Questions tagged [avot-patriarch-fathers]

Generally refers to Avraham (Abraham), Yitzchak (Isaac), and Yaakov (Jacob); the three patriarchs of the Jewish People.

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81 views

Do any of the Rishonim or earlier commentators attempt to suggest what clothing the Ovos wore?

Midrash (Minor Pesikta, Ki Savo 41a) says the Bnei Yisroel didn't change their clothing in Mitzrayim. I presume (but correct me if I'm wrong), that this means they dressed like the Ovos did. My next ...
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Sefer on Avot Keeping Mitzvot

I heard that there was a sefer written that has approximately 100 answers to the question of whether the Avot kept all of the Mitzvot. If anyone know about this and has the name of the sefer and ...
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Jacob and stone pillars

There are several allusions in the Torah that through divine inspiration the Patriarchs kept it entirely (see Yoma 28b based on Bereishit 26:5 for Abraham and Rashi on Bereishit 32:5 for Jacob). Yet, ...
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How come only Yaakov is Bikesh Shalva?

Rashi comments at the beginning of this week's parsha, that Yaakov requested to sit in tranquility: וישב, בִּקֵּשׁ יַעֲקֹב לֵישֵׁב בְּשַׁלְוָה, קָפַץ עָלָיו רָגְזוֹ שֶׁל יוֹסֵף – צַדִּיקִים ...
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The proposed killing of Yosef would have left 11 tribes

We know the Patriarchs and Matriarchs prophetically had knowledge there would be the Shevatim (12 tribes) descended through Ya'akov. Source: (Bereshit Rabbah 72,5) concerning the fact that Ya'akov ...
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Forefathers and consumerism - why they had more that they can eat?

Yaakov said (Gen 33.11): ... כִּי־חַנַּנִי אֱלֹהִים וְכִי יֶשׁ־לִי־כֹל ...׃ ... for God has favored me and I have everything... Rashi: יש לי כל: כָּל סִפּוּקִי; וְעֵשָׂו דִּבֵּר בִּלְשׁוֹן ...
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How Halachic was Yaakov's decision to discriminate between his wives and kids?

וַיָּ֧שֶׂם אֶת־הַשְּׁפָח֛וֹת וְאֶת־יַלְדֵיהֶ֖ן רִֽאשֹׁנָ֑ה, וְאֶת־לֵאָ֤ה וִֽילָדֶ֙יהָ֙ אַחֲרֹנִ֔ים, וְאֶת־רָחֵ֥ל וְאֶת־יוֹסֵ֖ף אַחֲרֹנִֽים׃ putting the maids and their children first, Leah ...
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What to we learn from וַיִּשַּׁק יַעֲקֹב לְרָחֵל? [duplicate]

The following is an (uncited) premise in learning torah that creates this question. Every word of the torah is measured (there are no extra words) and therefore important. In parshas Yeyeitzei (...
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Why did Yaakov delay his return home by an extra 2 years?

I know that Yaakov left Charan after working for Lavan for 20 years and that the Sages comment that Yaakov was punished measure for measure by being separated from his own son for 22 years as he had ...
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Yaakov and the Angel: Hand to Hand?

In the encounter between Yaakov Avinu and the "man", it says (Genesis 32:26): וַיַּ֗רְא כִּ֣י לֹ֤א יָכֹל֙ ל֔וֹ וַיִּגַּ֖ע בְּכַף־יְרֵכ֑וֹ וַתֵּ֙קַע֙ כַּף־יֶ֣רֶךְ יַעֲקֹ֔ב בְּהֵֽאָבְק֖וֹ עִמּֽוֹ׃ ...
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Where are the graves of the mothers?

In Breishit 23:2, Rash"i cites Breishit Rabba which mentions that 4 couples were buried there. (I asked a separate question about Adam and Chava). When visiting Me'arat Hamachpela, one finds signs ...
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Why Torah never mentions any type of conversion for our foremothers?

As we know, all our foremothers came from homes of [famous] idolaters - Betuel and Lavan (well, Sarah also). Once Avraham started the dynasty with Itzhak it seems reasonable that all newcomers will ...
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What is the importance of Milkah, Nahor's wife to attribute the children after her?

Milka is mentioned a couple of times as giving birth to Nahor's children, e.g.: ... וַיֻּגַּד לְאַבְרָהָם לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה יָלְדָה מִלְכָּה גַם־הִיא בָּנִים לְנָחוֹר אָחִיךָ׃ ... Abraham was told, “...
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Why does Itzhak make Nissuin before/instead of Kiddushin?

וַיְבִאֶהָ יִצְחָק הָאֹהֱלָה שָׂרָה אִמּוֹ וַיִּקַּח אֶת־רִבְקָה וַתְּהִי־לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה וַיֶּאֱהָבֶהָ וַיִּנָּחֵם יִצְחָק אַחֲרֵי אִמּוֹ׃ Isaac then brought her into the tent of his mother ...
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Why didn't our forefathers buy land in the Holy land?

