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13

It's approximating π, as is clear from the g'mara (Eruvin 14:1). The problem is that that g'mara seems to be saying that it's a pretty precise approximation, and we know it's not. (Tosafos there raise this question and offer no answer.) But to answer your question, whether it's an approximation of π or a miracle, it's the former.


12

Only three of his children are named in Tanach: his successor Rechavam, and two daughters named Tafath and Basemath, who married two of Shlomo's officials (I Kings 4:11,15). R. Chaim Dov Rabinowitz (Daas Soferim) comments that it seems likely that Shlomo had 100 children or less (which would of course mean that most of his wives were childless), since in ...


10

The Gemara (Niddah 70b) records "three nonsensical questions" (שלשה דברי בורות) that the Alexandrians asked R' Yehoshua. One of them was, "Would the son of the woman from Shunem [who was revived by Elisha, II Kings ch. 4] cause impurity?" He replied, "A dead person causes impurity, not a living one." The Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l analyzed this question and ...


10

Not a complete answer, but here's what the Talmud (Sanhedrin 22A) says (Rashi brought in נrackets): אמר רב שמן בר אבא בוא וראה כמה קשין גירושין שהרי דוד המלך התירו לו לייחד [עם אבישג ואע"פ שנאסר ייחוד של פנויה] ולא התירו לו לגרש [אחת מי"ח וישאנה]‏ R' Shaman bar Aba said: Come and See how harsh divorce is. They gave permission to King David to be ...


8

Wikipedia has a set of answers in their article on Approximations of pi. That links to a terrific article on rabbinic approximations of π by Boaz Tsaban and David Garber. Tsaban and Garber summarize as follows (pp. 10-11): The rational-religious approach of Maimonides holds that, since we cannot know the exact values, the Bible tells us that we do ...


8

First, as @Yirmeyahu commented above, there is no death penalty for "all sex outside marriage". There is a verse which states לֹא תִהְיֶה קְדֵשָׁה מִבְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלֹא יִהְיֶה קָדֵשׁ מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, but that does not specify a death penalty of stoning. The prostitutes profession was irrelevant to the case. And it would not be a good society if ...


7

Asked and answered here. it seems quite likely that this is a later interpolation; it doesn't appear in early prints of Rashi. In several places, though, Rashi refers to לשון כנען, which was a popular term at the time for the Slavic languages (based on the equation of "Slav" with "slave" and the association of the latter with Canaan). These ...


7

The GR"A points out the following: The word circumference (kav) is spelled קוה but pronounced קו. The gematria of the former is 111 and the latter is 106. The ratio of 111 to 106, multiplied by the approximation of 3, gives you: (111 / 106) * 3 = 3.1415 Perhaps pi to five digits is a better approximation than 3?


7

The extra blood after each sacrifice was poured at the base of the altar (if it was considered Shirayim, leftover) or the Amah - a channel which led out of the courtyard (if the blood's status is dichuy, invalid to be poured on the base). This is from the Talmud, Zevachim 34b. The leftover blood which was poured out flowed to Nachal Kidron, and was redeemed ...


6

In verse (Melachim 2:8), King David tells Shlomo: וְהִנֵּה עִמְּךָ שִׁמְעִי בֶן-גֵּרָא בֶן-הַיְמִינִי, מִבַּחֻרִים In the Zohar Mishpatim (דף קז עמוד ב): כתיב והנה עמך שמעי בן גרא, מאי והנה עמך, זמין הוא עמך תדיר, רבו הוה, ... אבל שמעי דא דאשתכח עמיה תדיר, אמר והנה עמך.‏ Translation - the Zohar learns from the verse "with you" to mean that he ...


6

Both RaDaK and Malbim understand that David was not telling Shelomo to execute Shime'i outright, but each saw it to be done differently: RaDak writes( on MelakhimI 2:8): ירד לקראתי - שאמחול לו ונשבעתי לו שלא אמיתנו, אף על פי שנשבעתי לו שלא אמיתנו, חייב מיתה הוא, ולשמור שבועתי לא תמיתנו, עד שתמצא לו עלה ועון וסבב אתה הדבר שיבא לידי עון, שיהיה לך דין ...


6

As mentioned here, different spellings of names that refer to the same person are not uncommon in Tanach. Deeper, esoteric meanings are associated with the changing of spellings. As a general rule, therefore, you will not find commentators of the p'shat approach that will address these spelling changes. In this case , the most famous answer is that of the ...


6

In :בבא מציעא דף קיד Tosafot comments on "אמר ליה לאו כהן". He says: אמר ליה לאו כהן (אתה) - תימה לר"י היאך החיה בנה של האלמנה כיון שכהן היה דכתיב (מלכים א יז) ויתמודד על הילד וגו' ויש לומר שהיה ברור לו שיחייהו לכך היה מותר משום פיקוח נפש Tosafot raises the question of how Eliyahu could bring the child of the widow back to life if he was a Cohen? The ...


