Questions tagged [commentaries]

Questions related to Jewish commentaries, their meaning and their origin.

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32 views

Could the narrative of Exodus 4:24-26 have happened at another moment in time?

HaShem commands Moshe to do ׳all wonders׳ which HaShem appointed in his hand before Pharaoh once he arrives in Egypt (Shemot 4:21), but despite all wonders - HaShem informs Moshe - Pharaoh will not ...
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1answer
81 views

Who went with whom? Lot and Avram

Genesis 12:4 reads: Vayelech Avram... Avram went according as HaShem had sproken to him, vayelech Lot ito, and Lot went with him. But the next verse reads: Vayikach Avram.. et Lot, and Avram took Lot, ...
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118 views

Source for “Each word of Rashi worth gold”

Rashi is essential for every Torah study and his peirush surely has motivated many to seek the secrets of hebrew text. I recall heard many times that, after it was written (in times with no printing ...
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45 views

What are “rashei pispasin”?

In Middot 2:6 and 4:5, it says that רָאשֵׁי פִסְפָּסִין divided between different areas of the Beit haMikdash, specifically between the Ezrat Kohanim and Ezrat Yisrael, and between the areas above the ...
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1answer
55 views

Who was uncircumcised, and by whom at which time and why was this person sought to be killed?

What exactly is happening in the passage about the circumcision of Shemot 4:24-26? First of all, who was met, sought to kill and let from - at which time in the story did this occur - and by whom? ...
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126 views

'עם' & 'את' based words in the story of Lot and Avram

I don't know the exact sources but I remembered some commentaries from the Malbim and Vilna Gaon which point out a difference between 'את'-based words and 'עם'-based words (both translated to mean '...
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1answer
103 views

Yetzer machshevot libo

There is a phrase in Bereshit/Genesis 6:5 which reads in hebrew: '.... v'kol yetzer machshevot libo...' I found different translations starting of with: The entire, every, the whole.. And ending ...
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1k views

Why were some of the works of Rabbi Steinsaltz banned?

Apparently some of the works of Rabbi Steinsaltz were banned. What are the specific examples that prompted the ban? Is there a list of all of his works that have been banned, as I am interested in ...
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1answer
225 views

Homosexual behavior from nature not prohibited? [closed]

I watched a Dutch Jewish television program about someone who shows his love for the Talmud and tries to translate it and give some interpretations of it. At the end of the program he asks the ...
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1answer
57 views

Yaacov's refusal to use Yitzhak's wealth

This is a question my son asked I couldn't answer. Yitzhok was extremely wealthy. When sending out Eliezer to bring Rivka, Abraham wrote him an inheritance bill for Yitzhok. When Yaakov "ran away" he ...
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660 views

Are there meforshim on perek shira?

Are there meforshim on perek shira? I'm looking for anything besides artscroll. If there are many, which would you recommend to start?
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173 views

Rule of first occurrence?

Searching online I came across a nice article which wrote: link It is a teaching of Chassidic thought (the only source I have for this is Shlomo Carlebach!) that the first occurrence of a certain ...
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1answer
77 views

The why and how of Chag Ha'Ahava

What's the story/history/reason behind calling the 15th of the month Av 'Chag Ha'Ahava' ? And why, and how was or is this 'Chag Ha'Ahava' celebrated?
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108 views

Orah, Or and Torah

I found this on the Aish website: The accurate meaning of “Torah” is twofold. Firstly it comes from the word “הוֹרָה,” which means teaching. More precisely it means “teaching with direction,” i.e. ...
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1answer
111 views

Was Adam HaRishon made incomplete? If so why?

Rav Yosef Albo (Sefer Halkkarim 3:2) explains that the expression 'Ki Tov' is used to describe something that has reached i.e. fulfilled its potential and reached its (goal, purpose) shleimus (...
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1answer
146 views

Is there a commentary concordance?

I gather that there are both printed as well as on-line concordances for Tanac"h where one could enter a word or phrase and a list of matches appears. Is there such a thing like a Rash"i or other ...
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1answer
55 views

Two roots applied to the same verses

I was looking up the word להורות on the pealim.com website, from the root ירה. And it gave all kinds of conjugations. But it also gave some related words one of those was: הוראה. Both seem to have to ...
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73 views

Where does the word תורתי and different aplliable roots learn us?

