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Questions tagged [commentaries]

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

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1answer
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Choshech, Anan v'Araphel? What does this mean?

I have a question regards Devarim 4:11 which in Hebrew reads: "עַד-לֵב הַשָּׁמַיִם חֹשֶׁךְ, עָנָן וַעֲרָפֶל". Transliteration reads the words 'choshech, anan and araphel'. It seems to me that there ...
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2answers
4k views

Difference between El and Eloah

El(אל) and Eloah(אלוה) are both singular forms (nouns), but its אל thats being used to form the plural Elim (אלים), and אלוה thats being used to form the plural Elohim (אלוה׳ם). Both singular forms ...
4
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1answer
57 views

Difference between שֵׁבֶט and מַטֶּה

I wondered if there is a difference between the words שֵׁבֶט (rod, stick, staff) and מַטֶּה (rod, stick, staff) in matter of function, symbolism, and 'spiritual meaning'? A mateh seems almost like a ...
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0answers
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Moving things around “opposite the gap” in an enclosure on Shabbat

On Shabbat there are mitigating structures whose presence can enclose an area physically, constituting a necessary ingredient in allowing movement of objects within that area. There are several ...
3
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1answer
787 views

The time periods of the Acharit HaYamim?

Could someone please explain me the concepts of the following terms? What do the different periods in time refer to and stand for? - Olam Hazeh (Acharit HaYamim) - Olam Haba - Yemot HaMashiach - ...
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1answer
59 views

The fear and anxiety of Yaakov before meeting Eisav

Bereshit 32:8: "וַיִּירָא יַעֲקֹב מְאֹד וַיֵּצֶר לוֹ וַיַּחַץ אֶת־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר־אִתּוֹ וְאֶת־הַצֹּאן וְאֶת־הַבָּקָר וְהַגְּמַלִּים לִשְׁנֵי מַחֲנוֹת׃" "Jacob was greatly frightened; in his ...
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1answer
45 views

Yoma 45b Ner Tamid - How to light it?

I'm trying to figure out what the text of Yoma 45b is teaching it's reader. There is this part (verse 6) about the 'perpetual fire' of the outer court of the mikdash as in Vayikra 6:6. And from this ...
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1answer
128 views

Beit Av v.s. Mishpechah

In Joshua 2:12-13(Mechon Mamre translation) the Torah reads: 12 Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have dealt kindly with you, that ye also will deal kindly with my ...
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1answer
63 views

Sforno to Tehillim 69:3

Is Sforno to Tehillim available anywhere online? I would like to know his commentary to Tehillim 69:3. Edit, I found it on http://www.hebrewbooks.org/42435 but it is published in 1586 and ...
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1answer
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English translation of R’ Bachya on Sefaria

Regarding the English translation of Rabbenu Bachya’s commentary on Chumash, how much of the English translation was uploaded to the Sefaria site? I see that the introduction to Bereshis was left ...
3
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1answer
91 views

Metatron referred to as YHVH Katan?

Could someone explain me the meaning of יקוק קטן as a reference to the Metatron? Why is the Metatron ‘described/entitled this way? I’ve found many writing about this online quoting Sanhedrin 38b, ...
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1answer
40 views

Elohim lower than YHWH?

The Zohar contains a reference to Elohim as lower than YHWH (vol. 1, 20a), but what does that mean? Could someone explain to me the plain meaning?
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1answer
37 views

Have known him OR to have made him known

Bereshit 18:19 starts with the words 'For I have known him (כִּי יְדַעְתִּיו)', the Sefaria website translates these words as 'For I have singled him out', Rashi as 'I know him intimately'. In line ...
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1answer
68 views

The name Mispar

Among the many peculiar and unusual names found in Tanach, some of them have reasons and explanations for why it was given. And some do not. What about Mispar found in Ezra 2:2. אֲשֶׁר־בָּאוּ עִם־...
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2answers
38 views

How can one behold the likeness of G-d, while no one did? [duplicate]

Could someone explain me the meaning of the words ‘he beholds the likeness of HaShem’ from Bamidbar 12:8 in comparison to Devarim 4:15 which states no one saw such a thing’. Because in both verses the ...
3
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2answers
91 views

Spiritual Boredom

Because of all the routines, standard prayers, repeating cycles etc, someone told me that going to the synagogue became quite boring for him. He still saw the value of those things, but he didn’t ...
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9answers
1k views

After chumashim with notes and Rashi, what's the next torah commentary I should acquire and study?

