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I heard from a relative of R' Yaakov Kaminetzky that R' Yaakov pointed out that we don't say "מתחילה אבותיהו היו עובדי עבודה זרה / at first our forefathers were idolaters," but rather "מתחילה עובדי עבודה זרה היו אבותינו / at first idolaters were our forefathers." Originally, idolaters were at the top of our family tree. But then, Hashem spiritually ...


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Terah avi Abraham and avi Nachor but Abraham is not in the count according to the Ritba quoted bellow. Because Avraham leaves idolatry. Charan does not adhere completely to idolatry and follows Avraham, so he is skipped too. The general idea Our beginning is not special, the point is not "avot" as Prototype of the nation. But an exhortation to humility ...


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The use of the term "avoseinu" is not the same as the avot. It is used as a generic term for ancestors in general. An example can be found in the phrease minhag avoseinu beyadeinu which refers to our following the customs of our ancestors (for example two days Yom Tov). Thus, we see as @DoubleAA cited that everyone from Avraham and earlier made the mistake ...


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There are two complementary comments in Rashi that explain the mechanics. One in chapter 35 vs 11 and more at length in chapter 48 vs 4. Basically, Yaakov had a prophecy in parshas Vayishlach in which he was told he would produce another גוי and גוים. The גוי was understood to mean Binyamin once he was born. Once it was clear that he would not be having ...


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Rav Hirsch points out that when Reuven lost the bechorah, the three elements of that status were split among three other children. The kedusha aspect was given to Levi. The tribe of Levi even in Mitzraim were treated as the "priests" of Bnai Yisrael and did not have to serve as slaves. Yehuda was given the status of Malchus and from him would come the final ...


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Looking at the source in the Torah (Bereshit 48:15-16) seems to indicate something else. It isn't that Yaacov Avinu is making the sons of Yosef his sons. It is that he is praying to the Creator that the 'Redeeming Angel' that looked out for Avraham, Yitzchok and himself, would also continue to look after these children of Yosef. Yaacov wanted the angel to ...


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Bar Kapra offers the following understanding in Midrash Rabbah 68:12: תָּנֵי בַּר קַפָּרָא לֵית חֲלוֹם שֶׁאֵין לוֹ פִּתְרוֹן, וְהִנֵּה סֻלָּם, זֶה הַכֶּבֶשׁ. מֻצָּב אַרְצָה, זֶה מִזְבֵּחַ (שמות כ, כד): מִזְבַּח אֲדָמָה תַּעֲשֶׂה לִי, וְרֹאשׁוֹ מַגִּיעַ הַשָּׁמַיְמָה, אֵלּוּ הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת שֶׁרֵיחָן עוֹלֶה לַשָּׁמַיִם. וְהִנֵּה מַלְאֲכֵי אֱלֹהִים, ...


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Rav Hirsch on Pasuk 12 says that the ladder (the communication medium) was set up from the heaven to the Earth and was placed there deliberately (not by chance) by Hashem to the Earth. However, its primary purpose is not only from Heaven to Earth, but to allow the movement from Earth to heaven. That is the entire goal of (human) life on Earth is to work its ...


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There is a constant interchange and flux between corporeal and spiritual existence. The spiritual life seeks to uplift the corporeal and the corporeal provides substance and footing to the spiritual. Hence the malachim ascend and also descend. This is also why Moshe is described as a sirsur (inbetween for a sale) at the time of matan torah. Hashem ...



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