Questions tagged [commentaries]

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

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What are “rashei pispasin”?

In Middot 2:6 and 4:5, it says that רָאשֵׁי פִסְפָּסִין divided between different areas of the Beit haMikdash, specifically between the Ezrat Kohanim and Ezrat Yisrael, and between the areas above the ...
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אדנים - Singular vs. Plural

I don't know if this is more Hebrew or if it is about biblical explication. In Malachi 1:6, the text reads וְאִם־אֲדוֹנִ֣ים אָנִי֩ which is translated (on Sefaria and cChabad) as "If I am a master" ...
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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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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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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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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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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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51 views

The importance of a name with meaning

What is the importance of a name? I read this on the Aish website:link The naming of a Jewish child is a most profound spiritual moment. The Sages say that naming a baby is a statement of her ...
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52 views

Teacher of the Pnei Yehoshua

What was the name of the rav/teacher of HoRav Ya'akov Yehoshua ben Tzvi, author of the Pnei Yehoshua?
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53 views

What's the symbolic meaning of stones in the Tenach?

Whether it are stones being erected, building blocks for the Temple, stones being used for the breastshield, the stones that became one etc. Stones seem to represent lots of meanings. So what exactly ...
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38 views

Nation, people, kingdom?

What definitions fit the most with these words: לאם/לאום (l'om) עם (am) גוי (goy) ממלכה (mamlachah) They are all refering to Israel and the other people in the world; but how do i understand them ...
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HaSatan how should it be described?

The Babylonian Talmud (Bava Bathra 16a) states that the Evil Inclincation (Yetzer ha-Ra), the Angel of Death and HaSatan are identical. The Talmud seems to distinguish between HaSatan outside man (...
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Prayer in the Ran at the end of Neddarim

Printed at the end of Ran's pirush on maseches Neddarim, before the hadran, is a prayer for Torah and the Beis HaMikdosh. It reads: א-לקים משמים יאיר עינינו בתורתו כאור החמה שבעתים. ויזכנו לראות ...
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112 views

Are there any commentaries (besides Rashi) on Nach in English online?

I am trying to go through the navi online. I have been using chabad.org and it has Rashi in English but i would like to learn other commentaries as well. Are there any commentaries (besides Rashi) on ...
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Connection of Karov to Tefillah

A number of commentaries on the siddur (Rabbeinu Yehuda Ben Yakar, Avudarham, and some others) explain in the 5th blessing of the amida ("וקרבנו מלכנו לעבודתך") that עבודתך refers to Tefillah, and ...
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492 views

Good place to start kli yakar

I've heard many great divrei torah from kli yakar, so I want to start learning kli yakar. I'm improving on my Hebrew skills, so I'd like to use a dictionary. What's a good parsha/perek of Chumash to ...
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55 views

Customs/Habits around having a second child?

Besides the brit milah ceremony, pidyon haben/habat (redemption of the firstborn) or kidush peter rechem (sanctification of the womb's opening) or seder kidushat chaye hamishpacha, (ceremony of ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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25 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? ...
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Luchot HaBrit; first time receiving Torah passively and a second time actively

Once I read an article which talked about Exodus 31:18 and compared it with Exodus 34:1. In the first verse G-d gave the tablets (His work, His writing, 32:16), the second verse teaches Moshe needed ...
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48 views

Sources from Tanach for Praying in Minyan

I’ve got a question about people praying together. Hence from were in the Tanach, from which verse(s) or context, did the idea or concept for group/communal/collective prayer developed from? Or is ...
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58 views

Your name shall be 'Yisrael', but what does it mean and why so?

In relation to another question of mine I would like to know what the name Yisrael really means. It literally says Ya'akov is now names Yisrael because he has struggled AND has overcome. I heard ...
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Seeing your face has been like?

Ya'akov finally has met Esav after many years, and against all odds Esav hugs and kisses him. Ya'akov words seem to imply that Esav has granted him favor/grace/mercy. And then in Genesis 33:10 he says:...
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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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Passing thru the covenant as idolaters do?

Parashat Nitzavim starts with the following Pasuk (Devorim 29,11): "לְעָבְרְךָ בִּבְרִית ה"א וּבְאָלָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר ה"א כֹּרֵת עִמְּךָ הַיּוֹם׃" to enter into the covenant of the LORD your God, ...
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80 views

Malach HaShem, Malach HaElohim and the way it presents itself

I’ve a question about Shemot 14:19 in which the malach ha’elohiem (מלאך האלהים) is mentioned. This verse explicitly says that this messenger who went before the camp, removed and went behind them ...
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Source that the word לשמי hints to the changing of Yaakov's name to Yisrael

In Genesis 32:30 after Ya’akov want’s to know the name of which he is wrestling with, the question is asked why he wants to know it’s name: (למה זה תשאל לשמי), I can’t find its source but I heard ...
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Malchut Shamyim working through us?

I learned that "Kabalat Ol Malchut Shamayim"--acceptance of the "yoke" of heaven (accepting the Heavenly Kingdom)--is refering to G-ds rule/reign and thus means 'accepting the the Authority of Heaven'....
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Counting and cleansing

VaYikra/Leviticus 15:2-3 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When any man hath an issue out of his flesh, his issue is unclean. And this shall be his uncleanness in his issue: ...
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Did the Erev rav had a role in the complaints of Bamidbar 14?

The עֵרֶב רַב is often connected to the הָאסַפְסֻף and often described by our sages as a group among the Israelites which caused and initiated a lot of the complaints made by the people. Did this ...
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Menorah a way to wipe out Amalek and tool which helps us not to 'cool off'?

This year one will read the Torah portion of Tetzaveh and the special designated Torah reading for the Shabbat prior to Purim, known as Shabbat Zachor, together. Rabbeinu Yehuda Aryeh DiModina (Yid ...
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Could the narrative of Exodus 4:24-26 have happened at another moment in time?

HaShem commands Moshe to do ׳all wonders׳ which HaShem appointed in his hand before Pharaoh once he arrives in Egypt (Shemot 4:21), but despite all wonders - HaShem informs Moshe - Pharaoh will not ...
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93 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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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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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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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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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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Why do Rishonim ignore the ta'amei di'krah when giving pshat in a posuk?

Why is it that sometimes one finds that Rishonim who attempt to explain the simple pshat of a posuk in Tehillim (Eben Ezrah, Radak, Me'iri, Seforno), will ignore the ta'amei di'krah (the simanim that ...
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42 views

His Torah is He?

Within a book which translates some of the works of Menachem Nachum of Chernobyl called: 'Upright practices; The light of the eyes'* I found a quote but without a source: He is His Torah and His ...
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59 views

Is there possibly a requirement to write down your Chiddushei Torah?

There is a principal of "devarim shebichtav iy atah rashai le'omram b'al peh" - Torah that is written is not permitted to retell purely from memory. It is for this reason we do not permit the bal ...
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37 views

To form, different roots

Are the roots צור (to form, shape, fashion) יצר (to create) and צר (to shape, form, model) related or do they just share similar meanings? Are there any commentaries, scriptures, that connect these ...
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184 views

How did the word Yetzer begot it's meaning of inclination?

Looking for the connection of Yetzer and the translation as inclanation, I was surprised that almost every Hebrew word derived from the same root had to do with creating. So how did a word (from a ...
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45 views

The changeability though prayer?

One of the questions i found really interesting was the following one: If HaShem doesn't change, then how does prayer work. Of course there are some verses within the Tenach (1 Shmuel 15:29, Malachi 3:...