Our forefathers were freakishly rich, but they didn't invest in real estate in the Holy Land for their descendants besides two graveyards (for Sarah in Hebron and Yossef in Shechem). It appears that ...
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Why did Avraham ask Eliezer to go to his family?

What was so special about Avraham's family that he prefers that Eliezer should search there for a wife for Yitzchok (Bereshis 24:40)?
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Why didn't our forefathers build a Temple?

Following my previous question "why-did-our-forefathers-live-in-tents-in-israel-and-not-in-houses": The concept of a Temple is not new, Yaakov already called the place "בית אלהים". However, as we can ...
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Why did our forefathers live in tents in Israel and not in houses?

It appears that there's a clear trend of our forefathers, Avraham, Tzhak, and Jacob, to dwell in tents in the Holy Land, wandering from one place to another, instead of settling down, taking hold of ...
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Who else considers calling Avraham Avram forbidden? And how is this law applied?

The gemara in Berachot 13a brings an opinion that calling Avraham by the name Avram is forbidden. In the Koren gemara, Rabbi Shteinsaltz adds: The gemara did not reject either of these statements, ...
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When did G-d say to Yaakov that he will have 12 sons?

As a preliminary question for "yaakov's-hurry-to-have-kids-at-84": On the Posuk (Gen 29,21) "וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב אֶל־לָבָן הָבָה אֶת־אִשְׁתִּי כִּי מָלְאוּ יָמָי וְאָבוֹאָה אֵלֶיהָ׃" Bereyshis Rabba 70,...
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What was Bilhah and Zilpah's ancestry?

While the forefathers were very cautious in choosing their spouses from Avraham's family, the Torah says nothing about Bilhah and Zilpah's ancestry. What nation/family there were from and why the ...
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In Shemoneh Esrei- why “God of Avraham, God of Yitzchak, & God of Yaakov” instead of “God of Avraham, Yitzchak, & Yaakov?”

In the first bracha of Shemoneh Esrei, why do we say: אֱלקֵּי אַבְרָהָם. אֱלקֵּי יִצְחָק. וֵאלקֵּי יַעֲקב God of Avraham, God of Yitzchak, and God of Yaakov; instead of just saying: ...
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What happens when you turn 100?

The Mishna says: A hundred-year-old is as if he were dead, passed away and ceased connection with the world. [Avot 5:25] At first blush this seems callous and disrespectful. What is the teaching ...
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Is adding the “Immahot” (matriarchs) to the Amidah permitted?

Many non-traditional congregations have modified the Avot prayer opening the Amidah, to add the Immahot. For example: (Form Shabbat Siddur of the First Reform Minyan in UC Berkeley 2003) What is the ...
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Why does the Torah sometimes preface the avos with Elokei before each name but other times just once for the group?

In Shemos 3:6, the passuk says: "וַיֹּאמֶר אָנֹכִי אֱלֹהֵי אָבִיךָ אֱלֹקי אַבְרָהָם אֱלֹקי יִצְחָק וֵאלֹקי יַעֲקֹב וַיַּסְתֵּר מֹשֶׁה פָּנָיו כִּי יָרֵא מֵהַבִּיט אֶל־הָאֱלֹקים׃" "I am,” He ...
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Was Reuben's repentance accepted? If not, why not?

The midrash (Bereshit Rabba 84:19) indicates that Reuben did teshuva (repentance) for sleeping with his father's concubine Bilhah (Bereshit 35:22). However in both Yaakov's blessing (ibid 49:3-4) and ...
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How was Reuven considered Yaakov's first drop of semen?

Rashi on Bereishit 49:3 tells us that Reuven was conceived with the first drop of semen that Yaakov emitted. How does this fit with the verses in Bereishit 29:25 to Bereishit 29:31, which seem to ...
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Halachic status of ישמך אלקים כאפרים וכמנשה

Yaakov blessed Ephraim and Menashe by stating that future generations would bless their children by saying "ישמך אלקים כאפרים וכמנשה" - "God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh" (Gen. 48:20). Was this ...
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Yaakov complaining to Pharaoh about his life

This is Ramban's questions on the reason and benefit of Yaakov complaining to Pharaoh about his life (Gen 47, 9): "וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב אֶל־פַּרְעֹה יְמֵי שְׁנֵי מְגוּרַי שְׁלֹשִׁים וּמְאַת שָׁנָה ...
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Why did the Torah need to be given if the Avos knew and kept it?

It is a common theme in aggadic literature that The Avos were incredible tzadikim They more-or-less kept the entire Torah, including some derabannans If the mitzvos were already known and kept, and ...
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Reason for Yaakov not rushing to meet back his parents?

Follow-up to "yaakovs-lack-of-kibud-av-while-in-haran": Why Yaakov had no plans to see his parents when he returned from Haran, instead he buys a piece of land in Shechem, then moves on and only ...
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Tribes' names with את and without?

