Questions tagged [commentaries]

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

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To serve, the biggest command?

Looking at the basis for our covenant with G-d, I noticed G-d said to Avraham (Bereshit 17:1): “Walk before Me”, which is sometimes understood to mean: “Serve Me”. And also (Bereshit 17:9): “You shall ...
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Evil inclination compared to a strange god within man

I've found this article which quoted some interesting thoughts: Our sages said about the verse (Shabbat 105b), “There shall not be a strange god within you, nor will you bow before a strange god.” ...
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Three golden calfs

What are the similarities and differences between the story of the egel hazahav (golden calf) (Ki Sisa chapter 32) and the story of the two golden calves made by Jeroboam (I Melachim 12:28)?
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Our I, Our Self leading us to separation and idolatry

Looking at the words: "Anochi HaShem Eloheichem - אָנֹכִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ " (Shemot 20:2 & 20:5, Devarim 5:6 & 5:9)" I noticed that on the one hand HaShem emphasizes that we should serve ...
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Three things being handed over Tablets, Torah and the Mitzvah?

HaShem tells Moshe (Shemot 24:12): וְאֶתְּנָה לְךָ אֶת־לֻחֹת הָאֶבֶן וְהַתּוֹרָה וְהַמִּצְוָה אֲשֶׁר כָּתַבְתִּי לְהוֹרֹתָם - And I will give thee the tables of stone, and the Torah and the ...
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Clarification on the Mann scattering pattern [duplicate]

Following the question on the Mann miracles I would like to understand one specific miracle: how exactly did Mann fall closer to the righteous for them than for the wicked: Did it have name tags ...
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English Translations of Major Yechezkel/Ezekiel Commentaries

Shalom! I have been looking for some time and I cannot seem to find any resources in English. Are there any translations (into English) of the Yechezkel/Ezekiel commentaries of the following rabbis? ...
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55 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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56 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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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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Luchot HaBrit; first time receiving Torah passively and a second time actively

Once I read an article which talked about Exodus 31:18 and compared it with Exodus 34:1. In the first verse G-d gave the tablets (His work, His writing, 32:16), the second verse teaches Moshe needed ...
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Can a soul be redeemed, based on Psalm 49?

Psalm 49:8: "אָח לֹא־פָדֹה יִפְדֶּה אִישׁ לֹא־יִתֵּן לֵאלֹהִים כָּפְרוֹ׃ וְיֵקַר פִּדְיוֹן נַפְשָׁם וְחָדַל לְעוֹלָם׃ וִיחִי־עוֹד לָנֶצַח לֹא יִרְאֶה הַשָּׁחַת׃ " teaches that (all the) wealth ...
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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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Where in the writings of the Vilna Gaon does he discuss how Rashi & Tosfot each explain a Talmudic “sugiya?”

Two days ago, I asked this question in the name of the Vilna Gaon. I was informed that the answer may be [also] found in the writings of Rav Chaim Volozhin. So, I re-phrased the question. My ...
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What were the additional 40 plagues? [duplicate]

There's an argument between Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Eliezer, how many plagues there actually were in Egypt. R. Akiva says 50 and Rabbi Eliezer says 40. Do we actually know what were the additional ...
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Has anyone learned the Sheiltot of R. Achai Gaon with the Netziv's commentary?

Would you recommend it? I really enjoy learning anything with the Netziv and I like the idea of halachic midrashim on the parsha with some ethical messages. It seems like it's a great way to learn ...
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Why did the sea travelers in Yonah 1 proselytize instead of becoming righteous gentiles?

We read in Yonah 1 about the men who traveled on a boat with Yonah. When the sea ceased storming we read: "And the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they made sacrifices to the Lord and made vows."...
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Using the name יהוה [duplicate]

HaShem teaches Moshe the following in Shemot 3:15: כֹּה-תֹאמַר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵיכֶם אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם אֱלֹהֵי יִצְחָק וֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב, שְׁלָחַנִי אֲלֵיכֶם; זֶה-שְּׁמִי ...
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The usage of the title HaShem instead of other titles [duplicate]

One doesn’t pronounce יהוה, but with so many titles to be found in the Tenach for referring to יהוה, why would we refer to Him as ‘HaShem’ then? Why not stick with Adonai, Anochi, El Shadai etc. like ...
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List of which Rishonim wrote on each Masechta?

