Questions tagged [midrash]

Exegetical interpretation, often of verses in Tanach. The term also refers to books based on these interpretations, e.g., Midrash Rabba, Midrash Tanchuma, et al.

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Hashem's Gratitude on Yom Kippur

Rav Aharon Kotler z"tl apparently would often say a Chazal during Yomim Noraim about Hashem having gratitude for us doing teshuva on Yom Kippur. Just like a king having a grand meal which he is afraid ...
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Why is prior to creation called holy?

In Mechilta (to ex. 12.16), while discussing whether or not work is forbidden on chol hamoed, the time before and after the six days of creation are referred to as holy. ששת ימי בראשית יוכיחו שיש ...
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Derech g'dilasan: the requirement for mitzva objects to be used in the manner in which they grew

The mishna quotes Rabbi Yosi (Suka 3:14) saying that if one carried a lulav in the public domain without thinking on the first day of Sukos which was also shabas it would not count as a violation of ...
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How old is מדרש ר׳ עקיבא בן יוסף אל אותיות קטנות?

I stumbled on these midrashim, I'm curious as to how old they are...
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The twelve plagues of Rashi

The Vilna Gaon (Gra) has a quite challenging comment on Midrash Seder Olam Rabbah 3:2 that Rashi says the Makkot were twelve: I haven't found this Rashi anywhere explicitly in him Chumash peirush. ...
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Earliest source for teaching Torah in secret to hide from the Romans

A number of online sources (such as this article by Rabbi Ari Enkin, or this article by Rabbi Yair Hoffman) mention the tradition that rabbonim used to go out into the woods and teach Torah while ...
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What causes a person to remain in this world as a ghost?

A baraita on Berakhot 18b relates a story where a pious man sleeps in a cemetery and hears two spirits talking. One of them suggests they wander the world, and the other says she can't because she ...
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What Happened To King Davids Parents?

I read somewhere (I believe it was a midrash) that King David's parents were murdered? Is this this factual or is it an allegory for some other interpretation e.g losing their money/status?
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What is the source for the midrash about Jewish soldiers escaping to Romania?

Specifically, looking for the midrash quoted by Radaq to Shoftim 20:15 as saying that the missing 1,000 Jewish soldiers "escaped to Romania." Thanks!
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Aurora Borealis in Midrashim

We see many fascinating works of Hashem around the world and one of which is Aurora Borealis. Do our midrashim or books on mysticism have anything to say about its origin or anything related to it?
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Perakim in Medresh Rabbah

How many perakim are there in Medresh Rabbah (including the Megillos)? I'm trying to figure out a schedule.
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How does נעלו exclude a סנדל מסוליים?

The Bavli, Y'vamos 103 amud 2, quotes a b'raysa: [The verse says that, for chalitza, the woman removes] "his shoe". I'd think it must be his own shoe; how do I know it can be anyone's shoe? [The ...
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Why does מורא גדול and nothing else in the verse refer to גלוי שכינה?

In the Haggadah, we quote the Sifre's exegesis of Deut. 26:8 (in which I've boldfaced quotations from the verse itself): And God removed us [from Egypt] … with a strong hand — ...
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Where is the midrash of “300 days of Tefillin?”

According to various Rishonim and Acharonim who are listed in R' Binyomin Shlomo Hamburger's "Shorshei Minhag Ashkenaz Volume 5," there is a Midrash that states that the Shin on Tefillin boxes alludes ...
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Dead sea in the midrashim

We know that the water of the Dead Sea is very much salty, so much so that no fish exist in it. Is there any midrash or agada that speaks on the history of the Dead Sea, how it started to become ...
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If there were people before/during Avraham's life that recognised Hashem, why was Avraham chosen specifically?

We know that Shem lived during the life of Avraham Avinu, described as Malki Tzedek. Why is Avraham considered the first to spread ethical monotheism (concluding in G-d choosing him) if it's known ...
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Is there a connection between each of the four expressions of redemption and the respective four cups?

