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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2answers
88 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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Why is Bethuel is 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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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 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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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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Washing feet before coming inside: Avraham vs. Lot

When the angels came to visit Avraham, he asked them (Bereishis 18:4) to "Bathe your feet, and recline under the tree". Rashi explains: He thought that they were Arabs, who prostrate themselves to ...
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3answers
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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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1answer
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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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699 views

Why is Yitzchak spelled with a “sin” in Tehillim 105:9?

I just came across this strange variant spelling this morning. I've been in the habit of reciting Tikkun HaKlali recently and saw this in Artscroll's Tehillim this past Shabbat. Thinking it was a typo,...
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Dovid got lifespan from Adam and/or the Avos

I think it's pretty well known that there's an idea that 70 years from Adam's life were given to Dovid Hamelech, which is why he lived to 930 and not 1000. A source that I found for this is Zohar ...
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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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50 views

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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95 views

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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1answer
144 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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90 views

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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4answers
162 views

Maimonides' Responsum on Pre-Sinaic Mitzva Observance

The Maimonides Reader (p. 478) quotes Maimonides' responsum to Hasdai Ha-Levi where he states that our forefathers didn't keep the mitzvos at all. Where else can this responsum be found? (...
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146 views

Before the Matan Torah, did HaShem issue divorce regulations?

I am an Italian son of Noah. The Torah (written and especially oral) establishes a detailed regulation of the divorce institute. According to Jewish tradition, before the giving of the Torah were ...
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272 views

Do we know the names of Jacob's daughters?

Rashi in his commentary on Genesis 37:35 quotes the Midrash (Genesis Rabbah 84:21) that each of Jacob's sons was born together with a twin sister. Are there any sources which discuss the names of ...
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178 views

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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