Questions tagged [commentaries]

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

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1answer
101 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 (...
3
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1answer
144 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
54 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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1answer
68 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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0answers
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
149 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?
2
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2answers
72 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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0answers
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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4answers
284 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
42 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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0answers
38 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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1answer
76 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?
3
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1answer
54 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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0answers
30 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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0answers
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
40 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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2answers
513 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
71 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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2answers
95 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
52 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 ...
1
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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
80 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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0answers
57 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
161 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
123 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=...
3
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1answer
65 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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1answer
57 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 ...
8
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1answer
281 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?
5
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1answer
116 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: ...
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1answer
70 views

Connection Hell and Hinnom?

Why are the Jewish concepts - of what often is translated as - 'Hell' and which is often seen as a place for cleansing, purification, refining and correcting the soul (purgatory), related and ...
1
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2answers
152 views

Why does Koheleth 12:1 use בוראיך instead of בוראך?

Koheleth 12:1 says: וּזְכֹר, אֶת-בּוֹרְאֶיךָ, בִּימֵי, בְּחוּרֹתֶיךָ: עַד אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָבֹאוּ, יְמֵי הָרָעָה, וְהִגִּיעוּ שָׁנִים, אֲשֶׁר תֹּאמַר אֵין-לִי בָהֶם חֵפֶץ. 1 Remember then thy ...
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20 views

The tribe of the families

Numbers 4:18 reads: אַל-תַּכְרִיתוּ, אֶת-שֵׁבֶט מִשְׁפְּחֹת הַקְּהָתִי, מִתּוֹךְ, הַלְוִיִּם how should I understand the combination שֵׁבֶט מִשְׁפְּחֹת? My translation reads: Cut ye not off the tribe ...
2
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1answer
84 views

Rav Hirsh's play on roots

Rav Hirsh often relates similar sounding word-roots. For example, in the beginning of Bereshit he compares the root ברא to ברח to show that they have the common meaning of "wanting to come out or be ...
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1answer
48 views

Is the story of the watering of the sheep by Ya'akov and Rachel chronological?

In relation to this question I would like to know how to understand the following verses: Within Genesis 29 the story around the well is described: Ya'akov looked and saw, and behold (there was) a ...
3
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3answers
97 views

Contradiction between Shemos 9:6 and 9:20-21?

In Shemos 9:6: "HASHEM carried out this word the next day, and all the livestock of Egypt died, and of the livestock of the Children of Israel not one died." (Artscroll English Tanach) This ...
2
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1answer
62 views

Unintentionally break the commandment of prohibiting idolatry

I noticed that Rashi (based on Sifrei 111:1) understand the sin described in Bamidbar 15 to be about idolatry, while the (O)JPS translation reads (verse 22): "And when ye shall err, and not observe ...
2
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2answers
204 views

Why did HaShem have to introduce Himself to the Israelites in Mitzrayim?

In Shemot 3:6 HaShem introduces Himself to Moshe and says: 'I am Elohei Avicha, Elohei Avraham, Elohei Yitzchak and Elohei Ya'akov'. In verse 13, Moshe asks HaShem which name he should tell the people ...
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3answers
93 views

Why were our slavery and Exodus necessary to become a nation that would serve G-d?

In an article I found online, the following gave me pause: As our 'ye'ud' - our destiny - is to become a nation that will serve Him, G-d found it necessary to send us down to Egypt in order that He ...
5
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3answers
168 views

Commentaries not noting clear issues in the Torah

Stemming from this question about the seeming discrepancy between the number of people and the number of first-borns as counted in the beginning of Numbers: I noticed this problem in my first reading ...
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1answer
70 views

To bend or graft; did the Rashbam made a mistake?

According to Rashbam (on the parellel verse 28:14) the meaning that comes in mind regards the word "Ve'nivrechu" in Genesis 12:3 is 'to graft' a branch. But then I looked up the possible sources (...
7
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1answer
210 views

Sforno on the Nachash

The Sforno on Bereishis 3:1 explains that the Nachash, snake, is not an actual snake but is rather the Satan/Yetzer Harah. With that in mind, what does the Sforno do with the curse Hashem gives the ...
1
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2answers
84 views

In Avraham all to be blessed?

In relation to another question of mine Avraham a father of many Bereshit 12:2-3 reads: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing....
1
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1answer
41 views

Let the sun come in.. or is it under?

Genesis 15:17 states: ויהי השמש באה ועלטה היה What I would like to know why השמש באה is often translated as: 'the sun set (the going away of the sun) or was going down' while באה or בא has the ...