"וַתַּהַר לֵאָה וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ רְאוּבֵן" "וַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן ... וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ שִׁמְעוֹן" "וַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן ... עַל־כֵּן קָרָא־שְׁמוֹ לֵוִי" "וַתַּהַר עוֹד ...
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Rachel Naming Binyamin

Rachel's final action before leaving this world was to give her son the name Ben Oni (Bereishis 35:18) וַיְהִי בְּצֵאת נַפְשָׁהּ כִּי מֵתָה וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ בֶּן־אוֹנִי וְאָבִיו קָרָא־לוֹ ...
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Rachel Imeinu Deceiving Lavan while pregnant

In Bereshit 31:35 we learn that Rachel was able to hide the Teraphim under her saddle by telling her father Lavan that "The way of women is upon me", presumably a euphemism for menstruation. Just a ...
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Did anyone (especially Yaakov) ever find out about the idols?

Rachel took Lavan's terafim and hid them. Yaakov pronounced what some commentators view as a curse on anyone who had them (not just the one with whom they were found, but even if they were not found ...
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Reason for Yaakov's [lack of] Kibud Av while in Haran

The Gemmorah (Megilla 17a) mentions that Yaakov was punished for not honoring his parents for 22 years in Haran (but not for the 14 years at Ever's Yeshivah). His punishment was that his son Yossef ...
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Limited procreation of the patriarchs

Why our forefathers did not have more children: Why did Avraham stop after a single child with Sarah? Why did Itzhak stop after the twins? Why (and how) did Yaakov stop after having the 12 tribes, ...
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102 views

Why Yaakov suddenly hurried to have kids at 84?

On the Posuk (Gen 29,21) "וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב אֶל־לָבָן הָבָה אֶת־אִשְׁתִּי כִּי מָלְאוּ יָמָי וְאָבוֹאָה אֵלֶיהָ׃" Bereyshis Rabba 70,18 explains that Yaakov was 84 and knew that he's destined to have ...
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Centrality of Jerusalem for forefathers and before Temple

I was having an argument about the centrality of Jerusalem in our tradition when I realized surprisingly, that, seemingly from the scriptures, Jerusalem wasn't so central for our forefathers at all. ...
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Leah's marriage: why not normally?

Yaakov had to marry Leah by surprise/error. But why? Why not making such that he wanted to marry both Leah and Rachel, and everything nice? An answer given somewhere(?), is because Leah represents ...
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552 views

How old were Rochel and Leah when they got married to Yaakov? [duplicate]

To my recollection I have never seen an answer to this or have known anything regarding Rochel and Leah's ages at marriage. Are they known?
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Was it a sin for Yitzchak to swear to Avimelech

The Midrash rebukes Avraham for swearing to Avimelech and making a covenant (Genesis 21:23-32): אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אַתָּה נָתַתָּ שֶׁבַע כְּבָשׂוֹת בְּלִי רְצוֹנִי, חַיֶּיךָ ...
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Your name shall be 'Yisrael', but what does it mean and why so?

In relation to another question of mine I would like to know what the name Yisrael really means. It literally says Ya'akov is now names Yisrael because he has struggled AND has overcome. I heard ...
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Name changing and mazal with 2 of our fathers and 1 mother

The Talmud (appreciate if someone can edit the location) says that one way to change one's mazal is to change his / her name. Avram became Avraham; Sarai became Sarah and Ya'akov became Yisrael. Did ...
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Why is Yaakov’s name changed twice?

In the parasha of Vayishlach Yaakov’s name is changed twice. Both times his new name is Yisrael. He is morphed twice from the ‘One Who Grasps Ankles’ to ‘the One Who Wrestles with G-d.’ The first time ...
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30 views

Connection between the akeidah and bikkurim

Some of the akeidah selichos, particularly for days 4 and 5 of teshuvah (Artscroll Minhag Lita), contain references to the mitzvah of bikkurim. Are there any other sources that draw this comparison ...
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1k views

Who was older, Miriam or Aaron?

Do we have any sources addressing which of Moshe Rabbeinu's older siblings, Miriam and Aaron, was older?
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101 views

Did Avraham Avinu daven all the tefilos or just Shacharis?

We learn (Brachot 26b): תניא כוותיה דרבי יוסי בר' חנינא אברהם תקן תפלת שחרית שנא' וישכם אברהם בבקר אל המקום אשר עמד שם ... יצחק תקן תפלת מנחה שנאמר ויצא יצחק לשוח בשדה לפנות ערב ואין שיחה אלא תפלה ....
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1answer
34 views

Sources on Ephraim and Menashe's greatness [duplicate]

Many of us bless our children on Friday nights. The bracha for daughters is pretty easy to understand- among other things we wish them to be as great as Sarah, Rivka and Leah- towering female figures ...
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Forefathers' merits mentioned for the Golden Calf but not for the Spy Mission?

Inevitably, my rav is unafraid to admit what he doesn't know, but he will pose the question, anyway. I heard this from him during last week's Seudah Shlishit, after the herring: There are two sins ...

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