Questions tagged [commentaries]

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

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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 ...
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112 views

Establishing the relative order of Rashi's commentaries

In learning Masekhet Ketubot, I encountered Rashi's definition of בי שמשי on daf 103a. There, since the passage is clearly referring to twilight on erev shabbat in particular, Rashi explains why so ...
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72 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
146 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 ...
6
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1answer
118 views

Judges Chapter 9 and Aesop's Fable

In the book of Judges 9:8-15 we have the following fable: 8 The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive-tree: Reign thou over us. 9 But the olive-...
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42 views

Three days before Matan Torah and three days of fast before Purim

Bnei Yisrael had to prepare themselves for three days before the giving of the Torah. As a parallel to this receiving of the Torah, the Jews "accepted" the Torah on Purim (kiy'mu v'kiblu). The ...
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68 views

Why is the format for referencing books sometimes backwards?

The Rambam is usually reference in the following way: פרק א׳ מהלכות ק״ש הלכה ט׳ - chapter 1 from from hilchos kerias shma, halacha 9. Why is it referenced this way? Why not the way many ...
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69 views

Why did Rashi choose Hebrew over Aramaic?

Rashi chose a form of Medieval Hebrew to write his commentaries, which facilitates the life of many students, as the Aramaic content in his writing is very low compared to the Gemara or contemporary ...
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80 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 5:30-6:1  That very night, Belshazzar, ...
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60 views

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 ...
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66 views

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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47 views

What is the Shaḥaf according to Ḥizquni?

The שחף (Shaḥaf) is a bird forbidden by the Torah in both Sefer Wayiqra and Devarim. Ḥizquni (חזקוני, Rabbi Ḥizqiyah ben Manoaḥ), writing in Old French, states (Wayiqra 11:16): אשפמר"א ויש אומרים: ...
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1answer
75 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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1answer
60 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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2answers
163 views

Connection between the three Atzeret?

I noticed that there are three moments called Atzeret. The seventh day of Pesach (Deuteronomy 16:8) Shavuot (Pesachim 68b) Shemini Atzeret (Leviticus 23:36) But what is the connection between these ...
4
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1answer
41 views

New heaven and earth?

Yeshayahu 65:17 (66:22): "כִּי־הִנְנִי בוֹרֵא שָׁמַיִם חֲדָשִׁים וָאָרֶץ חֲדָשָׁה וְלֹא תִזָּכַרְנָה הָרִאשֹׁנוֹת וְלֹא תַעֲלֶינָה עַל־לֵב׃ " writes about a new heaven and earth. Although I’m not ...
4
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1answer
91 views

How to define yetzer

The word yetzer is often translated as impulse, inclination Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch's reading of yetzer in Bereshit 6:5 is not that of instinct or impulse, but rather that which the person, qua ...
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Where in the writings of the Vilna Gaon does he discuss how Rashi & Tosfot each explain a Talmudic “sugiya?”

Two days ago, I asked this question in the name of the Vilna Gaon. I was informed that the answer may be [also] found in the writings of Rav Chaim Volozhin. So, I re-phrased the question. My ...
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Has anyone learned the Sheiltot of R. Achai Gaon with the Netziv's commentary?

Would you recommend it? I really enjoy learning anything with the Netziv and I like the idea of halachic midrashim on the parsha with some ethical messages. It seems like it's a great way to learn ...
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42 views

a non halachic pirush on maseches kelim

I recall once having seen a pirush on maseches kelim from a kabalah - chasidus viewpoint, and i since cant recall the name of the sefer or who wrote it, any ideas?
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Adam 's sin out of deveikut?

I found this online: In his sefer "Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh," R' Itamar Shwartz emphasizes the important point that our existence in this world is for the purpose of being davuk to our Creator; to be ...
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187 views

Did the Rambam write in response to the Ibn Ezra?

According to some interpretations (including, it seems, the explanations of Spinoza) the Ibn Ezra's commentary makes allusion to the idea that some of the Torah (beyond the talmudic discussion of the ...
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75 views

Language of Mishneh Brurah - Sefiras HaOmer and counting before Aleinu

Shulchan Aruch 489:1 says that after Maariv of the second night of Pesach we begin to count Sefiras HaOmer. The Mishneh Brurah there in note 2 says that one should count before "Aleinu" because "col ...
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63 views

A question of theodicy

A lot of people are bothered by the fact that bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Chazal answers by saying that it all averages out in the World to Come. But I don'...
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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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39 views

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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35 views

מלא יד - full hand, meaning?

I've a question about the combination of words מלא יד as shown in verses like Shemot 29:35, 32:29, Vayikra 8:33, Bamidbar 3:3, 1 Divrei HaYamim 29:5, 2 Divrei HaYamim 6:4, 6:15, 13:9, 29:31 etc... ...
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53 views

The phase between death and resurrection comparable to sleeping?

