Questions tagged [commentaries]

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

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26
votes
4answers
723 views

Was Malbim an innovator?

The Malbim - Meir Leibush ben Yechiel Michel(1809 – 1879) - wrote a commentary on most of Tanach. In his introduction (to Yeshayahu) he writes the assumptions with which he operates in his commentary: ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Which masechtot don't really have Rashi?

I often hear that the printed "Rashi" commentary in certain masechtot of the Talmud Bavli (first that come to mind are Moed Katan and Nedarim) is not actually written by Rashi. Does anyone have a full ...
4
votes
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
197 views

Does Rashi's commentary on a quoted mishna reflect the true explanation?

Often the Bavli will quote a mishna from another maseches (tractate) or another part of the same maseches. Does Rashi's commentary on the Bavli's quotation of the mishna reflect his interpretation of ...
8
votes
1answer
180 views

Who is the author of the Pirush on the first four chapters of Rambam's Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah?

The first four chapters of Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah have a lengthy commentary that is titled simply "פירוש". In standard editions of the Rambam, it wraps around the text, facing the "כסף משנה" (see ...
2
votes
1answer
231 views

How do we explain the criticism of Rashi by his grandsons?

Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki, better known today as Rashi, was easily the most prolific commentator on the Tanach and Talmud in history in the sense that he commentated on most of the Talmud and, I believe, ...
22
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9answers
1k views

After chumashim with notes and Rashi, what's the next torah commentary I should acquire and study?

When I read the torah text (parsha or otherwise) I currently use a couple of chumashim with notes, and Rashi. I know some Hebrew but am not fluent. I'm ready to stretch beyond what I'm reading now ...
11
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1answer
212 views

layout of the Gemara

When was the current pagination of the Gemara finalized? It seems that it was before the Vilna print, though it seems from different Acharonim (the Rama, etc.) quoting the Mordechai that the Mordechai ...
10
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5answers
1k views

Why were some of the works of Rabbi Steinsaltz banned?

Apparently some of the works of Rabbi Steinsaltz were banned. What are the specific examples that prompted the ban? Is there a list of all of his works that have been banned, as I am interested in ...
7
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5answers
2k views

What ancient sources discuss the meaning of Psalm 22?

Many Christians believe Psalm 22 refers to Jesus of Nazareth. How have Jews historically understood Psalm 22 and interpreted it?
3
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1answer
896 views

The time periods of the Acharit HaYamim?

Could someone please explain me the concepts of the following terms? What do the different periods in time refer to and stand for? - Olam Hazeh (Acharit HaYamim) - Olam Haba - Yemot HaMashiach - ...
10
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2answers
624 views

What were the Nephilim?

Inspired by this question on Biblical Hermeneutics. What were the Nephilim mentioned in Bereishis and in Bamidbar? Bereishis 6:1-4 The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

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 ...
0
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2answers
122 views

Prayer inclusion because of fear?

In the Mishnah of Rabbi Eliezer, the son of Rabbi Yosi HaG'lili, the Sages said, "What is the biblical source to include prayer among the mitzvos? From the verse, 'You shall fear G‑d, your L‑rd, and ...
7
votes
2answers
262 views

Metzudat Tzion on the Torah

Was there a Metzudat Tzion written on the Torah? If so, does anyone know if it is available online or for sale? I always loved this commentary as it explained the hard words on the Nach.
7
votes
1answer
107 views

Looking for Passages of harsh criticism in the Shakh

Notwithstanding the fact that the Shakh includes a passage in the introduction to his Nequdat Kesef, claiming that his objections to other scholars are meant only respectfully, I have heard it said ...
5
votes
2answers
355 views

Why “who did not make me a goy” when Hashem told Avram he would make him a great “goy”?

There is this blessing/declaration which we recite everyday: "Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha'Olam, shelo asani goy." But why is it expressed this way? Why the usage of the term goy Didn't ...
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Tosfos Within the Same Mesechta

Are the comments of Tosfos in the same Mesechta generally considered to be aligned, meaning that, if there is an apparent contradiction, we try and look for a resolution? How about Tosfos in ...
2
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0answers
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

Who is the author of the notes Bechor Shor on Kidushin?