(From the pealim.com website) The word להורות comes from ירה and gives הורה (past tense, 3rd person, masculine singular; "he/it taught", or as a imperative 2nd person, masculine, singular: "[to a ...
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40 views

Freedom of interpretation [closed]

On one side verses like Devarim 4:2 and 12:32 teach us not to add nor to subtract, on the other side there seem to be this freedom of interpretation regards doing the mitzvot. Ofcourse there are ...
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1answer
151 views

Tehilim 51, “in sin did his mother conceive him”, What does that mean?

In Tehilim chapter 51 verse 7 King David writes that in sin did his mother conceive him. What does that mean? I've read a few opinions about this. Does anybody have anything else?
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2answers
73 views

How does scattering and giving different languages help to solve the problem?

In what way does confounding the language of the people, and scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth (Bereshit 11:7-9) help to correct the wrong? Bereshit 11:4 teaches that people wanted ...
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37 views

Avraham: Two different groups of people blessed on two different pieces of ground? Or maybe not

In Bereshit 12:3 HaShem tells Avram: וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ, כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה - in thee shall all the families/households of the earth be blessed. While in Bereshit 18:18 it says: וְנִבְרְכוּ-...
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33 views

Making a great name

HaShem tells Avra(ha)m that He will make his name great (Bereshit 12:2), but in the generations before Avram to make one's own name great doesn't seem to be such a great thing (Bereshit 6:4 and 11:4). ...
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298 views

When did G-d create darkness?

Bereshit 1:5 says: וַיִּקְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים ׀ לָאוֹר֙ י֔וֹם וְלַחֹ֖שֶׁךְ קָ֣רָא לָ֑יְלָה וַֽיְהִי־עֶ֥רֶב וַֽיְהִי־בֹ֖קֶר י֥וֹם אֶחָֽד׃ (פ And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called ...
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1answer
43 views

Two cycles of moadim [closed]

The major moadim (as mentioned in Vayikra 23) seem to be divided into two main cycles; the Tishri cycle in the fall and the Nisan cycle in the spring. The first festival in Tishri is Rosh HaShanah, ...
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1answer
22 views

Atzeret to gather or store?

Atzeret (עצרת) comes from the root עצר which means (nifal, as a verb) to stop, be delayed or to be arrested. But I also heard that R.S.Hirsch explains it means 'to collect, to store or to gather' as ...
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56 views

Moadim a time to witness?

The word Moadim (מועדים), Moadei (מועדי) or singular Mo'ed (מועד) is most often translated as a appointed (fixed) time (or season). From the visual look of it these words seem to have a connection ...
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83 views

Atzeret: Shavuot v.s. Simchat Torah

Both Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah as Shavuot are called 'Atzeret', both are about Matan Torah. In what way are they comparable, and in which way are they different if both celebrate Matan Torah?
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27 views

Why does the letter Hei stands for Shechinah

Why is it the letter ה which represents or is connected with the Shechinah? What is the explanation behind this idea?
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1answer
58 views

Mishlei Proverbs 16:4

I found some different translations of Mishlei 16:4. On the chabad.org website it is translated as: 'The Lord made everything for His praise - even the wicked man for the day of evil' While the ...
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33 views

Teshuvah: How to return or going back to one's true nature?

In the 5th bracha of the Amidah, we request from HaShem "our father" (אבינו), to return us (השיבנו) we mention three kinds of Teshuvah – 1. returning to HaShem, 2.returning to the Torah, and 3. ...
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48 views

Source for Adam being made with the letter Hey

I know of this gemarah teaching (see also Midrash Rabah 12:2) about Bereshit 2:4 which teaches that the phrase: 'Eileh toldot hashamayim v'ha'aretz b'hibaram' could be read as 'b'Hey baram', that ...
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1answer
49 views

Regret, remorsefull, repentance

They all seem to deal with some part of a process of reconciliation but could someone explain the difference between Teshuvah (תשובה) Charatah (חרטה) and L'hiNachem (להינחם) ?
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51 views

HaShem Himself a reward?

I noticed that some translations chose to teach to translate the words of Bereshit 15:1 אנכי מגן לך שכרך הרבה מאד as something like: I am thy shield and thy (exceeding) great reward OR , your very ...
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24 views

Avraham Adon shel Sarah?