Chazal tell us that the four cups of wine correspond to the four expressions of redemption (Shemos Rabbah 6:4, Rashi to Pesachim 99b DH Arba Kosos, etc.). Is there any specific correlation between ...
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Types of Magic according to Judaism

The Jewish sources speak in many places about magic e.g shemot 7,11 7,22 Vayikra 19,27 etc. Are there different types? if so what are they?
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How painful is tzara'at

The Torah in many places speaks about tzara'at. Is there any midrash that speaks about the details of the pain of someone infected with tzara'at?
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According to Seder Olam Rabbah, when did Bnei Yisrael travel to Refidim?

According to the chronology I cite here from Seder Olam Rabbah ch. 5, ומאילם נסעו לאלוש, שנאמר ויסעו מאילם ויבאו כל עדת בני ישראל אל מדבר סין (שמות טז א) (הוא אלוש) בחמשה עשר יום לחדש השני לצאתם ...
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How far was the basket away from Batya?

Midrashim says that the basket in which Moshe Rabbeinu was there was far away from batya. She reached our her hands which became elongated. How far exactly was the basket away from Batya?
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Why did Batya get tzaraat?

Midrashim says that Batya got tzaraat, so she use to go to the river nile to feel better after washing. why did she get tzaraat?
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Spitting in Kohen Gadol's Eye

Although I know the story with Rav Meir in the Yerushalmi Sotah (5a), apparently there is a similar story in a Midrash where a husband told his wife to spit in the Kohen Gadol's eye. When Aharon ...
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Rabbeinu Nissim's source in Rif Pesochim 23 apparent contradiction?

Rabbeinu Nissim ben Re'uven in Maseches Pesochim (page 23 in the Rif ד''ה דילמא see here) says that, whilst one has to eat the Pesach offering "על השובע" (an eating of satisfaction), when it comes to ...
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Nationality of Balaam

I heard an interpretation of the nationality of Bilaam. Rabbi Zitron said he was an African prince. Is there any source for this? If it is what is the name of the king?
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Are there accepted rules for the exposition of a set of juxtaposed verses (סמוכים)?

This question came about from learning Gemoro Brochos 21b but the question is not limited to this daf. The Gemoro Brochos 21b quotes Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi as expounding verses Devorim 4 (9 & ...
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Do angels make requests of G-d?

Do angels make any requests of G-d besides praising and thanking Him?
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Haman Hanged on Branch of Eitz HaDaas?

Rav Eytan Feiner mentioned in a shiur that the tree used to hang Haman was the Eitz HaDaas, based on a Midrash. Where is this Midrash located? (I found Esther Rabba 9:2 which discusses it, but can't ...
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Origin of pigs as a species

I heard an explanation about pigs that they were not included in Noah's ark. They were in fact from worms. One ate the other and kept growing. Is there any authentic source for this?
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Animal R'aim of the midrash

I saw in the book, "The midrash says" by Rabbi Moshe Weissman that the Midrash Socher Tov 22 explains that a creature called R'aim that David mistook as a hill, lifted David up into the sky and only ...
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Does Satan have 12 wings?

Someone told me that according to Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer, Satan has 12 wings. Is it true? The tanakh doesn't say anything about Satan's look then where does it come from?
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Does anyone draw a parallel between Haman selling himself to Mordechai and Esav selling the birthright to Yaakov?

There’s a famous Yalkut Shimoni (Nach 1056:18, referenced by Rashi in explaining Megillah 15a), which reads as follows: א"ר חסדא זה בא בפרוזבולי וזה בא בפרוזבוטי, פעם אחת נתן המלך ממון ושגרם בראשי ...
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When was the war in which Haman sold himself to Mordechai?

There’s a famous Yalkut Shimoni (Nach 1056:18, referenced by Rashi in explaining Megillah 15a), which reads as follows: א"ר חסדא זה בא בפרוזבולי וזה בא בפרוזבוטי, פעם אחת נתן המלך ממון ושגרם בראשי ...
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Giving credit where credit is due [duplicate]

-The Talmud says, in two places, "He who reports a saying in the name of its author brings deliverance to the world." [Megillah 15a; Chullin 104b] -The Talmud is very careful to always attribute its ...
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Does the term ha-ruach ha-qadosh occur in the Talmud, Midrash, and other rabbinical literature?

