Questions tagged [commentaries]

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

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26
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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: ...
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 ...
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 ...
14
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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 ...
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 ...
12
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2answers
219 views

Which came first the Mishnah Torah or the Pirush HaMishnayos

Which sefer did the Ramabm author first, was it his Mishnah Torah (Yad HaChazaka) or his commentary to Mishnayos?
12
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2answers
388 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?
12
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1answer
205 views

The case of the missing Maharsha (Sota 49, BK 82, M'nachos 64)

There was fighting among the Chashmonaim, and one group besieged the other in Jerusalem, passing animals over the wall for the korban tamid, but eventually passing a pig. This story is recounted (in ...
11
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3answers
865 views

Jarchi = Rashi?

Is Rabbi Solomon Jarchi the same as Rashi? I saw Jarchi on the Internet on a Google search awhile ago, that it was Salomo son of Isaac, a French Biblical commentator and was wondering if it was the ...
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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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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
10
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1answer
142 views

Legend About Rashi

In the book "Rashi and Maimonides" (pg 302), I found the following (paraphrasing): Another story has it that Rashi sat fasting for 613 days to purify himself for the task of commenting on the Torah....
10
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2answers
5k views

Difference between El and Eloah

El(אל) and Eloah(אלוה) are both singular forms (nouns), but its אל thats being used to form the plural Elim (אלים), and אלוה thats being used to form the plural Elohim (אלוה׳ם). Both singular forms ...
9
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3answers
354 views

What are some non-allegorical commentaries on Song of Solomon?

I'd like to find some good commentaries, preferably very old, on Song of Solomon that aren't focused on allegorical interpretations of it. What are some top titles in this area?
9
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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 ...
9
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2answers
122 views

Why did Ralbag's commentary to Leviticus take so much longer than the other books of the Torah?

At the end of each book in his Commentary to the Torah, Ralbag gives us the date he completed it. At the end of the book of Genesis he tells us that it was completed in October of 1329: והנה היתה ...
9
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1answer
455 views

Following the Biur Halacha

As far as I know, the most accepted Posek around the entire non-Chassidic Ashkenazi world is the Mishna Berura (and of course the Rama). He wrote the sections to his commentary to the Code of Jewish ...
8
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4answers
256 views

Have any Jewish commentaries been written on the Septuagint?

While a number of Jewish commentaries have been written on Targum Onkelos, Targum Yonasan, Targum Pseudo-Yonasan, and Targum Yerushalmi (see the list in the Targum section at Parshablog, for example), ...
8
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1answer
218 views

Who invented the Mikraot Gedolot?

Whose idea was the Mikraot Gedolot and when was it first published? Mikraot Gedolot is a Humash with a collection of commentaries very popular in Jewish circles today.
8
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1answer
144 views

How come Metzudat Tzion never did a perush of difficult words in the chumash?

Why did the author of Metzudat Tzion never write an explanation of difficult words in the chumash, as he did for most of the Nach? There are hard words in the chumash that require explanation even for ...
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 ...
8
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1answer
282 views

Do any Geonim or Rishonim adopt/incorporate teachings from Philo?

Do any early commentators from the geonim or rishonim periods cite any teachings from Philo Judeas by name?
8
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2answers
157 views

Origin for making giyur?

A friend of mine asked me from when a Non-Jew was allowed to make giyur (conversion); and on which Biblical verses it was based upon. I guess he wanted to know more about it's origin. So that's why I'...
8
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0answers
112 views

Establishing the relative order of Rashi's commentaries

In learning Masekhet Ketubot, I encountered Rashi's definition of בי שמשי on daf 103a. There, since the passage is clearly referring to twilight on erev shabbat in particular, Rashi explains why so ...
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?
7
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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
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?
7
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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 ...
7
votes
2answers
341 views

Interpreting Song of Songs

Is there any rabbinic commentary/interpretation on Shir HaShirim (the Song of Songs) that emphasizes the holiness of love between a man and a woman? At least from what I've encountered along the ...
7
votes
1answer
212 views

Sforno on the Nachash

The Sforno on Bereishis 3:1 explains that the Nachash, snake, is not an actual snake but is rather the Satan/Yetzer Harah. With that in mind, what does the Sforno do with the curse Hashem gives the ...
7
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2answers
150 views

Brevity of the Rishonim

I have heard about Rashi that he measured his words very meticulously and that consequently every word he chose to write in his commentary is important for understanding his view. There are even ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
170 views

Rule of first occurrence?

Searching online I came across a nice article which wrote: link It is a teaching of Chassidic thought (the only source I have for this is Shlomo Carlebach!) that the first occurrence of a certain ...
6
votes
3answers
216 views

What are some of the old commentaries prior to 1 BCE of the Torah?

I believe that there would be commentaries of the Torah older than 1 BCE and that can shed significant light on what the message of God is in terms of its authoritativeness. Israelites have a glorious ...
6
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4answers
654 views

Are there meforshim on perek shira?

Are there meforshim on perek shira? I'm looking for anything besides artscroll. If there are many, which would you recommend to start?
6
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2answers
218 views

Is there a commentary on tehillim that maps perakim to episodes in David's life?

Sometimes it's fairly easy to tell when David is writing about a particular event such as לדוד בשנותו את טעמו לפני אבימלך At other times it's less obvious, but you get a 'lightbulb moment' when ...
6
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2answers
134 views

Did the Rambam or the Ramban correspond with Tosafists?

The Rambam and the Ramban lived 1 to 2 hundred years after Rashi, so they must have been contemporaries of at least some of the Baalei Tosfos. Is there any record of written correspondence between ...
6
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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
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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 ...
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
34 views

Who wrote the “pirush” on the book of Mada of the rambam [duplicate]

I am learning the book of Mada of the rambam. The publisher is "hozaat shabse frankel Ltd." On the outer side of the page there is an explanation called "pirush". I tried to find out who wrote it ...
6
votes
1answer
118 views

Judges Chapter 9 and Aesop's Fable

In the book of Judges 9:8-15 we have the following fable: 8 The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive-tree: Reign thou over us. 9 But the olive-...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
155 views

Who was R' Jacob Pidanki?

Every once in a while the Judaica Press English translations (such as this one) will quote R' Jacob Pidanki in their commentary anthology. Who was R' Jacob Pidanki? Where did he live? What books/...
5
votes
3answers
131 views

Did Noach have sefarim from previous generations?

I am pretty sure I saw one of the Mefarshim in the Oz Vehadar Mikraos Gedolos (or a Midrash), that said that Noach learned from a sefer/(or sefarim) from previous generation(s). (I think it might ...
5
votes
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
72 views

Daughter of Pharao doing Teshuvah?

Are there any commentaries which shows that the daughter of Pharao refuted idolatry, made a act of repentance or anything like that? I wonder what it was that made her save Moshe, that she had ...
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 ...