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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4
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1answer
129 views

Does Jacob's Well in present-day Nablus/Shechem have a Jewish tradition associated with it?

There's a well in present-day Shechem (Nablus) called "Jacob's Well." It has an Orthodox Christian church on top of it right now. I was wondering if there is any Jewish tradition that Jacob dug this ...
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1answer
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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 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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3answers
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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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6answers
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What happened to Avraham's students?

We read how Avraham was going around convincing people to believe in one G-d and of his many students. Yet we don't hear of those students (or their descendants) ever again. What happened to them ...
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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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3answers
282 views

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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Abrahamic covenant and Brit Milah - how is the covenant passed down?

Why is it so that if a Jew has a male child with a non-Jewish woman the child is not circumcised, even though, like Ishmail, the child is under Abrahamic (but not Mosaic) covenant, since the father is ...
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579 views

Why was Yaacov punished for hiding Dinah?

Why was Yaacov punished for hiding Dinah from Esav? Isn't this an expected attitude from a loving and protective father?
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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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7answers
400 views

Why was the letter "Hai" added to Avraham's name?

Avarham Avinu was originally Avram - and Hashem added the letter Hai to his name and changed it to Avraham. Why from all letters was the letter Hai added?
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1answer
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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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2answers
169 views

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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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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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How could Yaakov name his children Gad and Dan?

Shabbos 67b says Gad was the name of an idol of the Amorites, and Dan was an idol of Samaria. If we're not supposed to even say the name of idols, how could Yaakov name his sons after them? (or is it ...
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266 views

Why did Avraham pray for Sodom

Sodom was one of the most morally corrupted societies that ever existed. Wouldn't their disappearance be good for everyone (including themselves)? Keeping those who are thoroughly wicked alive is not ...
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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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1answer
91 views

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 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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If Ketura wasn't Hagar, who was she?

The Torah tells us (Bereshit 25:1) that "Abraham took another wife, and her name was Keturah." The Yalkut Shimoni (Iyov 904) says that Ketura was from Yafet (English from here): "...
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114 views

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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2answers
102 views

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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Creation of State of Israel and birth of Abraham - 1948

According to the Jewish calendar, Abraham was born on the year 1948. The state of Israel was declared in 1948 according to the secular calendar. Is there any significance to this or is it just ...
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2answers
84 views

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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2answers
134 views

When did Eisav find out that Yaakov was still alive?

The pasuk in Bereishis 29:11 says: וַיִּשַּׁ֥ק יַעֲקֹ֖ב לְרָחֵ֑ל וַיִּשָּׂ֥א אֶת־קֹל֖וֹ וַיֵּֽבְךְּ׃ Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and broke into tears. Rashi says on that pasuk: ...Another ...
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Torah personalities chosen for blessings on Friday nights

Why do we bless our children on Friday nights with non-correlated blessings between the boys and the girls? I can understand that we want our daughters to emulate the Matriarchs. Yet we don't bless ...
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5answers
348 views

How could Yaakov have relations with a wife (Leah) whom he hated?

The Gemoro Nedorim 20b is critical of children born to a wife who is hated. וברותי מכם המורדים והפושעים בי אמר רבי לוי אלו בני תשע מדות בני אסנ"ת משגע"ח בני אימה בני אנוסה בני שנואה And I ...
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How are Spartans the son of Abraham?

I was reading the Book of Maccabees (I and II) over Shabbat and in it there is a letter written to Sparta to ask for peace, goodwill and friendship. In the reply letter back from Sparta, they affirm ...
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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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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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Why didn't Yaakov and Yosef spend much time together?

It seems that Yaakov and Yosef did not spend much time together in Egypt. After the emotional reunion is there any other mention of them together? Why not?
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Yaakov Kissing Rachel

In Parashat Vayetzeh, Yaakov goes to Lavan's house, but prior to his arrival he meets up with Rachel. Shockingly, the Pasuk says that he kissed her and cried (29:11). How exactly are we to understand ...
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1answer
164 views

Yaakov and Esav identical twins?

Were Yaakov and Esav monozygotic ("identical") twins, or dizygotic ("fraternal") twins? (Inspired by Sabbahillel's answer to Why is the birth of twins a Chidush for Rivka?)
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2answers
86 views

Significance of the numbers 3 and 7 in the story of Lavan

What is the significance of the numbers 3 times 7 in the story of Lavan other than that Yaakov worked for Lavan for (almost) 3 times 7 years? Do these numbers have significance elsewhere that can be ...
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1answer
56 views

Stealing of Beracha/Mission

Al Berko in Why did Ya'akov work for Lavan for so long? claimed that "If you remember, he stole Eisov's Brochos, and therefore, Eisov's mission in this world." What does "stealing ...
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71 views

Sur meRah Mission

What does Sur meRah mean (sources please) in the context of Al Berko's answer to Why did Ya'akov work for Lavan for so long?? Associated: Why would Yaakov need to go looking for the Lavan in "...
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2answers
164 views

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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2answers
90 views

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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1answer
78 views

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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0answers
29 views

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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3answers
328 views

Why did Ya'akov work for Lavan for so long?

I'm having a bit of trouble understanding Or Hachaim's explanation on Breishit 29:18. Usually Jewish slaves work for only 6 years. Yet, Ya'akov offers to work for Lavan for 7 years as payment for ...
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2answers
125 views

Why doesn't the Chumash record a blessing for Yitzchak?

Yitzchak blesses his two sons. Ya'acov blesses his twelve sons and even a couple of grandsons. Even Noach tells of the future of his sons. Does Avraham ever formally bless Yitzchak? If so, why doesn't ...
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2answers
57 views

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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1answer
132 views

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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0answers
32 views

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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