Questions tagged [commentaries]

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

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132 views

Is it possible to keep the entire Torah?

I once read that when we look at our tzitzit we're reminded of our obligation to keep all 613 commandments (and possibly more). Because it's written: 'And you shall see it and remember all the mitzvot ...
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272 views

What did medieval rabbis like Maimonides write, generically? What do modern rabbis write?

OK, so - the Torah is the same as the Pentateuch/first five books of the Christian Old Testament; the Tanakh is roughly the same as the OT, but there are some differences in ordering, inclusion, etc. ...
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48 views

Different words for “a corner” in Tanach

There appear to be three different words in Tanach that are translated as "a corner": Pinah (shmot 26:2) Kanaf (Shmu'el 1 24:4) Keren (I haven't found one yet, but this site says that its use as "...
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60 views

Rephidim gematria

I can't remember where but I read that the Ba'al HaTurim points out that 'Am Yisrael Berifidim' has the same gematria as 'Rafu yedeyhem min HaMitzvot.' The closest I got was this: Kitzur Baal HaTurim ...
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97 views

The light hidden in Torah?

In Bereshit 1:3-4 there is light(ness), and HaShem saw that it was good and seperated it from the dark(ness). I read (Baal Shem Tov, Zohar), that HaShem hid this light in the Torah? Could someone ...
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119 views

Ohr HaChaim on Redemption because of Torah

I've heard that the Ohr HaChaim quotes the Zohar Chadash that we will be redeemed because of the merit of Mosheh and learning Torah. Does such a comment exist in the Ohr HaChaim? If so, can someone ...
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66 views

How to understand this Tosfos in Megila 5b

This is a Tosfos from Megilah 5b which is talking about lessening the different type of work(s) of simcha on Purim. However, I'm a bit troubled on understanding the last 6 words. What does Tosfos mean?...
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70 views

Why did HaShem allowed Yeshayahu to serve naked?

Maybe I misunderstood the verse, but Yeshayahu 20:3 teach us that Yeshayahu was a servant and walked naked and barefoot for three years. Why would HaShem allow him to do so? While Adam and Eve had to ...
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85 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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153 views

Did the Rashbam Practice what he Preached Regarding Shabbat?

Rashbam, on Bereishit (Genesis) 1:5, states: ויהי ערב ויהי בקר - אין כתיב כאן ויהי לילה ויהי יום, אלא ויהי ערב, שהעריב יום ראשון ושיקע האור, ויהי בוקר, בוקרו של לילה, שעלה עמוד השחר, הרי הושלם יום ...
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214 views

commentaries on the book Derech Hashem

Title says it all. I am looking for commentaries published for the Ramchal's book Derech Hashem (if any exist)
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536 views

Is there a Jewish tradition of commentary on Genesis prior to Philo? [closed]

I'm interested to know where I might find out more about Jewish commentators on the story of the Creation, Fall and Expulsion from Eden as described in Genesis. Is there a Jewish equivalent to the ...
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72 views

The name Mispar

Among the many peculiar and unusual names found in Tanach, some of them have reasons and explanations for why it was given. And some do not. What about Mispar found in Ezra 2:2. אֲשֶׁר־בָּאוּ עִם־...
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57 views

Keitsad tsolin mefarshim

I need advice on mefarshim for the seventh chapter of pessahim keitsad tsolin. Most mefarshim left it. I am looking for rishonim or kadmone achronim, like Pney Yehoshua.
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55 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 ...
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98 views

Online commentary for 3 ENOCH — a Hekalot & Merkevah, mystical, apocalyptic, pseudepigraphal, Jewish text (400CE)?

I've been interested in Hekalot & Merkevah literature as of late. I'm not a Kabbalist, but I do study scriptures of the Near East, particularly within the realms of Judaism. I stumbled across 3 ...
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125 views

looking for explanation of shemonei esrei

I, in an attempt to improve kavana (intent) in prayer, would like to study a perush (commentary) which explains the shemonei esrei in details (pshat of each word and maybe a bit more). Can anyone ...
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50 views

Elohim lower than YHWH?

The Zohar contains a reference to Elohim as lower than YHWH (vol. 1, 20a), but what does that mean? Could someone explain to me the plain meaning?
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53 views

make atonement - אכפרה

Shemot 32:30 teaches us that Moshe said to the people: “You have sinned a great sin, and now I will go up unto the Lord, peradventure I shall make atonement for you.” Bereshit 32:20 Likewise teaches ...
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54 views

Won’t let go unless you bless me

In the moment Yaakov is wrestling a adversary he says: ‘לא אשלחך כי אם ברכתני’, I wondered if there are any commentaries which reads this differently. I noticed that Rabbi Hirsch connects the root ...
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114 views

With what and why did Ya’akov struggle?

Many times I came across teachings which stated that Ya’akov Avinu wrestled (struggled) with what could be described as something representative of Esav (I.e. Edom, Adam); of which it is said it was ...
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82 views

Did Aaron have daughters?

We are reading this Shabat parshat Pinchas. In this parsha the Torah mentioned the daughters of Tzelofchad as follows: וצלפחד בן חפר לא היו לו בנים כי אם בנות ושם בנות צלפחד מחלה ונעה חגלה מלכה ...
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176 views

Which men needed to be circumcised in Joshua 5

Joshua 5:2 talks about the moment in which Yehoshua is commanded to circumcise the children of Israel a second time. The reason to do so is that all the people that came forth out of Egypt, that were ...
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55 views

Who was uncircumcised, and by whom at which time and why was this person sought to be killed?