The phrase ruach qadosh ('holy spirit') appears only three times in the Tanakh (Tehillim 51:13, Yeshayahu 63:10 and 11), each time with a possessive adjective ('your,' 'His') and never with a definite ...
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Cloud and pillar of fire to count seven days

Midrash Tehillim 105:9, brought in Yalkut Shimoni § 417 says: חזקיה אמר למה היה משתנה להן מפני הזבין והמצורעין כדי שיהו יודעים אימתי יום ואימתי לילה. Hezkiya said the reason Hashem put a cloud ...
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Could not find this in soncino Bamidbar rabbah

In the march 1986 issue of the jewish observer, they bring bamidbar rabbah 21 which says in the name of Yehoshua ben levi, “Hoshana rabba represents the ultimate downfall of defiant nations, just as ...
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Missing line in Tractate Megillah

At Sefaria there is a kind of commentary on Talmud called ‘Daf Shevui’. Commenting on Meg. 15b the author writes: The Attribute of Justice argues before God—why do you give this reward to righteous ...
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Money spent on Achasverous Party

Many midrashim speaks on the greatness of the money spent by King achasverous in holding the 180 days party. Is there any midrash that speaks on how much exactly did Achasverous spent on the party?
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The 62 Years of Darius/Cyrus, and the 62 Weeks of Daniel

Has ancient or medieval Jewish tradition, spanning from the Talmud to the Shulchan Aruch, ever connected these two passages from the Book of Daniel ? Daniel 5:30-31  In that night was Belshazzar ...
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Midrash Meam loez Purim

We don't have good midrashim books here in our town. Do we have the story of Purim with good midrashim in english on the net?
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If copper mirrors were good, leave them?

Torah (Shemot 38:8) tells us that the Kiyor was built with the copper mirrors brought by women. The Midrash (brought in Rashi ad loc) explain that, at first, Moshe wanted to reject the gifts, but ...
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Did Chazal mention that dragons were real? [closed]

Seeing that "The R”i mi-Lunil describes the drakon (in avoda Zara 42b) as a snake-like creature with wings that belches smoke and fire from its throat – what we would call a dragon", were these ...
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Did Yonah Hanavi destroy Ninveh?

I was reading a book called "Those who Returned" by R Yisrael Klapholtz and He writes that 40 years after the initial story of Yonah, Hashem had Yonah return to Ninveh and destroy it. Is there a ...
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The cloak full of techeiles is the Me'il?-Korach's issue

During the reading of this week's parsha ( Tetzaveh) I noticed that the Me'il is referred to as a cloak complete of techeiles. Then I remembered that Korach had an issue with a beged that was full of ...
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Second person exposition of “toevah”

The Talmud in Nedarim 51a cites in the name of Bar Kappara a (playful? - see previous and subsequent passages for context) derashic interpretation of the word "toevah" (literally translated "...
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What is the midrash about Nadav and Avihu being burned from within?

In a recent study of the part of Sh'mini about Nadav and Avihu bringing aish zarah (alien fire), somebody vaguely recalled a midrash that the fire that killed them entered through their nostrils and ...
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How was Moshe protected by the sand in Egypt?

Moshe does not enact the third plague. Rashi explains that, לֹא הָיָה הֶעָפָר כְּדַאי לִלְקוֹת עַ"יְ מֹשֶׁה, לְפִי שֶׁהֵגֵן עָלָיו כְּשֶׁהָרַג אֶת הַמִּצְרִי וַיִּטְמְנֵהוּ בַּחוֹל, That the dirt ...
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Does the Midrash say we have guardian angels?

The Midrash quotes Rabbi Hama on the story where Jacob wrestled an angel but, not just any ordinary angel, but the guardian of Esau. Needless to say, Maimonides, I think said it was a symbolic ...
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Why did Hashem change Adam’s creation specifically because Chiram declared himself a god?

Bava Basra 75a-b (translation mine, bracketed insertions follow Rashbam ad. loc.): מאי (יחזקאל כח, יג) מלאכת תופיך ונקביך בך אמר רב יהודה אמר רב אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא לחירם מלך צור בך נסתכלתי ...