Questions tagged [commentaries]

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

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Question on Rabbeinu Ephraim's commentary

Related to this question on werewolves and subsequent answers. Also to these posts by Rabbi Slifkin. I know this is an odd subject, but apparently, Rabbeinu Ephraim ben Shimshon, one of the Tosafists,...
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Rav Yosef Karo's Kesef Mishneh: is there online an English translation?

Do you know of online an English translation of Rav Yosef Karo's Kesef Mishneh? Unless I'm mistaken, it is a fundamental work to better understand the Mishneh Torah.
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1answer
81 views

Translation of karmelit

In an article I read online: http://www.tosfosinenglish.com/pdf/Shabos/6a7karmlis.pdf I read the following: כרמל (Karmel) is comprised of two (opposite) terms: רך with the meaning soft and not yet ...
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63 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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1answer
64 views

searching for the source for Kulo Tov?

What is the original source for HaShem being called 'Kulo Tov', 'Completely Good'? It seems to be the source for the idea that HaShem created the creation to bestow His goodness. Could anyone explain ...
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1answer
78 views

goodness and pleasure the purpose of creation

The Ramchal teaches that goodness is the reason that G-d created the world, to give of His goodness to another (human). But he also wrote: Man was created for the sole purpose of rejoicing in G-d ...
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100 views

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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1answer
60 views

Kli Yakar Introduction - Three Lands

"מנהיגי שלש ארצות יצ"ו" In his introduction, Kli Yakar mentions leaders of three lands who "dwell first in the Kingdom of Heaven". Is he mentioning three actual people who helped him print his sefer? ...
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89 views

Ben David and ben Yoseph not describing the herritage

Is it possible that the titles ‘ben David’ and ‘ben Yoseph’ do not refer to blood kinship or origin, but serve as a reference to the fact that someone possesses certain qualities, traits, abilities or ...
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2answers
76 views

Genesis 18:3 Adonai, My Lord or lords and why?

Rabbeinu Bahya (13th Century) wrote that in non-sacred usage the Nun of adonai has a Patah, and only with an Etnahta or Sof pasuk a Qamatz when the word stands on its own. ‘And for this reason in the ...
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2answers
114 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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1answer
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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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45 views

Correct translation of Micah 5:1

1 Samuel 23:23 speaks of 'thousands of Yehudah', Micah 5:1 also speaks of 'thousands of Yehudah', but then I noticed Zechariah 12:5-6 which speaks of 'princes/leaders of Yehudah'. I know there are two ...
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95 views

Why is the Babylonian Talmud authoritative? [duplicate]

As I understand it, the Babylonian Talmud was written in the 3rd to the 5th centuries CE. At that point, Judaism was already a well-established religion. The Babylonian Talmud contains explanations ...
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30 views

Prophecies at once or in stages?

Do the prophecies made by the Nevi’im (prophets) in the Tenach need to be fulfilled at once, or is it possible that they occur in phases. So if Yirmiyahu for example makes a prophecy about a certain ...
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Why is the concept of Mashiach ben Yosef even mentioned, what is it’s importance? [duplicate]

Why do some jewish sources speak of a Mashiach ben Yosef while others teach about Mashiach ben David, if we only believe in one (future) Mashiach? 2. Upon which sources is this idea of a Mashiach ben ...
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318 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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180 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 ...
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107 views

Genesis 18 who is the ‘he’

Avraham stands at the entrance of his tent after his Brit - Bereshit 18 - looking around he sees three men at a short distance (even getting closer). At a certain point they ask Avraham: “Where is ...
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134 views

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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1answer
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Why is Zerubavel called the son of Shealtiel?

I've a question regards Zerubavel: why is he called the son of Shealtiel? In Ezra 3:2 and 3:8, Haggai 1:1, 1:12, 1:14, 2:2, 2:23, Nechemyah 12:1, Zerubavel is called the son of Shaltiel, while in ...
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Habakkuk 3:13 what does it say?

Looking at the words יצאת לישע עמך לישע את משיחך from Habakkuk 3:13, I noticed it was translated as: ‘Thou art come forth for the deliverance of Thy people, for the deliverance of Thine anointed (...
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109 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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100 views

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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“Saving up” an explanation on Orlah 3 (Tosafos Yom Tov)

The third chapter of Orlah lists several cases in which some illegal orlah produce needs to be destroyed to prevent it from being consumed or profited from. In the penultimate mishna, the last case ...
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397 views

Taking pictures for one’s husband [closed]

I would like to ask a bold question: Is it permissible/permitted by Jewish laws for a wife to take sensual, sexual, non-nude or nude pictures of herself and to share them with her husband (exchanging ...
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1answer
86 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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1answer
160 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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1answer
70 views

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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170 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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33 views

Why didn’t Avraham ran the first time he saw the three men?

