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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Are there any respected rabbis who say that the Avot did not follow all of the laws of the Torah before it was given?

I am disturbed by the oft-repeated claim that Abraham, Issac, and Jacob followed all the details of Torah before it was given to us at Sinai. I suspect that it is a case of later generations ...
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Why did God not prevent all 3 patriarchs from going to Egypt during a famine?

The Ramban strongly criticized Abraham for leaving the Holy Land during a famine, and cited that episode as the reason for the Jews' enslavement in Egypt: And you should know that our father Abraham ...
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How does “ancestral merit” work?

We see the usage of Zechut Avot, which I loosely translate as "ancestral merit" used in numerous circumstances to ask God to forgive our sins and wrongdoings. Moses used this several times ...
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What age was Avraham's name change?

As we know Avraham was changed from Avram. Does anyone know how old Avraham was when he got his name change?
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What was the nature of the apparition of Yaakov that appeared to Yosef?

Sotah 36b writes that an apparition of Yaakov visited Yosef when he was about to sin with Potiphar's wife. (בראשית לט, יב) ותתפשהו בבגדו לאמר וגו' באותה שעה באתה דיוקנו של אביו ונראתה לו בחלון אמר לו ...
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What would have been the Godly way to address the rape of Dinah?

Why were Shimon and Levi the ones to hear about Dinah's rape and not Yaakov? Where does it mention Yaakov's actual emotive state? And finally, what would the Torah have mandated to have done in such a ...
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Yaakov Avinu didn't die and connection to not eating?

In Taanis 5b there is a story with two amoraim רב נחמן ור' יצחק הוו יתבי בסעודתא א"ל רב נחמן לר' יצחק לימא מר מילתא א"ל הכי א"ר יוחנן אין מסיחין בסעודה שמא יקדים קנה לושט ויבא לידי ...
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Was Yaakov lacking Bitachon?

When Yaakov becomes afraid of Eisav's arrival, the passuk says that he was very frightened. Chazal in Maseches Brachos note that he was afraid שמא יגרום החטא. Does this display a lack of Bitachon, ...
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Why does Yitzchak's name mean to laugh if he represents gevurah?

Why does Yitzchak's name mean to laugh if he represents gevurah? Gevurah is something that is restrained and hold back. And laughter is something which breaks out of the chains and feels more free.
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Are there any Midrashim where Yitzchak was actually sacrificed by Avraham?

Are there any Midrashim where Yitzchak was actually sacrificed by Avraham? https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1136172-gen-22-11-16a-the-story-of-the-near-sacrifice-of-isaac-is "a later midrashic ...
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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 ...
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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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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: אֱלקֵּי ...
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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,...
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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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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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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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