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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Wasn't Yaakov afraid to create envy between Ephraim and Menashe?

When Yosef took his sons to receive a bracha from his father, Yaakov switched his hands to put his right hand over Ephraim, the youngest brother. When Yosef questioned him about that, Yaakov said that ...
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Moshe Grave connected with the Cave of the Patriarchs

The Sefer אישי התנ״ך / the encyclopaedia of biblical personalities brings the sifri Beracha 34:51 “ A tunnel cave connected Moses grave with the graves of the patriarchs.” I can’t seem to find this. I ...
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Are there positive meanings in Torah about horses that relate to Jews? Also dogs?

Sorry if this is basic but if I learned it I forgot it. I think what I'm trying to remember was about Joseph the Righteous, but I will ask more broadly, are there any positive affiliations of Jews in ...
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Why were the shevatim named by their mothers, not Yaakov

Yitzchok and Yishmael were named by Avraham. Yaakov and Eisav were seemingly named by Yitzchok. Yet all of the Shevatim were named by their mothers, based on their situation at the time, without any ...
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Do commentaries address/question the morality of Leah and Rachel's actions against Yaakov regarding switching places?

Leah switches with Rachel to marry Yaakov (parashat ויצא). Following this, Yaakov is surprised (to say the least!), Bereshit 29:25: וַיְהִ֣י בַבֹּ֔קֶר וְהִנֵּה־הִ֖וא לֵאָ֑ה וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֶל־לָבָ֗ן מַה־...
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Signing off the bracha of 'magen Avraham' with just Avraham

In Parshas Lech Lecha 12:2, the pasuk famously reads: וְאֶֽעֶשְׂךָ֙ לְג֣וֹי גָּד֔וֹל וַאֲבָ֣רֶכְךָ֔ וַאֲגַדְּלָ֖ה שְׁמֶ֑ךָ וֶהְיֵ֖ה בְּרָכָֽה׃ I will make of you a great nation, And I will bless you; ...
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Why was Sara put in a box?

Rashi in Bereishis 12:14 says; ויהי כבוא אברם מצרימה. הָיָה לוֹ לוֹמַר כְּבוֹאָם מִצְרַיְמָה? אֶלָּא לִמֵּד שֶׁהִטְמִין אוֹתָהּ בְּתֵבָה, וְעַל יְדֵי שֶׁתָּבְעוּ אֶת הַמֶּכֶס פָּתְחוּ וְרָאוּ אוֹתָהּ:...
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Why was Shimon Hatzadik so-called?

In Pirkei Avot 1:2, Shimon is called Hatzaddik (the righteous). I gathered a couple of questions about this fact: Why was [only] he called so and not other Rabbis? Was he called so by the Greeks (...
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Do Arabs have a distinct stature among non-Jews as they descend from Abraham?

To best of my knowledge, according to Judaism, both Arabs and Jews descend from Abraham. In particular, Arabs are believed to be descended from Ishmael, and Jews are believed to be descended from ...
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Why did the 10 Brothers tell Yaakov that Yosef had died if doing so would cause him such intense pain & grief?

Is there any Torah commentary that addresses how Yaakov’s ten sons could have been so cold, heartless and cruel, to cause Yaakov’s intense, 22-year, unconsolable grief over Yosef’s death? What child ...
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Did Rachel really die on the way from Padan Aram?

Why does Yaakov says that Rachel died when he came from Padan Aram (ואני בבאי מפדן)? Apparently, she died much later, not after leaving from the house of Lavan. Rachel dies in 35:19, Yaakov departs ...
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What is the significance of Dina in the Biblical narrative?

Dina is mentioned only several times in the Torah - her birth, her rape and the massacre, and her counted with the 70 souls coming down to Egypt. The midrash tells us how Jacob mistreat her with Esau ...
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Why wasn't Yosef's wife counted in the 70 people of Yaakov's family that went down to Egypt?

