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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Do any Jewish sources give a non-literal interpretation of the census in Bamidbar?

Are there any classical commentators that state that "elef" didn't literally mean 1 thousand, or something else to that effect, that would result in a smaller number? I am reading Ani Maamin ...
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How to explain Bereishis Rabbah 55:7 to a Noahide? [closed]

There it is stated about the umos haoilom that Hashem will send them to gehinom and was asked by a Noahide why are they sent to gehinom.
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The Medrash About Shlomo HaMelech's Daughter

The Medrash in Parsha Ki Sisa says the following story: Shlomo HaMelech had a beautiful and wise daughter. As she got older, he sought a husband for her. Astrologers advised the king that she was ...
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What happened to the male Leviathan?

According to tradition (see Rashi to bereishis 1:21), Hashem created a male and female Leviathan, but then He killed the female and salted it for the righteous. What happened to the male? Did it die ...
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Were all the Jews enslaved in Egypt?

According to this Midrash there were Jews and They had favored positions among the Egyptians and could not dream of giving up their wealth. Therefore, they died in the plague of darkness. (...
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Is there a midrash that says all of the water in the world split at the time of the splitting of the reed sea?

Is there a midrash that states that all the bodies of water split during the splitting of the reed sea? If yes, I would think that such an event would be recorded in some secular history book? Are ...
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What's the explanation of this Yalkut (if there is any)?

I was reading this article and in the first sentence it references a Yalkut Shimoni that states that "Jael, Hagar, Asenath, Zipporah, Shiphrah, Puah, the daughter of Pharaoh, Rahab and Ruth were among ...
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Moshe's mussar of bnei reuven and bnei gad - medrash source

I was wondering if the oilam could please help me find the specific source in the medrash... I read from Rabbi Yissochor Frand shlita (here) how Moshe criticised the Bnei Reuven and Gad after they ...
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English Exodus Rabbah

Is anyone aware of a full text of Shemos Rabbah in English available online? Sefaria has bits and pieces, but I'd like the full thing.
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How does one calculate from pesach to the keriat yam suf?

Quote“We are all familiar with the historical reason for celebrating the ‘seventh day of Passover’ – for (according to the Midrash) the miracle of the splitting of the Red Sea took place seven days ...
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Rav S.R. Hirsch and fairy tales

There's a famous criticism Rav Hirsch had about fairy tales- I think he was responding to the Grimm Brothers specifically. He says that reading such stories are very bad chinuch, since it affects our ...
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Are there any Midrashim where Yitzchak was actually sacrificed by Avraham?

Are there any Midrashim where Yitzchak was actually sacrificed by Avraham? https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1136172-gen-22-11-16a-the-story-of-the-near-sacrifice-of-isaac-is "a later midrashic ...
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Looking for midrash source

A couple of years ago I heard a vort based on a midrash. The midrash apparently stated that when Yisrael were enslaved in Egypt, the Egyptians made them work very hard at building magnificent ...
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What is the source that says David wrote Psalms / Tehillim while hiding from Saul

I'm trying to find the source of the common tradition that David wrote at least part of Tehillim while on the run from Shaul, but I can't find any sources. Does anyone here know of a source for this ...
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Greeting the old

Could someone help me understand the meaning behind this saying from Midrash Tanchuma (Ki Tisa 27): המקבל פני זקן כאלו מקבל פני שכינהWhoever greets the old - it is as if they greet the Divine ...
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Guard the Matzos/Mitzvos

There is a frequently cited midrash that we read "Guard the Matzos" as "Guard the Mitzvos". I see this cited all over the internet, but no one seems to give the exact source. Could someone let me know ...
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What is the meaning of Psalms 118:5?

מִן־הַ֖מֵּצַֽר קָרָ֣אתִי יָּ֑הּ עָ֜נָ֗נִי בַּמֶּרְחָ֣ב יָֽהּ From the straits I called God; God answered me with a vast expanse. I put הַ֖מֵּצַֽר into a contemporary Hebrew dictionary and it does ...
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If a husband intentionally warns his wife knowing that she will not sin, does she drink?

Berachos 31b: ״אִם רָאֹה תִרְאֶה״, אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר: אָמְרָה חַנָּה לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא: רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם, ״אִם רָאֹה״ — מוּטָב, וְאִם לָאו — ״תִּרְאֶה״ אֵלֵךְ וְאֶסְתַּתֵּר ...
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What inspired Pharaoh's daughter to convert?