It’s becomes clear from Bereshit 18:2 that Avraham is looking around from the entrance of the tent and sees three men appearing, cause it reads: והנה שלשה אנשים נצבים עליו. But what did Avraham sees ...
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Old French in commentaries

Why are there references to "Old French" in some commentaries? I don't have any examples to show but if that is required I could research.
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50 views

Why would G-d let angels speak on His behalf?

In regards to this question of mine I would like to ask: In Genesis 18:10 it seems that one of the men/angels visiting Avraham is saying that Sarah will give birth to a son, while in Genesis 18:14 it’...
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3answers
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Looking for a source about Avraham compared to Noah

I'm having some trouble tracking down a source I saw earlier that I'd like to review. Around Beresheit 18:18 when Hashem is deciding whether or not to tell Avraham about the impending destruction of ...
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2 Kings 3:27 a wrath came upon Israel

I would like to ask a question related to another question posted. Looking at 2 Kings 3:27 the wrath was caused after the sacrifice to an idol, yet it caused the Israelites to drew back, while they ...
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1answer
156 views

Source for Baal Haturim Writing Commentary on his Wedding Night!

I've heard that the Baal Haturim wrote the whole commentary on the Chumash on his wedding night! Can someone please provide the source for this?
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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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Avraham: Two different groups of people blessed on two different pieces of ground? Or maybe not

In Bereshit 12:3 HaShem tells Avram: וַאֲבָֽרְכָה֙ מְבָ֣רְכֶ֔יךָ וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ֖ אָאֹ֑ר וְנִבְרְכ֣וּ בְךָ֔ כֹּ֖ל מִשְׁפְּחֹ֥ת הָֽאֲדָמָֽה׃ And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that ...
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The darkness that came upon Avraham

At the brit bein habetarim (Bereshit 15:12) it is stated: וַיְהִ֤י הַשֶּׁ֨מֶשׁ֙ לָב֔וֹא וְתַרְדֵּמָ֖ה נָֽפְלָ֣ה עַל־אַבְרָ֑ם וְהִנֵּ֥ה אֵימָ֛ה חֲשֵׁכָ֥ה גְדֹלָ֖ה נֹפֶ֥לֶת עָלָֽיו׃ And it came ...
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What's the need for Avraham to become nation

Bereshit 12:2–3 reads: וְאֶֽעֶשְׂךָ֙ לְג֣וֹי גָּד֔וֹל וַאֲבָ֣רֶכְךָ֔ וַֽאֲגַדְּלָ֖ה שְׁמֶ֑ךָ וֶֽהְיֵ֖ה בְּרָכָֽה׃ וַאֲבָֽרְכָה֙ מְבָ֣רְכֶ֔יךָ וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ֖ אָאֹ֑ר וְנִבְרְכ֣וּ בְךָ֔ כֹּ֖ל ...
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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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135 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 '...
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145 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 ...
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2answers
710 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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1answer
50 views

How did Adam and Chava know what's good or bad before eating from the tree? [duplicate]

Hashem Elohim allowed the human being to eat the product which was produced by every tree in Gan Eden, except from the tree of knowledge (understanding) of what’s good and bad. So with this knowledge ...
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37 views

Where does HaShem stands and in which council?

Psalm 82 teaches that Elohim (אלהים) stands (נצב to position oneself) within the council/congregation (עדת-אל) of El, among/amidst (בקרב) elohiem (אלהים) He judge (ישפט). Someone told me to look at ...
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55 views

What other phrase did the rabbis use to describe “yom teruah” besides the ones below?

What other phrase did the rabbis use to describe "yom teruah" besides the ones below? Our rabbis of blessed memory gave additional "phrases" to describe or to name our holy days. For example, the ...
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64 views

What is 1,530 a reference to?

In his commentary to Genesis 7:12, R. Isaiah of Trani (the Elder) writes: וכן במניין ישראל אלף וחמש מאות ושלשים ואי אפשר דבר זה שלא היה אחד מהם יתר או חסר אלא כן דרך המקראות לתפוש מניין שלם ואפי' ...
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4answers
102 views

Looking for a sefer explaining the tosfos of maseches kesubos [duplicate]

Is anyone familiar with a sefer that explains the tosfos of maseches kesubos? (Aside from the first two chapters).
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114 views

Gersonides’ Largest List of Lessons [closed]

What is the number of most amount of lessons Gersonides presents at once in his Tanach commentary? I find these lessons very interesting and would like to where the biggest cluster of them is to be ...

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