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Questions tagged [commentaries]

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

3
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2answers
115 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 '...
1
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1answer
75 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, ...
0
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1answer
63 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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0answers
77 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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2answers
316 views

Why “who did not make me a goy” when Hashem told Avram he would make him a great “goy”?

There is this blessing/declaration which we recite everyday: "Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha'Olam, shelo asani goy." But why is it expressed this way? Why the usage of the term goy Didn't ...
3
votes
1answer
142 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 ...
2
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2answers
209 views

Yesh Me'Ayin - A transformation from a state of ‘nothing’ to ‘something’

Recently I came across this teaching from Chassidic or Kabalistic works which apparently has something to do with our 'task' in this world: Hayom Yom: Tackling Life's Tasks; Translated from the ...
3
votes
1answer
122 views

The I, the Self which makes us do things independent of G-d

I watched a video of R' Mendel Kessin (20:58-37:52) in which he talks about 4 levels of arrogance, and the concept of "yesh od milvado" presented by the Yetzer HaRah inside us. What he explains is ...
3
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1answer
82 views

What are the 3 worlds of the Kli Yakar?

The Kli Yakar talks about 3 created worlds. What is he referring to? Kli Yakar Bereshit 1:1: ‏ויש עוד דרך שלישי, אבל אין כל אדם יכול לעמוד עליו והוא להכיר מציאת‏ השם ית' מתוך החקירה וידיעת ...
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0answers
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
64 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 ...
1
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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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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-...
2
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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
41 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, ...
2
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2answers
129 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
37 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
62 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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0answers
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
vote
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 ...
1
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1answer
38 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) ?
3
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1answer
49 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
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
150 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'...
0
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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 ...
1
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2answers
93 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 ...
0
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2answers
439 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 ...
0
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1answer
51 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
97 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 (...
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 '...
0
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1answer
78 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
53 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 ...
0
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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
54 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
votes
3answers
202 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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0answers
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 ...
5
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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 ...
0
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1answer
45 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
82 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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votes
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 (...
1
vote
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....