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My favorite commentator when it comes to understanding the differences of meanings between words (that may seem like synonyms) is the Malbim. He has some wonderful and minute distinctions between such pairs, and he holds to them throughout his commentary on the Tanach. These small differences can open a wide world of new understandings. Luckily, he does ...


4

There are a few opinions about the order of the names on the stones (Rashi says that they were ordered by age, from top-right to bottom-left), while Da'at Zekenim miBa'alei haTosfot think that the order is by their mothers (i.e. first all of Leah's sons, then Bilha, etc.). These two opinions can be found here. As for the connection of each stone to a ...


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Shadal quotes ibn Ezra's explanation that this is a pausal form. This is the case even though the word is not the last in the verse: because the last word, 'הֵֽם', is a very short word, it somehow doesn't count as a separation between יִשְׁפּוּט֥וּ and the end of the verse. This case also differs from regular pausal usage in that the long vowel that is put ...


3

Rashi asks why was Joshua mentioned, if he did not ascend the mountain with Moses. He answers that he accompanied Moses up to the allowed limits, and waited there alone ("נטה שם אהלו") until he came back (he was the first to greet him upon his return). The Malbim think so as well. So, as Rabbi Shelomo Amar explains, the plural tense can be understood such ...


3

From http://parsha.blogspot.com/2010/07/what-is-tzirah.html: Onkelos translates it as ערעיתא, hornet. Ibn Ezra understands it as a type of sickness of the body, along the lines of צרעת. So does Ibn Janach, that it is כליון ודבר


3

The Torah Temimah gives an explanation that other nations give the "more expensive" trials to the higher-level judges (even though the ruling of the case may be very simple), while "cheaper" trials can be handled by the lower-level judges (even though it might be a very complicated case). He says that the difference is that while they judge the importance ...


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I just blogged about this at more length here http://www.aishdas.org/asp/what-did-the-elders-see . The most relevant bits: Rashi says that they saw something like the Ma’aseh HaMerkavah, the chariot that Yechezkel saw. “And above the firmament which was over [the chayos’] heads looked like sapir stone, the image of a throne; and on the image of a throne was ...


2

First, the Tiberian mesoretes dispute whether "mimenu" here is in the plural or not -- "mimenu" can also be rendered "than he" as in "has become someone like him" (or Him). Ben Naftali takes this position, and renders the word "מִמֶנוּ" (without dots in the 2nd mem or nun). Rashi follows Ben Naftali's take on this verse. "Behold man will be unique among the ...


2

Your connection is exactly what the Malbim discusses, I copied the relevant part here (partial emphasis by me): וישמע יתרו. בא להציע מה הניע את לב יתרו לצאת ממדין אל המדבר ולהביא את בניו אתו, שהלא מנמוסי הכבוד היה ראוי שמשה ישחר פני חותנו והוא ישלח אחר אשתו, כמ"ש דרכו של איש לחזר אחר אשה לא בהפך שנקבה תסובב גבר, זאת שנית הלא משה שלח את אשתו בגט פטורין, ...


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As you mentioned, "רפואה" can mean both things: healing an existing disease, or preventing a future one. Rashi himself asks your question. He brings the midrash, which reads the passuk as "I will put none of the sicknesses upon thee... (yet if I will, it will be as though I didn't), for I am the LORD that healeth thee." The Siftei Chachamim explain that ...


2

The Malbim says that Bnei Yisrael were too afraid to advance toward Hashem. They were not prepared enough to be able to hear Hashem directly, so they could not do it by themselves. Therefore, the verse stresses that they stayed in the camp; and Moses needed to bring them to Hashem himself, as it continues with "ויוצא משה את העם לקראת האלהים". ‏... ...


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The Malbim says that this is the usual split of "עשה" and "לא תעשה". The form of "אזהרה" always comes regarding "לא תעשה" (since you warn someone of something that he shouldn't do). These too he splits into "חקים" which are "לא תעשה" for physical actions, and "תורות" which are "לא תעשה" of thoughts and teachings (pride, forgetting Hashem, etc.). And for ...


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This question is treated in the Talmud. The Mishnah in Sanhedrin says אֵין דָּנִין לֹא אֶת הַשֵּׁבֶט וְלֹא אֶת נְבִיא הַשֶּׁקֶר וְלֹא אֶת כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל, אֶלָּא עַל פִּי בֵית דִּין שֶׁל שִׁבְעִים וְאֶחָד In the Gemara (Sanhedrin 15B, 16A) we can read: אמר רב מתנה הכא בנשיא שבט שחטא עסקינן מי לא אמר רב אדא בר אהבה כל הדבר הגדול יביאו אליך דבריו של גדול האי ...


1

According to Rashi this is the machlokes between Rabbi Yose and the Rabbanan in Maseches Shabbos 87a. However, Rashi says that "on the third day" according to Rabbi Yose means the same as the statement by Moshe Rabbeinu to "separate for three days" Art Scroll 87a1 note 6 says that In the Rabbi's opinion there were only two days of abstinence before ...


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The students of the Gra had a different system. Maaseh Bereishis corresponds to the first millenium, the rest of Bereishis to the second, Shemos to the third... so that Devarim corresponds to the sixth millennium. There are 10 parshios in Devarim, each describes a different century. By that system, the year of the Vilna Gaon's birth (5480) lines up to ...


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Far from a complete answer but perhaps "heavy" is not the best translation contextually of כבד which suggests instead more Pharaoh's incredible hubris (כבוד). That root seems to only appear in the initial stages of the confrontations, when direct divine intervention was not yet as necessary in order to incite his arrogant stubbornness.


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A possible way to understand the different usage is to look to the Targum Onkelos. In the examples you cite, Shemot 14:17 and Shemot 14:25: וַאֲנִ֗י הִנְנִ֤י מְחַזֵּק֙ אֶת־לֵ֣ב מִצְרַ֔יִם וְיָבֹ֖אוּ אַחֲרֵיהֶ֑ם וְאִכָּבְדָ֤ה בְּפַרְעֹה֙ וּבְכָל־חֵיל֔וֹ בְּרִכְבּ֖וֹ וּבְפָרָשָֽׁיו׃ וַיָּ֗סַר אֵ֚ת אֹפַ֣ן מַרְכְּבֹתָ֔יו וַֽיְנַהֲגֵ֖הוּ בִּכְבֵדֻ֑ת ...


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The Malbim explains that Moses is wondering how could it be that Pharaoh, who was afraid before, suddenly strengthens his own heart right after the hail-and-fire plague that ended the last parsha. So G-d tells Moses "Come to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart" and that he did so for two reasons: "in order that I may place these signs of Mine in his ...


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This is a complex question that is dealt with by a number of commentators. Did Pharaoh Have Free Will? quotes Ramban as saying Nachmanides offers an answer which is as profound as it is astoundingly simple. He argues that had G‑d refrained from hardening Pharaoh's heart, he would have then been deprived of the ability to make a coherent and true ...


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R. Avraham b. haRambam writes in the beginnining of Va'Eirah (7:8): לא ידעתי [מה החילוק] בין ויאמר לוידבר ולמה אמר פעם ויאמר ופעם וידבר ואם רק הוא מכם רק "I do not know what's the difference between VaYomer and VaYedaber, and why sometimes the Torah uses one, and sometimes the other, and if it seems meaningless, it's your shortcoming."



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