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One could answer by explaining his intent was an expression of his desperation. He asked God for help because he was in such a difficult position that he was forced to split his camp.


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The Zohar interprets these events to mean the Yaakov was exploring the secrets of the mitzvah of Tzitzis.


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R. Avraham Ben Harambam in Hamaspik L'ovdey Hashem writes that this was due to his pious asceticism.


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This question is asked by the Toras Hamincha (a student of the Rashba) in his drashos (Lech L'cha drasha 8). Another student of the Rashba R. Yehoshua ibn Shu'aib writes that many have asked this question (parshas vayeira and drasha to Parshas Tzav / Shabbs Hagadol). He writes that some answered that Avraham refrained from doing so because the merit for a ...


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R. Avraham Ben HaRambam cites the verse "do not touch my anointed and do not harm my prophets" (Psalms 105:15) in the context of negative assessments of members of these categories. This would certainly include the Avos, (the prophecy of the Imahos on the other hand is not explicit in the Torah, so this "prohibition" isn't as clear.)


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The most famous case of a Rishon pointing out the human flaw of a patriarch is the Ramban's discussion of Avraham's descent to Egypt in Lech Licha 12:10. Rabbi Hirsch goes to great lengths to expound on that opinion. The Medrash Rabba in the beginning of parshas Shemos has a list of our heroes who ruined their children by showing them too much love. Avraham ...



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