5

Bavli Sotah 46b-47a describes this incident in more detail. R. Yochanan said in the name of Meir that whoever does not escort others or allow himself to be escorted, it as if he shed blood, for if the men of Jericho had escorted Elisha, he would not have stirred up the bears. The g'mara then goes on to explain the incident. First, who are the "little ...


5

Perhaps Eliyahu is not Pinchas. However, Chazal are trying to indicate that there is a similarity in the personality and perfection of both of them. Eliyahu exemplifies a quality of Pinchas. The Ibn Ezra says explicitly that Eliyahu is not Pinchas in Sefer Bamidbar, Pasrshas Pinchas, Perek 25, Verse 13: ומלת אחריו - לאות שמת ואינו אליהו כלל וכבר ...


5

Rambam, The Laws of Kings and Wars, 3:8 (Chabad.org) Anyone who rebels against a king of Israel may be executed by the king… Shaul was considered righteous since he believed he was putting down a rebellion. The king may only execute people by decapitation. ……However, he may not confiscate property. If he does, it is considered theft. This is ...


5

Taanis 22b relates that Yoshiyahu said "צדיק הוא ה׳ כי פיהו מריתי" - HaShem is righteous for I have rebelled against his word. (quote from Eicha 1:18)


5

The Kli Yakar there asks this question on the Midrash, and explains that although the bull understood from the very beginning that his going to the Ba'al would result in a sanctification of Hashem's name - it was nonetheless hesitant to go, as it was worried that by going over to the side of impurity it would become negatively affected. The bull therefore ...


5

As the Ibn Ezra writes (Bamidbar 21:22) אל תבקש דקדוק בשמות don't expect/ask for grammatical care when it comes to names


4

The Malbim Melachim B, 4:29 deal with this. He explains that Elisha Hanavi thought the boy just fainted (because Hashem didn't tell him through prophecy), so he so called "loaded" Gechazi with the adequate powers and thought that Gechazi would be able to use Elsiha's "stick" and cure the boy. From pasuk 32, as explained by the Malbim, we see that Elisha ...


4

A Cohen may come into contact with a dead person in order to save a life (pikach nefesh), especially if he is the only one capable of doing so.


4

I think you are referring to the (re)discovery of the Torah scroll by Chilkiyahu the High Priest in the time of Yoshiyahu (Josiah?) (mentioned in Kings II chap. 22, and Chronicles II chap. 34), in the course of renovations to the Temple. (If I'm mistaken, please cite a source). You are quite correct that there were many copies of the Torah. This particular ...


4

Malbim on this wording (verse 2) explains that Elijah did not want to enter Beth-el, because one of Jeroboam's calf statues was there (Kings I 12:28-29).


4

The ArtScroll edition of Chronicles (I and II), by Rabbi Moshe Eisenman, focuses on the idea that Kings is about what actually happened, while Chronicles is about the deeper meaning. That's why Chronicles often uses many names for one person, referring to his essence, not his real name. Also, Chronicles ends by explicitly stating that the exile was because ...


4

Absolutely nothing! The reason the three pesukim are added at the beginning is so that we don't have to add at the end. To explain, consider Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 284: מפטירין בנביא מענינה של פרשה ואין פוחתין מכ"א פסוקים אלא אם כן סליק ענינא בבציר מהכי כגון עולותיכם ספו על זבחיכם. "We read the Haftarah from the Navi from the subject matter of ...


4

Radak explains that the verse is saying that Hiram was from the Tribe of Naftali, meaning that his father was from Naftali. He is called Tyrian because that was where he lived. So his father was from Naftali and his mother was from Dan. Parenthetically, the commentary attributed to Rashi on Chronicles explains that Huram's mother's tribe is given based ...


3

Rashi, Metzudas David, and Radak say that he announced to people on the way what he was going to do and he did not believe it would work therefore it did not work. Yalkut Meam Loez says, Gehazi tested out the staff on the way on either a dead lion or a dead dog, which it revived, and thus it lost its power to do so for the lad.


3

The Alshich here explains that on the day that a Tzaddik (a righteous person) dies, he receives from G-d an additional level of holiness. Also, even though Elijah was leaving behind his protégé Elisha, nevertheless, prophecy would certainly be lessened by his parting. This was especially true since Jezebel had recently killed many prophets. Therefore, G-d ...


3

The following is my understanding based on things I've read, but I can't give any sources at present. On a physical level, a doorway or a gateway is the dividing line between one domain and another. If there is a door, opening it allows people or things to go from one domain to the other, and closing it effects the opposite. (And bolting the door adds ...



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