I would like to know if anyone has made a comprehensive list/chart of which Rishonim wrote on each masechta in shas. Such a list would include details such as: Masechtos where Rashi is not rashi, the ...
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Sources from Tanach for Praying in Minyan

I’ve got a question about people praying together. Hence from were in the Tanach, from which verse(s) or context, did the idea or concept for group/communal/collective prayer developed from? Or is ...
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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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56 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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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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What does “Esav soneh l'Ya'akov” mean?

There is this famous statement (B"R 78:9): "Esav Soneh l'Ya'akov." Although the Torah tells us that Esav bore a grudge (Genesis 27:41) in his heart and showed great animosity in wanting to kill Ya'...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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What does Judaism say about the Original sin?

DISCLAIMER: I am not Jewish nor am I a follower of Judaism. I have read the Torah, prophets and writings with Rashi commentary, also have read some of the Midrash, and read/watch some of today's ...
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Talking with/against the dead [duplicate]

If a beloved one has passed away, is it allowed or prohibited to talk against this soul? For example is it allowed to say goodbey, or to say you will mis him/her? I know there is a prohibition against ...
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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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מלא יד - full hand, meaning?

I've a question about the combination of words מלא יד as shown in verses like Shemot 29:35, 32:29, Vayikra 8:33, Bamidbar 3:3, 1 Divrei HaYamim 29:5, 2 Divrei HaYamim 6:4, 6:15, 13:9, 29:31 etc... ...
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Any connection between Isaiah 40:3 and the story of Ya'akov's name changed to Yisrael?

Regards the name changing from Ya'akov to Yisrael the Kli Yakar states that the name Yisrael comes from the word Yashar El, to be straight with G-d. This transformation is compared to Yeshayahu 40:4 '...
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Yom HaKaseh - Rosh HaShanah

Is it true that Rosh HaShanah is also called Yom HaKeseh, meaning “The Day of the Hiding” or “the Hidden Day.” I noticed that it’s called this way because of Tehillim 81. Is it true it’s also called ...
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Grouping of women in the beginning of Parashat Nitzavim

Parashat Nitzavim starts with the following Psukim (Devarim 29,9), grouping the Jewish Nation into two parts: "אַתֶּם נִצָּבִים הַיּוֹם כֻּלְּכֶם לִפְנֵי ה"א רָאשֵׁיכֶם שִׁבְטֵיכֶם זִקְנֵיכֶם ...
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118 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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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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How to define the Malach Panav from the book of Isaiah?

In Yeshayahu 63:9 there’s a mention of a ‘malach panav (מַלְאַךְ פָּנָיו)’, why is this malach refered to in this kind of way; why this specific entitlement; what does the combination of the words ...
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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-...
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127 views

Malach HaShem, Malach HaElohim and the way it presents itself

I’ve a question about Shemot 14:19 in which the malach ha’elohiem (מלאך האלהים) is mentioned. This verse explicitly says that this messenger who went before the camp, removed and went behind them ...
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53 views

What do the words 'Hinei Makom Iti' mean if Makom is also a title for G-d?

In Shemot 33:21 HaShem utters the words: 'הִנֵּה מָקוֹם אִתִּי'. I noticed HaShem uses the word 'makom', which reminded me of another teaching in which the word Makom is considered to be some sort of ...
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144 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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53 views

Source that the word לשמי hints to the changing of Yaakov's name to Yisrael

In Genesis 32:30 after Ya’akov want’s to know the name of which he is wrestling with, the question is asked why he wants to know it’s name: (למה זה תשאל לשמי), I can’t find its source but I heard ...
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67 views

Wrestling HaSatan

I know there are many explanations on who Ya’akov wrestled with. But I came across an explanation teaching it was HaSatan he wrestled with. Hoped someone could give me the sources or explanations ...
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To pass אעביר (Exo 33:19), what does it mean?

Exodus 33:19 reads: " אני אעביר כל־טובי על־פניך ", I know it's often translated somewhat like this: "I will make all My goodness pass before thee (before thy face)", but I noticed it's root ע - ב - ר ...
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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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43 views

Swear by His Name, what the real meaning of this command?

Could someone explain to me the meaning of the phrase: וּבִשְׁמוֹ, תִּשָּׁבֵעַ in Devarim 6:13? It seems to be the positive command of the prohebition mentioned in Vayikra 19:12... I know that the ...
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83 views

Why in the V'ahavta does U'vShacbacha (when you lie down) come before U'vkumecha (when you rise up)?

The order would be more logical if it was when you rise up comes before when you lie down. What do the mfarshim say about this?