Questions tagged [commentaries]

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

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What is so special about wine (grape-juice)?

A lot of our rituals are done with wine (or grape-juice), e.g. Kiddush, Havdalah, Pesach seder, circumcision, weddings, and offerings. It even has special laws of becoming unfit (yayin nesech), that ...
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Are there Peirushim on the Tisha BAv Night kinot available on the internet?

In my preperation for this evening I have found lots of material for tomorrow's kinot, however, I have found next to nothing on this evening's kinot (Zekhor Hashem, Baleil Zeh, Shomron Kol Titein and ...
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101 views

What's “מיי׳” short for?

The En Mishpat Ner Mitzva on the Bavli (in the standard edition, anyway) refers to the Mishne Tora (Yad Hachazaka) as "מיי׳". What is this an abbreviation of? (I have an ...
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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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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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138 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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369 views

Where can I get English commentaries on the Nach?

I was looking for English books containing full commentaries on Nach (such Ibn Ezra, Redak, Mesudat David/Tsion, Malbim, Abravanel and others). I am familiar with A. J. Rosenberg translation of ...
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Derech Ha-Limud in Chumash

I for a long time have had the question what is the proper way to learn Chumash in order to get to a good understanding al pi pshat. Many times I hear people saying over vertlach on the Parsha and ...
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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 ...
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Kohelet 12:13 what does kol ha'adam mean

Looking at the verse of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 12:13 I found a couple of translations for כי-זה כל-האדם : ...for this is the whole of man ... for these are for all of mankind ... for these applies ...
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Authenticity of Rosh's commentary to Torah

What do different sources state regarding the authenticity of the commentary to the Torah attributed to Rosh? I remember seeing people claiming that it is missatributed. If I recall, the suggested ...
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136 views

Rishonim who wrote on Kodshim

Seder Kodshim is composed of largely currently non-applicable laws, relating to sacrifices and the running of the Temple. The Rambam wrote on Kodshim. So did Rashi and the Ba'alei Tosefos. To the ...
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53 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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Angel helping to find a proper wife?

At one point in time Avraham asks his servant Eliezer to go out and search a wife for his son. In Bereshit 24:7 Avraham tells him that HaShem will send His messenger (malach) before him.. Eliezer ...
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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 ...
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93 views

Why were our slavery and Exodus necessary to become a nation that would serve G-d?

In an article I found online, the following gave me pause: As our 'ye'ud' - our destiny - is to become a nation that will serve Him, G-d found it necessary to send us down to Egypt in order that He ...
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59 views

Connections between Biur Chametz and Tashlich?

Are there any commentators that discuss the parallels between the rituals of biur chametz and tashlich? At a surface level, both involve destroying or eliminating bread, one via fire and one via ...
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Are there any running commentaries on grace after meals?

I would like to know if there are any authors from the period of the rishonim or earlier who have compiled a running commentary on birkat hamazon.
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146 views

Where does the Zohar mention each day's challenges?

The Artscroll Stone Chumash on page 80, note 11, says the following: באים בימים - Coming with [their] days. The Zohar says, "Each day in a person's life carries with it it's own challenge and ...
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49 views

Categorization of Mepharshim by PaRDeS?

I was wondering if anyone has ever come across a classification or categorization of the different mepharshim on the Chumash or Na"Kh, grouping them by the type of perush they give (i.e., whether ...
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129 views

Gehinnom; the place where the confrontation with one's own sins helps to purify this person?

I have a question about Gehinnam/Gehinnom which is often pictured as a big washing machine, a place for purification, a purgatory. But once I came across a teaching/scripture describing that at this ...
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68 views

Does Devarim 10:12 consist of four demands or just one?

Devarim 10:12 And now, Israel, what does HaShem your G-d ask, require, or beseech of you but, except, rather than… 1) to fear HaShem your G-d, 2) to walk (in obedience) in all His ways (in ...
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Actualizing Avodah Shebalev

Found this online: quote : As the Rav puts it, Avodah Shebalev is a constant requirement (Kiyum Hamitzvah) where Tefilah is one of many ways (Ma’aseh Hamitzvah) of actualizing it. I thought that ...
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The test of the bread from heaven

The verse of Shemot 16:4 tells that HaShem will cause bread to rain (come down) from heaven to (humble; Devarim 8:16 and) test the people whether or not they will walk in His Torah. The literal ...
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Were there specific locusts in reserve for the 8th plague?

