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Questions tagged [commentaries]

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

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38 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 ...
2
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1answer
60 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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1answer
52 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 ...
2
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2answers
105 views

Is there any brachah for putting on a headscarf?

Is there any Brachah for putting on a טיכל or מטפחת (headscarf) - like when one puts on his tallit or like an act like washing ones hands? Same applies to a כיפה or יארמולקע. And if there are no ...
2
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1answer
64 views

Why was it that Lot and the place he fleed to were saved from the destruction of Sodom and Gemorah?

Bereshit 12:4 Lot went with him (Avraham).. 13:1 Lot with him (Avraham).. 13:5 And Lot also, who went with Avram.. After these points Lot goes on a seperate way from Avraham, but HaShem still shows ...
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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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2answers
71 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
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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1answer
40 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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2answers
127 views

Connection between the three Atzeret?

I noticed that there are three moments called Atzeret. The seventh day of Pesach Shavuot Shemini Atzeret But what is the connection between these three specific moments?: Although all three are ...
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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
36 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
57 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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26 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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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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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. ...
1
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1answer
43 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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1answer
36 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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1answer
46 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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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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0answers
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
148 views

Origin for making giyur?

A friend of mine asked me from when a Non-Jew was allowed to make giyur (conversion); and on which Biblical verses it was based upon. I guess he wanted to know more about it's origin. So that's why I'...
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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
91 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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2answers
392 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
50 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
92 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
33 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
76 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
48 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
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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1answer
53 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 ...
4
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3answers
197 views

Why add pain and travail to the birthing process?

After Adam and Chava went against the Will of HaShem, HaShem seems to give them some reprocussions for their deeds. But why was it that HaShem said to Chava: 'I will greatly multiply thy pain and thy ...
0
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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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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 ...
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1answer
119 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
43 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 ...
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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1answer
81 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
68 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 (...
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2answers
83 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....
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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 ...
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1answer
77 views

Did David held kashrut when invited to a meal?

In relation to the following question If Jews don't eat cheeseburgers, why did Abraham serve a calf with milk? I wondered how one should interpret the verse of 2 Samuel 17:29 which states that David ...
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1answer
90 views

When to start counting the Omer [duplicate]

It is written that one needs to count the Omer: From the day after the Shabat.. count off seven full weeks (Vayikra 23:15). Count off fifty days up to the day after (from the morrow after) the seventh ...
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0answers
23 views

Mefarshim on Avos d'Rebbi Nassan?

Are there any popular mefarshim on Avos d'Rebbi Nassan not brought down in the standard Vilna Shas (i.e. not Tomas Yesharim or Binyan Yehoshua)?
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1answer
67 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 ...
3
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4answers
278 views

Do Any Commentators Say Bananas were the 'forbidden fruit'?

In an effort to have more kavanah when saying a bracha I began to learn about fruits and vegetables common in my diet. I stumbled across an amazing book called: Banana - The Fate of the Fruit that ...
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1answer
93 views

Tophet, Gehinom and Sheol related to Hell

Looking at the Jewish view of what 'Hell' is (something spiritual), how are physical places like Sheol, Tophet and Gehinom connected/related to it? What do their names mean, and how do those ...
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1answer
46 views

Offerings made by fire and food/Bread for HaShem

What's so special about אשי יהוה, and לחם אלהיו that the Kohanim are to be Holy because of it, and the ba'al mumim can't bring these?
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1answer
70 views

Which tasks ar left for a ba'al mum to perform

Although a ba'al mum (a kohen/priest with a blemish or defect) can't approach to bring near to offer food for his G-d (Vayikra/Leviticus 21:17), can't approach to bring near the offerings made by Fire ...