Some say that they were 66 and that the missing 4 are: Yocheved, Yosef and his 2 sons. How about Osnas (Dina's daughter, Yosef's wife). If Yosef and his children were counted why not Osnas?
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Is there any practical implication to the Avot's being priests?

According to various sources, Malkitzedek was punished for blessing Avraham before blessing Hashem by having his "priesthood" status taken away and placed on Avraham. This status is then ...
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What were Yaakov's original intentions for marrying Lavan's daughter(s)?

I learned from my Rabbi's books (R' Moshe Luriah's "בית גנזי על התורה" - Ariz"l's tradition) that: Yaakov and Esav paralleled Rachel and Leah and were "destined" one for ...
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Yaakov, Lavan, and the sheep deal(s)

Yaakov tells Lavan that "You changed my wages ten times." [Chazal: actually a hundred times.] It's a sad story. If Lavan had just given Yaakov normal wages, מחצית שכר - splitting the outcome ...
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Shevuah worded in the negative

I've been bothered for a long time: Throughout Tanach, shevuos (oaths) and brisos (covenants) are phrased in the negative (where it doesn't just say, I swear __, like בי נשבעתי ___). Generally ...
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Why did Isaac trust his senses over his feeling?

וַיִּגַּשׁ יַעֲקֹב אֶל־יִצְחָק אָבִיו וַיְמֻשֵּׁהוּ וַיֹּאמֶר הַקֹּל קוֹל יַעֲקֹב וְהַיָּדַיִם יְדֵי עֵשָׂו׃ - So Jacob drew close to his father Isaac, who felt him and wondered. “The voice is the ...
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Why didn’t Yaakov marry both sisters simultaneously?

This might sound strange but the effective Jewish Halacha allows for marrying multiple women at once: נוֹשֵׂא אָדָם כַּמָּה נָשִׁים אֲפִלּוּ מֵאָה בֵּין בְּבַת אַחַת בֵּין בָּזוֹ אַחַר זוֹ - A person ...
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What Biblical couple is the standard for happy and healthy marital relationships?

On Shabbos, we bless our kids with Brochos to grow like our forefathers/mothers. When my kid announced that he's getting married I exclaimed "may God put your marriage like..." and got stuck ...
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Different languages describing forefathers' wealth

Off the top of my head, I bring three different verses describing the (enormous) wealth of our forefathers, each mentioning different parts of it: Abraham: "וְאַבְרָם כָּבֵד מְאֹד בַּמִּקְנֶה ...
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Why is Bethuel referred to as "Son of Milkah" and not "Son of Nahor"?

Several times in the Parasha Bethuel is referred to as "Son of Milkah" and not "Son of Nahor", for example: ... וְהִנֵּה רִבְקָה יֹצֵאת אֲשֶׁר יֻלְּדָה לִבְתוּאֵל בֶּן־מִלְכָּה ...
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When does Torah attribute birth to the mother and when to the father?

I spot two approaches to informing a birth in the Torah: attributing it to the mother, for example: "... הִנֵּה יָלְדָה מִלְכָּה גַם־הִוא בָּנִים לְנָחוֹר אָחִיךָ׃", “Milcah too has borne ...
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Why is abstinence is important for Rivkah but not other foremothers or other Toranic female figures?

וְהַנַּעֲרָ טֹבַת מַרְאֶה מְאֹד בְּתוּלָה וְאִישׁ לֹא יְדָעָהּ ...׃ - The maiden was very beautiful, a virgin whom no man had known. Genesis.24.16 Why is the fact of sexual abstinence is important ...
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Legal status of Abraham sending Eliezer to marry Rivka

I'm confused about the legal status of Abraham sending his slave to get Rivka from Bethuel. IIRC, Isaac was completely unaware of the mission, he didn't send Eliezer, Abraham was one to send Eliezer ...
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Why didn't our forefathers team up with Shem and Ever?

Our sources mention not only the mere existence of Abraham's pious forefathers, such as Shem and Ever but their Toranic activities in the Promised land, such as Shem being a Kohen in Jerusalem and ...
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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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3 votes
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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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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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