What exactly is happening in the passage about the circumcision of Shemot 4:24-26? First of all, who was met, sought to kill and let from - at which time in the story did this occur - and by whom? ...
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75 views

The Meshech Chochma on Bereishis 49:26 and Rashi on Bereishis 43:34

The Meshech Chochma on Bereishis 49:26 comments: (Source(s) from Sefaria.org) ברכות אביך גברו על ברכות הורי וכו' תהיין וכו' נזיר אחיו הענין. דכל בניו של יעקב היו מצערים את אביהם במה שלא הגידו לו ...
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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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98 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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58 views

Avraham drove away the birds

At the time of the brit bein habetarim it is stated, that after Avraham took the animals which HaShem commanded and divides them, drove away the birds that came after these carcasses. (Bereshit/...
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68 views

Help Finding the Radak's Introduction to His Commentary on Torah

Rabbi Eliyahu Munk wrote an English translation of various Biblical commentaries called Hachut Hameshulash: Commentaries on the Torah by Rabbeinu Chananel, Rashbam, Radak & Seforno-4 Vol. Set. ...
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130 views

17 and 8 refering to YHVH, His Torah and Good?

I found out that the gematria of the word tov is 17, which contracted to 1+7=8. Then I found out that the 17th word of the Torah is Elohim, but also that the words Torah (611=6+1+1=8) and YHVH (26=2+6=...
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71 views

Fasting only physical?

What's the meaning of fasts, is it only a physical deed of abstain from food and drinks? Because often in scriptures it's listed or placed in context of prayer, repentance, mourning or done to show a ...
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85 views

Psalm 34:9 Taste or perceive?

Tehillim, Psalm 34:9 is most often translated as: Taste and see, (that) HaShem is good. Sometimes this verse is explained as to taste and see His Goodness. But Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk interprets ...
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650 views

How the idea of “the bread of shame” aligns with free will

Jewish thinkers(Who?) sum up G-d's creation of the world as follows: It was the ultimate act of goodness. G-d is perfect and infinite. He has no need for a universe; He has nothing to gain from ...
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158 views

Why does Koheleth 12:1 use בוראיך instead of בוראך?

Koheleth 12:1 says: וּזְכֹר, אֶת-בּוֹרְאֶיךָ, בִּימֵי, בְּחוּרֹתֶיךָ: עַד אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָבֹאוּ, יְמֵי הָרָעָה, וְהִגִּיעוּ שָׁנִים, אֲשֶׁר תֹּאמַר אֵין-לִי בָהֶם חֵפֶץ. 1 Remember then thy ...
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30 views

Memra fixed in or used as a substitude [closed]

Could someone explain to me as to why most Targums fix in the (Aramaic) word 'Memra into a lot of verses, or use it as a substitude for other words written in the Tenach; what's the idea and meaning ...
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134 views

The meaning of ירך

I’m unclear as to the meaning of the word ירך that appears in Vayishlach, in 32:26. What’s the precise meaning of ירך often translated as hip, thigh, loin, gird etc. Which body part, bone or muscle is ...
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59 views

Hang up people to cause the anger of the Lord to turn

Could someone explain to me how the anger of the Lord is turned by hanging people in view for all to watch? Numbers 25:4 (Mechon-mamre translation): "Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them ...
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63 views

Nehushtan destroyed

Could someone explain to me why we read in Melachim II 2:18 that the brass serpent that Moses had made had been kept al this time? And how or why did the people became to honor it; for until that ...
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48 views

The encampment around the Tabernacle: What did it look like?

Based on Bamidbar/Numbers 2:2 the Israelites had to pitch their tents by tribe around the Ohel Mo'ed/Mishkan. But what I would like to know is How it would look from above? What shape would it be (...
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36 views

A heap of people and ingathering of food

Is there any connection between the word אסף (to gather, collect) and אסם (literally a barn or storehouse but could be from an unised root meaning to heap up). I wondered because there is a feast in ...
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81 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, ...
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46 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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49 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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111 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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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 '...
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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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164 views

The anger of HaShem, Satan or David Himself? - 2 Samuel 24:1 v.s. 1 Chronicles 21:1

2 Samuel 24:1 v.s. 1 Chronicles 21:1 Both describe the same situation, but one verse talks about the anger of HaShem to be kindled against Israel, while the other one talks about 'satan'. When ...
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36 views

Akrasia and the Yetzer Harah

I asked many questions about the Yetzarim before trying to figure out the concept, the meaning and the way it works looking at myself and different cognitive studies. Recently I found a concept ...
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103 views

Yetzer machshevot libo

There is a phrase in Bereshit/Genesis 6:5 which reads in hebrew: '.... v'kol yetzer machshevot libo...' I found different translations starting of with: The entire, every, the whole.. And ending ...
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101 views

How did Yom Teruah or Yom HaZikaron became known as Rosh HaShana?

I noticed that the Torah never call this day of Yom Teruah with the name Rosh HaShana. So how en when did it got the name Rosh HaShana? And more important how does one relate the terms 'Rosh HaShana' ...