Tehillim 13:4 talks about the the sleep of death (אִישַׁן הַמָּוֶת), Yeshayahu 26:19 reads something like my dead bodies shall arise--awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust (הָקִיצוּ), Daniel 12:2 ...
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40 views

Erev rav - the people of the children of Israel?

I would like to ask a question before the erev of Pesach begins. I found this article online of the chabad website and in it the claim is being made that Yosef and Ya'akov converted different people ...
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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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27 views

ידע תדע what kind of knowing is this?

In a couple of verses like Genesis 15:13, 1 Samuel 28:1, 1 Kings 2:37, 2:42 and Proverbs 27:23 we find two verbal repetition: 'ידע תדע' quite literally translated as 'knowing you will know'. I know ...
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28 views

Give and take a battle?

http://www.aish.com/jl/p/wayofg-d/17-Created-for-Pleasure.html?mobile=yes According to my own understanding the Ramchal thought that because HaShem is completely, perfectly, totally, absolutly, ...
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No trust in His servants, and charging His malachim?

Iyov 4:18 Behold, In His (HaShem's) servants 'lo yamin', and in His messengers 'yasim toholah'. Behold, He putteth no trust in His servants, and His angels He chargeth with folly (or error). I ...
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2answers
295 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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Head covering a sign of being a bride of HaShem?

Bnei Yisrael’s relationship with HaShem is often described as a marriage; HaShem is the groom and Bnei Yisrael are His bride. See Shir HaShirim for an extended example. The Prophets frequently ...
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Sefardim starting to study the Talmud with Rashi and Tosfot

When did the sefardim start to study the Talmud with Rashi and Tosfot? And which books did they use before knowing about Rashi and Tosfot?
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586 views

Chumash with Rashi and Siftei Chachamim

Does anyone know of a Chumash (not Mikraot Gedolot) with Rashi and Siftei Chachamim Most Chumashim come with Ikar Siftei Chachamim, but that's not the same thing.
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What does the Malbim in his perush on אשת חיל in Mishlei, base his derech hamuskal on?

The Malbim in his perush on אשת חיל in Mishlei chapter 31,has 2 Perushim and one is called derech hamuskal. He learns that the whole Eishes Chayil is a Mashal. Where is the Malbim coming from, what ...
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How fast did the 2.5 tribes build their new cities?

I can't find a clear timeline of the events that preceded the conquest but in a short recap: Gad and Reuben asked to settle in Transjordan Moses agrees and offers them to build cities(?) and fences: "...
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37 views

Commentaries on aruch hashulchan

Did anyone write a peirush on aruch hashulchan?(on the choshen mishpat part) I am looking for a english or hebrew commentary.
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33 views

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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1answer
50 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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Why did the sea travelers in Yonah 1 proselytize instead of becoming righteous gentiles?

We read in Yonah 1 about the men who traveled on a boat with Yonah. When the sea ceased storming we read: "And the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they made sacrifices to the Lord and made vows."...
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Any connection between Isaiah 40:3 and the story of Ya'akov's name changed to Yisrael?

Regards the name changing from Ya'akov to Yisrael the Kli Yakar states that the name Yisrael comes from the word Yashar El, to be straight with G-d. This transformation is compared to Yeshayahu 40:4 '...
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Grouping of women in the beginning of Parashat Nitzavim

Parashat Nitzavim starts with the following Psukim (Devarim 29,9), grouping the Jewish Nation into two parts: "אַתֶּם נִצָּבִים הַיּוֹם כֻּלְּכֶם לִפְנֵי ה"א רָאשֵׁיכֶם שִׁבְטֵיכֶם זִקְנֵיכֶם ...
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1answer
118 views

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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52 views

How is Teruah connected to friendship and closeness

I came across this article from which I would like to quote something: The concept of Malchuso b'khal adaso allows Bnei Yisroel to transform the teruah from a destructive sound of war into a sound ...
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19 views

Ezekiel 37:27-28 My Mishkan v.s. My Mikdash

Ezekiel 37:27-28 reads something like: My dwelling-place also shall be over them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And the nations shall know that I am the LORD that sanctify ...
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56 views

What is the most effective way to translate non-Hebrew translations found in Rabbinic literature?

Non-Hebrew translations are often included by our Sages when attempting to clarify words or concepts. There are myriad examples in RaSh"I (Shemot 5:7) and Hizquni (Wayiqra 11:16). For relatively ...
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76 views

Looking for an interpretation of Shir Hashirim that follows the parsha breaks

Coming off of some tangential discussion in the comments here, I'm looking for an interpretation of Shir Hashirim that follows the parsha breaks. It doesn't have to explicitly address every one, but ...