When I read the torah text (parsha or otherwise) I currently use a couple of chumashim with notes, and Rashi. I know some Hebrew but am not fluent. I'm ready to stretch beyond what I'm reading now ...
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1answer
50 views

Three things being handed over Tablets, Torah and the Mitzvah?

HaShem tells Moshe (Shemot 24:12): וְאֶתְּנָה לְךָ אֶת־לֻחֹת הָאֶבֶן וְהַתּוֹרָה וְהַמִּצְוָה אֲשֶׁר כָּתַבְתִּי לְהוֹרֹתָם - And I will give thee the tables of stone, and the Torah and the ...
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2answers
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How to understand this Tosfos in Megila 5b

This is a Tosfos from Megilah 5b which is talking about lessening the different type of work(s) of simcha on Purim. However, I'm a bit troubled on understanding the last 6 words. What does Tosfos mean?...
3
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1answer
70 views

Prohibition to eat blood [closed]

Leviticus 7:26-27 teach us about the prohibition to eat blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of the dwellings. So is one allowed to eat the blood of the fish? Is one allowed to eat blood ...
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1answer
26 views

Saw the G-d of Israel? [duplicate]

In Exodus, G-d tells Moshe that "no one can see Me and live" (Exodus 33:20), but then in Exodus 24 Moses went up with Aharon, his sons, and 70 of Israel's elders, and they saw the G-d of Israel. . . . ...
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How can something contain the Presence of the Almighty?

How could a building like the Mishkan or the Beit HaMikdash, or a natural phenomenom like a cloud (at Har Sinai) contain the Presence of the Almighty (Ubiquitious, the infinite volume; omnipotent; ...
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31 views

The 62 Years of Darius/Cyrus, and the 62 Weeks of Daniel

Has ancient or medieval Jewish tradition, spanning from the Talmud to the Shulchan Aruch, ever connected these two passages from the Book of Daniel ? Daniel 5:30-31  In that night was Belshazzar ...
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Where did Moshe stand in the Tabernacle?

Where did Moshe stand when HaShem spoke to him from the Ohel Mo’ed (tent of meeting), from above the cover of the ark from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony? (Leviticus ...
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32 views

Mikdash, Mishkan, Ohel

First: What's the definition of the term Mikdash? I noticed that the Kehatim, where bearers of the 'Mikdash', "they shall bear", where it is in fact the Ark of the Covenant that is referred to as the '...
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2answers
75 views

Root of the word פרעה

The Hebrew word פרעה (Pharaoh) is probably directly derived from (a phonetic way to pronounce) the Egyptian word. But it reminded me of the Hebrew root פרע as seen in Exodus 32:25 which is actually ...
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1answer
306 views

How to translate Olam in the Torah?

Bereshit 3:22: ‏…וְלָקַח גַּם מֵעֵץ הַחַיִּים וְאָכַל וָחַי לְעֹלָם In search for a definition of the word עֹלָם (Olam), as in this verse, I found different translations: 'Universe', '...
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2answers
567 views

How the idea of “the bread of shame” aligns with free will

Jewish thinkers(Who?) sum up G-d's creation of the world as follows: It was the ultimate act of goodness. G-d is perfect and infinite. He has no need for a universe; He has nothing to gain from ...
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1answer
42 views

Comparing the Heart and Luchot

I was reading in Mishlei the other day and noticed that our hearts are sometimes compared to tablets, and that on it the Words of HaShem should be inscribed. This reminded me of Yirmiyahu who states ...
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1answer
48 views

A sound of distress, while dancing around the golden calf?

After Moshe received the Aseret HaDevarim he came down from the mountain and heard a lot of noise coming from amongst the people that awaited his arrival. The people had just built a golden calf, and ...
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3answers
67 views

What causes a person to do Avodah Zarah?

In relation to "Definition of Avodah Zarah": I would like to know what drives or causes a person to worship Avodah Zarah in the first place; i.e. what lies at the core of it? Is there a reason why it’...
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2answers
118 views

You shall not have any other gods

In Exodus 20:3 the words lo yihyeh ( לֹא יִהְיֶה־לְךָ) are often translated as: 'you shall not have'. The base word is היה (hayah) meaning "to exist." Which reminded me of the Adon Olam phrase: 'V'hu ...
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2answers
121 views

Adonai Nissi and the hand upon the throne and their connection to what happened.