Why does Sarah refers to Avraham as אדני Adoni (Genesis 18:12)? Why not say Ishi אישי or Ba'ali בעלי if she is refering to him as her husband? Why would she call him her master/lord?
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600 views

Genesis 4:7 Timshol-bo

The verse of Genesis 4:7 ends with the words תמשל-בו (timshol-bo), and is often translated as 'you shall rule over it'. But the prefix Bet often means 'in', 'with', 'at' or 'on'. Maybe there some ...
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1answer
73 views

Why didn't Avram pass through the pieces?

In short I was told a covenant in ancient days was made by cutting a animal and each party of the covenant would pass through the pieces in order to affirm the covenant. I always thought this was ...
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98 views

What's the deal with Melchizedek

After the narrative of the battle of Siddim (between a coalition of four kings and a coalition of five kings). It's stated that the king of Sodom went out to meet Avram (see Bereshit 14:17) - followed ...
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1answer
55 views

Tet-Bet = to prepare something to receive?

I came across a online teaching in which it was stated that the root for the Hebrew word 'tov' is tet-bet, which would mean 'to prepare something to receive'. It seems the writer quotes of The ...
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1answer
34 views

Genesis 1 and 2 are both displaying a correct order based on the words 'making' and 'forming'?

Looking for a possible explanation why Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 seem to contradict each other, I noticed a difference in the order of things being 'made' in Genesis 1 and the order of things being '...
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1answer
89 views

Why couldn't man be alone, and what was the need for a ezer kenegdo.

Why was it not good for Adam to be alone? And why was it that he needed a ezer kenegdo? Genesis 2:18 (Mechon Mamre) יח וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים, לֹא-טוֹב הֱיוֹת הָאָדָם לְבַדּוֹ; אֶעֱשֶׂה-לּוֹ ...
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59 views

Mashal and Mishal

When looking at the word משל (proverb, parable or allegory), I found out it's a tribe from Asher (Divrei Hayamim 6:59), but in Yehoshua 21 it reads from the tribe of Asher, משאל (with the meaning ...
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1answer
162 views

Actualizing Avodah Shebalev

Found this online: quote : As the Rav puts it, Avodah Shebalev is a constant requirement (Kiyum Hamitzvah) where Tefilah is one of many ways (Ma’aseh Hamitzvah) of actualizing it. I thought that ...
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1answer
44 views

Taking control a command for men and it's meaning

With so many words which describe ruling, submission, dominion, leading, controling, reagning etc. I wondered why the word mashal was chosen in Bereshit 3:16 and rarah and kabash in Bereshit 1:26-28,...
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2answers
130 views

17 and 8 refering to YHVH, His Torah and Good?

I found out that the gematria of the word tov is 17, which contracted to 1+7=8. Then I found out that the 17th word of the Torah is Elohim, but also that the words Torah (611=6+1+1=8) and YHVH (26=2+6=...
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1answer
66 views

The darkness that came upon Avraham

At the brit bein habetarim (Bereshit 15:12) it is stated: 'vehinei eima chashecha gedola nofelet alav.' What was this fearfull/dreadfull great darkness that came upon Avraham? And why was it ...
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58 views

Different kinds of ruling and excercising dominion

There seem to be different words to express some form of ruling (or exercising dominion). Could someone explain me the difference in meaning between these hebrew words when used in the Tenach? What ...
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1answer
284 views

Do any Geonim or Rishonim adopt/incorporate teachings from Philo?

Do any early commentators from the geonim or rishonim periods cite any teachings from Philo Judeas by name?
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1answer
138 views

Are there Peirushim on the Tisha BAv Night kinot available on the internet?

In my preperation for this evening I have found lots of material for tomorrow's kinot, however, I have found next to nothing on this evening's kinot (Zekhor Hashem, Baleil Zeh, Shomron Kol Titein and ...
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1answer
24 views

Gen 25:22 running fight over two worlds

Looking at Bereshit/Genesis 25:22 Some commentators [based on the Midrash of Genesis Rabbah 63:6] offer a explanation [of “Vayitrotzatzu: and they struggled”] as having the meaning of “ratz/rutz: ...