make sure his descendants don't marry into the ...
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Avraham's different approaches to kidnapping

I find something very strange. Lot gets kidnapped; Avraham goes to war to get him back. Sarah his wife gets kidnapped; he does and says nothing. What is with this very strange discrepancy?
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Why doesn't God offer Sodom and Gemorrah the same chance to repent He offers Nineveh?

Why does God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah without warning, but offer Nineveh a chance to repent? The men who come to Lot's house could have just easily prophesied to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah ...
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276 views

Why was Yishmael saved?

In bereshis 21:17 it says And God heard the lad's voice, and an angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, "What is troubling you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the lad's ...
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In Genesis 22:8-14, is there a difference between a ram and a lamb?

Having taken a translation from this website, which I am told to have Orthodox Jewish credentials, I am referring to Genesis 22:8-14 'God will see to a lamb for an offering, my son,' replied ...
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158 views

Why did God destroy Sodom in such a strange way?

Why does it rain both fire and brimstone (gafris - 19:24) on Sodom surely one or the other was enough? Furthermore, if the whole city is 'turned upside down' (19:25) why was there a need to rain ...
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Questions about the destruction of Sodom and the vicinity

I am having a hard time making heads or tails of the story of the destruction of Sodom and the vicinity. All questions below are questions about the narrative of the story based on the interpretation ...
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204 views

Was Lot, himself, sodomized when he first moved into Sodom?

In Genesis 19, Lot defends the angels who came under his roof against the demands of the local men who want a chance to sodomize the three visitors. From the Torah's description, and Rashi's take on ...
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547 views

What is the interpretation of Genesis 19, 5-8?

5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” 6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, ...
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Why “אַבְרָהָם אָבִיו” (Gen. 22:7)?

Why does Genesis 22:7 say "אַבְרָהָם אָבִיו" rather than just "אַבְרָהָם" or "אָבִיו"? It's redundant. (My kid's question.)
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190 views

why did avraham pray for sodom

Sodom was one of the most morally corrupted societies that ever existed. wouldn't their disappearance be good for everyone (including themselves). keeping those who are thoroughly wicked alive is ...
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327 views

Why Avraham hated Yishmael if he was a tzadik

Rashi says that avraham sent yishmael out with only water but no money because he hated him for going out "tarbut raah". yet later on, the verse says G-d heard the cry of Yishmael dying of thirst ...
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344 views

Why did God lie about Sarah?

Why did God have to lie to cover for Sarah (Bereshis 18:13)? Why not just avoid asking Avraham altogether? Note that the answer cannot be anything that would either impinge on their shalom bayis (cf ...
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100 views

Who was expelled from Avraham's house and married an Egyptian?

Vayera 21:9–21 speaks repeatedly of Hagar's son without once naming him. In no particular order, Rashi (:17), pseudo-Yonasan (:11), the Rav miBartinura (:14), Ramban (:9), Chizkuni (:14), Toldos ...
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145 views

Washing feet before coming inside: Avraham vs. Lot

When the angels came to visit Avraham, he asked them (Bereishis 18:4) to "Bathe your feet, and recline under the tree". Rashi explains: He thought that they were Arabs, who prostrate themselves to ...
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1answer
188 views

Why did G-d ask Avraham for the akeda?

Why did G-d ask Avraham to sacrifice and slaughter his son?
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240 views

Sarah's treatment of Hagar and Ishmael

How could Sarah's treatment of Hagar and Ishmael be considered righteous? I intend this as a sincere and serious question. While Hagar was pregnant, Sarah "prevent[ed] her intercourse with Abraham, ...
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148 views

Why does the second aliya of Vayeira start with the last verse of one topic and then change?

The second aliya of Vayeira begins at 18:15, with the end of the Sarah-denying-having-laughed episode. It then goes on to focus on S'dom and the other cities. This happens in the middle of a column, ...
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83 views

Why the name Beer Sheva

The Posuk says: וַיִּקְרָא אֹתָהּ שִׁבְעָה עַל כֵּן שֵׁם הָעִיר בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה Translated as: And he named it Shibah; therefore, the city is named Beer sheba until this very day ...
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69 views

Wasn't Yishmael already sent away from Avraham's house?

In Bereshit 22:3, Rashi tells us that when Avraham went to sacrifice Yitzchok, the two lads he took with him were Yishmael and Eliezer. Wasn't Yishmael already gone from Avraham's house? In Bereshit ...
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Why does revi'i of Vayeira seem to end four verses late?

Why does revi'i - the fourth reading - of Parashat Vayeira end with the first few verses of the story of the birth of Yitzchak (Gen. 21:1-4)? Objections: There's a natural break in narrative before ...
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Why did Avraham name his son before the Bris (circumcision)?

Why does the Torah seem to imply that Avraham named his son before the bris? First: וַיִּקְרָא אַבְרָהָם אֶת שֶׁם בְּנוֹ הַנּוֹלַד לוֹ אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה לּוֹ שָׂרָה יִצְחָק And Abraham called ...
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155 views

If Avraham had a healing stone why did he need an angel to heal him?

The Gemara in Baba Basra, Tes Zayin Amud Beis says Reb Shimon says that Avraham had a stone that he wore around his neck that healed the sick. If so why did he need a angel to come down to heal him ...
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Kos Shel Bracha but no bread

The angels blesses Sarah and sends a Kos Shel Bracha (Rashi Breshit 18:9 based on Bava Metzia 87a). the question is how was there a Kos Shel Bracha if there was no bread as it says Sarah became a ...
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341 views

Why was Akeidas Yitzchok a bigger test (Nisayon) for Avraham than for Yitzchok?

Akeidas Yitzchok was the hardest test that Hashem gave to Avraham. Yet Yitzchok knew and also agreed to go along with it. Then why is it considered a bigger test for Avraham than for Yitzchok?
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202 views

How did Avrohom learn that nine doesn't work?

The Midrash says (Bereshis Rabbah 49:13 quoted in Rashi Genesis 18:32) that Abraham stopped asking HaShem to save Sodom in the merit of less than 10 people because Noah and his family who were 8 ...
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149 views

Interpretations of the Akeidah

Our Torah class in school is studying the Akeidah. What different approaches do the meforshim take in interpreting it (e.g. Rashbam says it was a punishment, lehavdil Kierkegaard says it was about ...
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286 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 ...
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Lot's Daughters

Why did Lot's daughters have relations with their father?
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182 views

Lot's Wife: The Salt Lady

What was the name of Lot's wife?