Exodus/Shemot 17:15 tells us Moshe built an altar and named it "יהוה נִסִּי" often translated as "The L-rd (is) my banner" or "The L-rd (is) my miracle" and maybe it could be also translated as "The L-...
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Who wrote Ikar Siftei Chachamim?

Siftei Chachamim (שפתי חכמים) is a super-commentary on Rashi's commentary on the Torah, written by the 17th-Century CE Polish scholar Shabbethai Bass. It tends to be included in Mikraot Gedolot ...
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52 views

קול ענות אנכי - The sound of selfishness?

When Moshe came down from Mount Sinai with the knowledge that his people corrupted themselves (dealt corruptly) - quickly turned aside the way which HaShem commanded them, making a molten calf, ...
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Change of the heart

In some places (like Mishlei 3:3 and 7:3) our hearts are compared to luchot (tablets) on which one should inscribe the words of HaShem. In another places our hearts should be circumcised: Devarim 10:...
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14 views

Link between rejoice and redemption

Once I found a commentary which made a wordplay, connection or link between rejoicing (גִּיל) and redemption (גָּאַל). I liked the idea that redemption and rejoicing would go hand in hand. Is there ...
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1answer
44 views

What's the need for Avraham to become nation

Bereshit 12 (verse 2-3) reads: "I will make of thee a great nation, I will bless thee and make thy name great; be thou a blessing. I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I ...
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26 views

To serve, the biggest command?

Looking at the basis for our covenant with G-d, I noticed G-d said to Avraham (Bereshit 17:1): “Walk before Me”, which is sometimes understood to mean: “Serve Me”. And also (Bereshit 17:9): “You shall ...
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105 views

Looking for Passages of harsh criticism in the Shakh

Notwithstanding the fact that the Shakh includes a passage in the introduction to his Nequdat Kesef, claiming that his objections to other scholars are meant only respectfully, I have heard it said ...
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1answer
43 views

Three golden calfs

What are the similarities and differences between the story of the egel hazahav (golden calf) (Ki Sisa chapter 32) and the story of the two golden calves made by Jeroboam (I Melachim 12:28)?
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Evil inclination compared to a strange god within man

I've found this article which quoted some interesting thoughts: Our sages said about the verse (Shabbat 105b), “There shall not be a strange god within you, nor will you bow before a strange god.” ...
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28 views

Our I, Our Self leading us to separation and idolatry

Looking at the words: "Anochi HaShem Eloheichem - אָנֹכִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ " (Shemot 20:2 & 20:5, Devarim 5:6 & 5:9)" I noticed that on the one hand HaShem emphasizes that we should serve ...
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Did Ralbag's predecessors help him, or make things more difficult for him?

At the end of his commentary to Parshat Bereishit, Ralbag writes that he had difficulty composing his commentary to this parshah because the earlier commentaries practically pushed him away from ...
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1answer
93 views

Ramban and the generations

I heard someone mention the folowing: The Ramban in the writings on sefer koheles make an interesting diyuk. Koheles (1:4) tell us, “A generation goes and a generation comes.” The Ramban tell us that ...
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1answer
113 views

Maharal Diskin on Sefer Devarim

I heard someone mention that the Maharal Diskin say the following explanation on this posuk: וּבָאוּוּבָאוּ עָלֶיךָ כָּל־הַקְּלָלוֹת הָאֵלֶּה וּרְדָפוּךָ וְהִשִּׂיגוּךָ כָּל־הַקְּלָלוֹת הָאֵלֶּה וּרְדָפוּךָ ...
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1answer
63 views

Rasji quoting IBN-Saruq on the word 'keri'.

I found this explanation online: Rashi quotes the 10th Century grammarian Menachem (ben IBN-Saruq), who derives keri from a two-letter root k–r, meaning “prevent, refuse, withhold.” Thus, ...
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0answers
11 views

Clarification on the Mann scattering pattern [duplicate]

Following the question on the Mann miracles I would like to understand one specific miracle: how exactly did Mann fall closer to the righteous for them than for the wicked: Did it have name tags ...
2
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2answers
279 views

Are we children or servants of HaShem?

HaShem teaches us to serve Him (Shemot 23:25), because we're His servants (Vayikra 25:42, 25:55), HaShem also teaches that we're His children (Devarim 14:1). There is a long explanation about these ...
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22 views

English Translations of Major Yechezkel/Ezekiel Commentaries

Shalom! I have been looking for some time and I cannot seem to find any resources in English. Are there any translations (into English) of the Yechezkel/Ezekiel commentaries of the following rabbis? ...