At the back of the gomoro Kidushin, in the Yalkut Meforshim [in the Oz Vahadar Gemoros, it seems that they were printed previously in a sefer and not at the back of the Gemoros], there are some notes ...
5
votes
5answers
235 views

Is there a book which gives a good background understanding to Isaiah's prophecies?

I am trying to learn the book of the prophet Yeshaya (Isaiah). I am finding the early (unfamiliar) chapters very difficult. Rashi’s commentary does not help me enough. Is there a book which gives a ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Sefas Emes and your mission

Someone mentioned that the Sefas Emes quotes in the name of the Chiddushei HaRim on that Mishnah (Avos 1:14), אם אין אני לי מי לי, וכשאני לעצמי מה אני, ואם... The Sefas Emes says, Every yid has ...
15
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3answers
1k views

Is Shadal a mainstream commentary?

Shadal (Shmuel David Luzzatto) wrote, among many other things, a commentary to the Torah. I do not know very much about the style and approach of his commentary, but strangely, I've actually never ...
13
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4answers
289 views

When did G-d create darkness?

Bereshit 1:5 says: וַיִּקְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים ׀ לָאוֹר֙ י֔וֹם וְלַחֹ֖שֶׁךְ קָ֣רָא לָ֑יְלָה וַֽיְהִי־עֶ֥רֶב וַֽיְהִי־בֹ֖קֶר י֥וֹם אֶחָֽד׃ (פ And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called ...
7
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1answer
510 views

Where does the Maharsha mention the Bermuda Triangle?

Someone once told me that the Maharsha talks about Bermuda Triangle in meseches berachos. Does anyone know where the Maharsha speaks about it?
5
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1answer
143 views

Our bodies are our Temple?

On the Chabad Website, I found this quote: "With the destruction, G-d temporarily removed the Temple from its geographic location and placed it within us. Instead of traveling to Jerusalem, G-d ...
4
votes
2answers
372 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

The I, the Self which makes us do things independent of G-d

I watched a video of R' Mendel Kessin (20:58-37:52) in which he talks about 4 levels of arrogance, and the concept of "yesh od milvado" presented by the Yetzer HaRah inside us. What he explains is ...
3
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0answers
46 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: ...
2
votes
2answers
86 views

Fasting, Yom Kippur

In relation to this question, I would like to know why Vayikra 16:31 says v'initem, often translated as afflicting, cause if afflicting is about fasting then why isn't the word tzom צום used if this ...
1
vote
1answer
117 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 ...
1
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0answers
53 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
168 views

Why does it say to love HaShem meodecha

The verse of Devarim 6:5 reads: Love HaShem your G'd, with all your heart bechol levav'cha, with all your being uvechol nafshecha, and uvechol ... meodecha. If I'm correct it's the only place in the ...
12
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2answers
389 views

Rashi on Yerushalmi

Why is there no Rashi on Yerushalmi? What can I learn instead? Is there anything that can replace it, and why was it not written?
9
votes
1answer
153 views

Who was the author/compiler of the Ikkar Tosfos Yom Tov?

I've noticed when learning Mishnayos that with the more basic layouts consist of the Mishna and the commentaries of Rav Ovadia M'Bartenura and the Ikkar Tosfos Yom Tov. It is known that Rav Yom-Tov ...
7
votes
3answers
168 views

Who were the “girls” that fasted with Esther?

Esther 4:16 says: גם אני ונערותי אצום כן Me and my "girls" will also fast Who were these "girls", and Why did she make these girls fast? Were they Jewish (converted, perhaps)? I assume that ...
6
votes
2answers
806 views

Dibur HaMatchil: Where did it come from

When reading Rashi, each comment on the pasukkim is split up by DiBur Hamatchil (quotes from the pasuk to let you know what Rashi is commenting on). Are these original to Rashi, or were they added? On ...
6
votes
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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0answers
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 ...
5
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0answers
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
137 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
138 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
216 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
146 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
98 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
412 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Facing the Tent of Meeting from the tents of the people?

Balaam saw that the tent openings of the Israelites do not face each other; rather each opening was behind the next one, so that no one would look in the house of his friend. (BT Bava Batra 60a) I ...