Hashem's instructions to Moshe to bring the locusts reads as follows: וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל משֶׁה נְטֵה יָדְךָ עַל אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בָּאַרְבֶּה וכו And Hashem said to Moses, "stretch out your ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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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 ...
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132 views

HaShem's day, what is it refering to? [closed]

I would like to know what Yom HaShem is refering to and when it will have it's impact Isaiah 2:12 Yom L'HaShem Tzevaot Ezekiel 13:5 Yom HaShem, 30:3 Isaiah 13:6 & 9 Joel 1:15, 2:1, 2:11, 3:4, 3:...
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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 ...
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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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909 views

Does my uncircumcised friend still needs to be circumcised in order to join the meal for Pesach?

The Korban Pesach was made to be able to keep a meal in order to hold a celebration which serves as a remembrance (Shemot 12:14, 16). A remembrance of the moment we took a lamb and used it's blood to ...
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Are there any good commentaries on Yerushalmi?

There is no Rashi on Yerushalmi (Shekalim specifically), and (I find that) the Gemara doesn't really explain itself as well as Bavli. What are good free (hebrewbooks.org) running commentaries on ...
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Big-picture commentary on the siddur

There are many commentaries on the siddur. However, most of them focus in detail on the words of the prayers. I'm looking for a commentary which looks at the "big picture" of each prayer. That is, ...
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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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208 views

Pirush On Megilas Esther regarding the word “Melech”

I remember seeing a book which explains how, b'derech Drash, every instance of the word "Melech" in Megilas Esther, as referring to Hashem. Does anyone know the name of this sefer?
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Contradiction between Shemos 9:6 and 9:20-21?

In Shemos 9:6: "HASHEM carried out this word the next day, and all the livestock of Egypt died, and of the livestock of the Children of Israel not one died." (Artscroll English Tanach) This ...
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Is the Hebrew Biur of Moses Mendelssohn Available Online

Inspired by this question, I was wondering whether the Hebrew Biur of Moses Mendelssohn is available online. Update: I found D'varim here, so I am looking for the first 4 books.
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Will Olam Haba eventually end?

I heard a while back that according to the kabalists, there is a big dispute whether Olam Haba is forever or whether it will eventually end and all the souls will cease to exist as hinted in the verse ...
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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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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 ...
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Rav Hirsch and zachor

Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch says that the word zachor (in Exodus 20:7), meaning remember, is the statement telling us "to keep the Shabbos in our minds and hearts, and give verbal expression to its ...
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409 views

How does the content of the JPS English translation of Miqra'ot Gedolot differ from that of the Hebrew version?

Because I am not yet fluent in Hebrew I am excited to learn that JPS is publishing an English translation of Miqra'ot Gedolot. (So far they've done Sh'mot, Vayikra, and Bamidbar.) As noted in one of ...
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What does the Shabbos Shel Mi mean?

In Maseches Shabbos, in between the perakim of Bameh Ishah and Bameh Beheimah, the Shabbos Shel Mi writes the following: דרשינן סמוכים פ' במה בהמה ובמה אשה כל הקרב הקרב כי לא לחנם הלך זרזיר אצל ...
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Different words for curse

I noticed in translation different words are being used to describe 'curse' 1. מארה - m'erah, curse 2. קללה - klalah, curse 3. ארר - arar, curse 4. אלה - alah, curse 5. קבב - kavav, curse... maybe ...
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'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 '...
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What “end” was Yaakov prevented from revealing, and to what extent does S'forno disagree?

In B'reshis 49:1, Yaakov tells his sons: Gather, and I'll tell you what will occur to you in the end of the days. S'forno explains "in the end of the days": at the end of the days, with the ...
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95 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 ...