The Midrash Mishlei (31:5) writes "ותקם בעוד לילה" - זו בתיה בת פרעה, גויה היתה ונעשית יהודיה, והזכירו שמה בין הכשרות, בשביל שעסקה במשה, לפיכך זכתה ונכנסה בחייה לגן עדן - She rises while it'...
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Who First Knew of the Messiah

In Parashah Shemot 4:13, Moses says to G-d, "Send, I pray You, by the hand of whom You will send." On p. 77 of Rabbi M. Schneerson's book "Torah Studies" he explains that midrash (Lekach Tov) ...
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Berachot 3a - Verb choices regarding Temple destruction

Pesikta Rabasi (28 mid.) suggests that there are two aspects of the Temple. An upper [spiritual] one and a lower [physical] one. אחריבנו אמר רבי תחליפא בר קרויה באותה שעה נכנסו כל מלאכי השרת ועמדו ...
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Why would the Jewish sages, in Talmud Sanhedrin 98b, link the name of the Messiah to Isaiah 53:4?

Why would the Jewish sages (who don't believe that the messiah will suffer and die), in Talmud Sanhedrin 98b, link the name of the Messiah to Isaiah 53:4, where the context talked about someone that ...
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Was Potiphar's wife a righteous woman?

I remember hearing that Potiphar's wife was a righteous woman. She had a vision showing her that she would become an ancestress of the Jewish people. She naturally assumed it would be through her ...
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Is there a Midrash that men gave birth early in the Torah?

I'm told there's a midrash which takes it literally when the Torah says that 'Jared begot Enoch' and so on, ie it argues that it was the men who gave birth in those days. Can anyone help me find it? (...
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Why does Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer only connect certain berachos of Shemoneh Esrei to events in Tanach?

According to Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer: The first beracha of Shemoneh Esrei, "Blessed are You, Hashem, Protector of Avraham," refers to Hashem's protecting Avraham during the war with the four kings (ch....
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Eliezer's daughter and descendants

Medrash Rabah Parshas Chayai Sara 59:9 says that Eliezer had a daughter and was hoping that she would marry Yitzchak. Avraham told him you are cursed (come from a cursed family) and my son is blessed. ...
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Source that Og told Sarah about the Akeidah, and thus she died

Someone recently told me that they were taught as a child that Og was the one who told Sarah about the Akeidah, causing her death. I always understood it as the Satan. Indeed, that's what Midrash ...
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Did Abraham and Noah know of each other?

Are there any sources that discuss whether Abraham and Noah knew of each other's existence, if there was ever any interactions between the two and/or if they ever met (not sure if their lives actually ...
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Post-Flood Atmospheric Changes

Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld quotes his grandfather who brings a Midrash saying that the world before the Flood didn't feature decay, therefore Noah didn't realize his grape juice was going to turn into ...
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Source for Avraham's Conversation About Hoshana Rabba

Although many websites quote a Midrash saying Hashem told Avraham, "I will give your descendants a special day for forgiveness: Hoshana Rabbah. If they are not forgiven on Rosh Hashana then let ...
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Pharaoh ruled Nineveh for 500 years?

A footnote in this edition of the Midrash Vayosha refers to "Pharaoh's assignment to rule Nineveh for 500 years". I'm aware of midrashim around Pharaoh being the King of Nineveh. But where does this ...
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Two beginnings related to heavens and earth

IIRC, there is a medrash conecting the first letter of torah (beit) + the word reshit by saying that with 2 beginnings (meaning the heavens and earth) the world came into existence. Does anyone happen ...
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Where in the Talmud does it say, if it indeed does, that one who’s thoughts are heard lives a life not worth living?

In Chumash shiur in Yeshiva, I think I remember hearing that in the Gemara somewhere it says that “one who’s thoughts are heard lives a life not worth living”, or something like that. If it does say ...
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Source for manna being natural [duplicate]

What interpretations (sources) claim the falling of manna were not meant to be taken literally in the Exodus? It was a natural event but exaggerated like the split of the Sea of Reeds. This does not ...
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Exact Yalkut Shimoni Reference

So says the Gemara in Masechta Sanhedrin, 39a: “Caesar said to R' Tanchum, 'Come, let us all become one nation.' Rabbi Tanchum said: 'Very well. But we, who are circumcised, cannot become ...
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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 — this refers to the ...
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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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